03/07/2012 4:10PM

Fair Grounds: Bayou the right race for Daisy Devine

Tom Keyser
Rather than give Havre de Grade weight in the Ladies, Daisy Devine will run in the Bayou.

Daisy Devine could make her next start in the New Orleans Ladies on March 17 at Fair Grounds. Could, because she likes the Fair Grounds main track and is good form, but won’t, because doing so would be crazy.

Trainer Andrew McKeever took a look at the conditions for the New Orleans Ladies and made the easy call: Daisy Devine’s next race will come over the Fair Grounds turf course in the $100,000 Bayou Handicap on March 31.

It’s not just that Daisy Devine would have to square off with 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace in the New Orleans Ladies. It’s that under the race’s allowance conditions, Daisy Devine would be conceding six pounds to a champion.

“Why would I give that much weight to Havre de Grace?” McKeever wondered earlier this week.

Daisy Devine should fit more cozily in the Bayou. The 4-year-old filly, who came from nowhere to win the 2011 Fair Grounds Oaks, has won all three of her grass starts, capturing the Valley View at Keeneland last fall before winning two more turf races this winter in New Orleans. In the Feb. 21 Mardi Gras Stakes she beat older horses for the first time, and McKeever and owner James Miller have hatched a tentative plan to bring Daisy Devine back in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland on April 14.

“She came back two and a half weeks after a race before and ran well,” McKeever said. “All that will depend on how she runs in the Bayou.”

Daisy Devine, a $5,500 sales purchase who once raced in a $30,000 maiden claimer, has earned $578,349 for Miller while winning 6 of 11 starts.

◗ Bourbon Courage, the 3-year-old who debuted Feb. 3 at Fair Grounds with a sizzling sprint maiden win, hasn’t posted a timed workout since Feb. 17, but trainer Kellyn Gorder said the Lion Heart colt had recovered from a “minor, minor issue” that cost him a couple days training. Bourbon Courage was tentatively scheduled to work March 8 and is being pointed to a first-level allowance race later this month at Fair Grounds.