02/22/2012 2:02PM

Fair Grounds: Applauding headed to Rood and Riddle for exam

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Applauding is being sent to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., for a thorough evaluation.

Applauding, who will be scratched from the Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday because she has not been training satisfactorily, is being sent to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., for a thorough evaluation, trainer Al Stall Jr. said Wednesday morning.

“Her joints are great, her mind is fine, but she’s just not right, so we’re going to have an internist look at her,” Stall said.

Applauding is unbeaten in two starts. She has not started since capturing a first-level allowance at Fair Grounds on Dec. 2. She was the morning-line favorite for last month’s Silverbulletday Stakes, but was scratched the morning of the race because of colic.

Suntracer being treated for eye injury

One of the notable absences from the Grade 3, $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on the turf Saturday is Suntracer, who won the Woodchopper earlier in the meet and was fourth most recently in the Grade 3 Col. E.R. Bradley. It was easy to see why on Wednesday morning as trainer Neil Pessin was making repeated visits to the colt’s stall in Barn 26 to apply medication to Suntracer’s injured left eye.

“We were afraid at first he was going to lose the eye or need surgery,” Pessin said. “I watched the replay several times and couldn’t figure out what hit him, but it must have been something hard, because it put a big scratch on his cornea.

“At first, he was being treated six times a day with four different antibiotics. Now, he’s down to four times a day. It was a rough race. He came back with a two-inch screw in his foot, and he didn’t go over there with it.”

Pessin still has both Mister Marti Gras and Ioya Bigtime entered in the Fair Grounds Handicap. Mister Marti Gras also is entered in the Grade 3, $125,000 Mineshaft on the dirt on Saturday, too, and Pessin said that is the preferred spot, assuming the Fair Grounds Handicap doesn’t get rained off the turf.

“We thought if it comes off the turf it would be an easier dirt race,” he said. “But if it stays on the turf, he’s running in the Mineshaft.”

The National Weather Service forecast is for thunderstorms on Friday and a 30 percent chance of rain, followed by dry weather Saturday, with a high of 61 degrees.