Fair Grounds: Believe You Can appears sharp for return in Tiffany Lass
Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can will make her long awaited return to action Saturday when she heads a field of six fillies and mares in the $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Trainer Larry Jones said Wednesday from the New Orleans track that he is excited about the way Believe You Can has trained into the Tiffany Lass, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
“She’s coming into this race in very good fashion,” said Jones. “We’ve had this race on our radar for a while, and I may have even gotten her ready a little quicker than anticipated. We’re good, yes sir, we’re happy. She’s really trained well, especially that last work here Monday,” a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 59.20 seconds.
Bred and owned by former Kentucky Gov. Brereton C. Jones, Believe You Can will be making her first start since she finished a distant third in her only post-Oaks race, the June 23 Mother Goose. She had four workouts in the summer after the Mother Goose before being given a rest and has returned with six Fair Grounds works since early December.
Rosie Napravnik, who became the first woman jockey to win the Oaks when Believe You Can captured the filly classic last May at 13-1, will be back aboard when breaking from post 5.
The others entered Wednesday for the Tiffany Lass, which goes as the seventh of 11 Saturday races, are Snuggs and Kisses, Glinda the Good, Myrian, Imposing Grace, and Cheerleader.
Also carded Saturday is the inaugural running of the $75,000 Battle of New Orleans (race 9), a turf sprint for 3-year-old fillies.
Amoss not thinking too far ahead with Delaunay
Delaunay continued his surge toward the top echelon of the North American sprint ranks with his dominating victory Saturday in the Gaudin Memorial. But even though the 6-year-old Maryland-bred Delaunay earned an eye-popping 110 Beyer Speed Figure, trainer Tom Amoss won’t allow himself to start looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in nine months.
“Are you kidding?” he roared facetiously. “That’s a lifetime away in this game.”
Amoss said he intends to run Delaunay back in the premier sprint race of the meet, the $150,000 Duncan Kenner on March 9, “and beyond that I honestly haven’t thought about it.”
Meanwhile, Amoss said that Mylute, a romping winner of a two-turn, first-level allowance in his last start Dec. 26, remains on target for the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 23.
“That race is coming up tough with Oxbow and surely something from [Todd] Pletcher,” he said. “We just need to find out if he’s the kind of horse we can keep going with.”
Bayou likely next for Daisy Devine
Trainer Andrew McKeever said Daisy Devine came out of her facile victory last weekend in the Krantz Memorial “in great shape” and is tentatively planning on just one more Fair Grounds stepping-stone before sending the mare to Kentucky to defend her title in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland in April.
McKeever said the $75,000 Bayou Handicap on the Feb. 23 Risen Star undercard most likely is next for Daisy Devine, a 5-year-old with 10 wins from 17 starts. She earned a 96 Beyer with her front-running, 1 3/4-length score as a 1-10 favorite in the Krantz.
A win or a second in the Bayou would make Daisy Devine a millionaire for owner James M. Miller. Her earnings stand at $991,281.
Three new Hall of Fame members
Track officials announced Sunday that three new members have been elected to the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame. They are E.J. Perrodin, the locally popular rider who died last year at age 55 with 3,083 wins to his credit; Star Guitar, the all-time leading Louisiana-bred earner who won nearly $1.75 million and 22 stakes; and Ray Salmen, a longtime owner who campaigned such standouts as A Letter to Harry and Pago Hop.
The induction ceremony is set for March 4 at the track. Tickets are $25.