01/21/2012 11:16AM

Fair Grounds: Favored Applauding scratched from Silverbulletday


NEW ORLEANS – The unbeaten 3-year-old filly Applauding won’t run in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds after showing colic-like symptoms Saturday morning. Applauding was treated with banamine, which is commonly given to horses who are acting colicky, but can’t be used on race day.  

Fair Grounds conducted night racing Friday and trainer Al Stall was at his barn later than usual. When he saw Applauding about 7 p.m., the filly seemed perfect, Stall said. But during a daily morning inspection of all the horses in the barn about 5 a.m. on Saturday, Applauding didn’t come to the front of her stall to receive a peppermint, which is her routine, and when she was taken to the track for light exercise at 6, Applauding was “very quiet,” Stall said. Back in her stall, Applauding immediately laid down, an equine sign of internal distress, at which point banamine was administered.

“She responded to treatment really fast,” said Stall. “It seems minor, maybe just some gas, but the timing was terrible.”

Applauding set a Keeneland Polytrack record for six furlongs while easily winning her career debut last fall, and she comfortably won a Fair Grounds allowance race in December. The Silverbulletday, in which she was likely to be a strong favorite, was to have been Applauding’s first try around two turns.

News Saturday morning was better for Exfactor, who, trainer Bernie Flint said, would start in the Lecomte Stakes. Flint had termed Exfactor, the 2011 Bashford Manor Stakes winner, an uncertain runner earlier in the week after the horse kicked the wall of his stall and suffered a minor hind-leg injury, but Exfactor had recovered sufficiently to make his intended start in the Grade 3 Lecomte.