04/25/2013 12:39PM

Evangeline: John Henry represents steep drop for Quality Control


An evenly matched field of 12, including a coupled entry, is slated to go 1 1/16 miles on turf in Saturday’s $50,000 John Henry Stakes at Evangeline Downs.

The old Evangeline Downs in nearby Carencro, La., was where John Henry earned his first stakes score as a 2-year-old in 1977.

Quality Control, twice a group winner in his native Brazil but unplaced in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz at Fair Grounds in his only North American start, should find Saturday’s group of rivals a bit more friendly. The 5-year-old Quality Control has been training forwardly between starts after journeying to Kentucky earlier this month. Gerard Melancon rides for trainer Tom Amoss.

Rules of Honor and Midnight Mischief, both recently claimed at Keeneland by trainer Carl Deville for owner Joe Rink, will be coupled. Both are winners on the turf. Carlos Lozada has the call on Rules of Honor while Mark Guidry will be on board Midnight Mischief.

Batter Up, also recently claimed, invades from south Florida, where he was a two-time winner over the winter. Haltered for $25,000 in his last start at Gulfstream, Batter Up is now trained by Jonas Gibson and will be ridden by Donnie Meche.

Others of note include Redhotrush, first or second in nine of his last 10 starts, including runner-up performances in the Fremont and Borgata stakes at Delta earlier this year; Hit the Road Lee, a winner of four races since last November, and Sadie’s Soldier, victorious in four of his nine turf starts, including the Louisiana Turf Classic at Louisiana Downs late last summer.