01/26/2013 4:12PM

Fair Grounds: Daisy Devine delivers as heavy favorite in Krantz Memorial

Hodges Photography/Jamie Hernandez
Jockey James Graham takes a peek over his shoulder as Daisy Devine turns for home well in front of her competition in the Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap.

The only real obstacle standing between Daisy Devine and a win in the $75,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap was the Fair Grounds turf course.

Persistently soggy after taking heavy rain in December and early January, the course was deemed unsuitable to host a pair of turf stakes – including the Krantz – originally scheduled for Jan. 19. The races were pushed back to Jan. 26, but even after another week of drying, the Fair Grounds grass remained wet enough that turf racing was canceled Friday and after one race Thursday.

But the Saturday stakes went off as planned, and Daisy Devine ($2.20) went out and did the utterly predictable, beating five overmatched foes at odds of 1-10, which is the kind of price one gets on a Grade 1-winning turf filly in a five-figure listed stakes.

Jockey James Graham quickly guided Daisy Devine off the fence after breaking from post 1, the pair setting splits of 24.34 seconds, 50.70, 1:15.54, and 1:39.86 on the way to a final time of 1:46.06 for about 1 1/16 miles on a course rated good.

“She got across it fine,” said Graham. “It’s still a little soft in places out there.”

Daisy Devine, while never seriously threatened, didn’t win as impressively as in the Dec. 22 Blushing K D, where she opened a huge stretch-call lead and scored by six lengths. In the Krantz, Ausus, who made an inside bid on the backstretch to reach contention, finished just as well as Daisy Devine, closing the gap to 1 3/4 lengths at the finish. Anniversary Girl finished a distant third, almost four lengths behind Ausus.

Owned by James Miller and trained by Andrew McKeever, Daisy Devine won for the 10th time in 17 starts while pushing her career earnings to $991,281. McKeever said she would be pointed to the Bayou Handicap on Feb. 23 at Fair Grounds.