12/05/2011 1:52PM

Fair Grounds: Applauding will stretch out for Silverbulletday

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Coady Photography/Keeneland
Applauding runs six furlongs in 1:07.76 in her debut, setting a track record at Keeneland. She will try a route for the first time in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Applauding, the fastest 2-year-old filly stabled at Fair Grounds until proven otherwise, showed Friday she can run as well on dirt as on Polytrack. Her next hurdle will be distance, with Applauding scheduled to stretch out after two six-furlong races to begin her career in the 1 1/16-mile Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 21.

Applauding set a six-furlong synthetic-surface track record when she won her career debut by nine lengths Oct. 14 at Keeneland, and she was equally dominant in Friday’s sixth race, making an early lead from the rail, racing her opening half-mile in less than 45 seconds, and going on to a six-length victory under Shane Sellers while ridden out to the wire. Applauding’s Beyer Speed Figure of 91 neatly lined up with the 92 she earned in her debut.

“Shane said she reminds him of the really good horses he used to ride,” said Al Stall, who trains Applauding for Ramona Bass.

Applauding, a flashy chestnut, possesses a relaxed disposition and doesn’t have a body type that would work totally against route racing. Her sire, Congrats, was a route horse, but many of his offspring – such as top female sprinter Turbulent Descent – seem more comfortable racing around one turn. Applauding, who cost $370,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale, is out of a Forestry mare named Andria’s Forest. The dam has one other foal to race, a full sister to Applauding named Starship Warpspeed. That horse actually just won her maiden Sept. 30 at Belmont, and while she required a class drop into a $40,000 maiden-claimer to do so, Starship Warpspeed scored by a remarkable 26 3/4 lengths in a seven-furlong race.

Stall said Saturday morning that Applauding had emerged from her win in good condition. Training in coming weeks will focus on imparting stamina.

“We have time now to stretch her a little bit with longer gallops,” said Stall, who enters this week as leading trainer at the meet, with 8 winners from 19 starts.

Daisy Devine targets Blushing K.D.

Daisy Devine, the 2011 Fair Grounds Oaks winner, will attempt to run her turf record to 3 for 3 in the $75,000 Blushing K.D. Handicap on Dec. 17, trainer Andrew McKeever said over the weekend. Daisy Devine won the Valley View at Keeneland by a half-length in her grass debut before comfortably capturing the Nov. 26 Pago Hop at Fair Grounds, another grass race.

The filly Daisy Devine edged in the Fair Grounds Oaks, St. John’s River, had her first workout after a layoff on Saturday morning, breezing three furlongs in 37.60 seconds for trainer Andy Leggio.

Edge to Yankee Passion in feature

Thursday’s nine-race card includes four races restricted to Louisiana-breds, but Fair Grounds managed to attract enough entrants to card a second-level allowance race. Also open to $40,000 claimers, race 4 is scheduled to go with six entrants, including two, Uno Mas and Cornpiper, from the Steve Asmussen barn.

Cornpiper, who will be ridden by leading jockey Rosie Napravnik, might be favored, but the pick is Larry Jones-trained Yankee Passion. Yankee Passion hasn’t finished better than fifth in his last four starts, but none of those races was a dirt sprint, and he has 2 wins and a second in 3 such starts.