03/06/2013 5:57PM

Fair Grounds: Gantry looks to turn tables on Delaunay in Kenner Stakes

Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Delaunay (right) has beaten Gantry in three consecutive stakes and will look to extend that streak in Saturday's $150,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes.

NEW ORLEANS – Gantry will have a chance to reverse the trend of what has become a one-sided rivalry with Delaunay when they meet again Saturday in the richest sprint of the Fair Grounds meet, the $150,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes.

Gantry was the unofficial sprint champion at the 2011-12 Fair Grounds meet, capping a 3-for-3, all-stakes campaign by winning the Kenner. At the same time, Delaunay was still running for high-end claiming tags while frequently changing barns via the claim box in Maryland.

In the year that has passed, however, Delaunay has made quite a hike up the class ladder, winning five of six starts since being claimed last May at Churchill Downs by Tom Amoss on behalf of Maggi Moss. In their three subsequent head-to-head stakes clashes – one at Louisiana Downs and two at this current Fair Grounds meet – Delaunay has been the winner, and Gantry has been second.

Delaunay, with leading jockey Rosie Napravnik to ride, was assigned the outside post in the six-furlong Kenner, while Gantry got post 3. Just four other older horses were entered when the race was drawn Wednesday.

The Kenner is the second of two $150,000 races here Saturday, with Believe You Can, the 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner, likely to be a huge favorite in the other, the New Orleans Ladies.

Believe You Can, with Napravnik riding for trainer Larry Jones, was assigned the outside post in the 1 1/16-mile Ladies. Jones also entered Totally Tucker and Young And Lovely to ensure the race filled; only three other fillies and mares will oppose the Jones trio. There are no stable couplings for wagering purposes.

One of the non-Jones runners is Myriad, who was a distant third when Believe You Can returned from a seven-month layoff last month at Fair Grounds with a 10 1/4-length romp in the Tiffany Lass as a 1-5 favorite.

“I’m just trying to get a little more black type for our filly,” trainer Merrill Scherer said. “The Oaks winner beat us a pole last time.”

One of the more notable nominees, Brushed by a Star, had been under consideration for the Ladies before trainer Eddie Kenneally revealed Wednesday that he had decided against shipping the mare from southern Florida.

The Ladies and Kenner are carded as the seventh and ninth of 11 Saturday races.

◗ A nine-race card was held here Wednesday as Fair Grounds extends to a five-day race week for the rest of the meet. With some exceptions, four days had been the norm since the meet began Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. The meet ends March 31.

◗ Back-to-back first-level allowances (races 8 and 9) serve as the co-features of a 10-race “Starlight Racing” card Friday evening at Fair Grounds. First post is 5 p.m. Central, with the 10th set for 9:49. The last Starlight Friday card comes March 15.