03/10/2012 8:18PM

Fair Grounds: Icon Ike stretches out to win Black Gold Stakes

Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.
Rosie Napravnik guides Icon Ike to an upset victory in the Black Gold.

Trainer Larry Jones sent out the first two favorites in the $75,000 Allen Lacombe Stakes, including 6-5 favorite Robi Jo, on Saturday at Fair Grounds, and both failed to win, as 11-1 shot Miz Ida came home first.

Wouldn’t you know it, the Jones-trained Icon Ike, who was overlooked at 11-1 with leading rider Rosie Napravnik up, got the money two races later in the $75,000 Black Gold Stakes.

Icon Ike remained unbeaten after three races on turf, all of them coming this winter at Fair Grounds. Saturday’s race, at 7 1/2 furlongs, marked Icon Ike’s two-turn debut, but that didn’t concern Napravnik.

“I never really question a horse going first time long for Larry,” she said. “They never run out of energy.”

Icon Ike, a Yes Its True colt owned by Fletcher and Carolyn Gray, raced wide throughout the Black Gold – a 3-year-old restricted race – and that probably was a good thing, with outside paths appearing to hold an edge on a course rated yielding. Sitting midpack for much of the trip as Hero of Order set splits of 25.93 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 49.75 for the opening half, Icon Ike eased into contention around the far turn, and though sixth at the top of the stretch, he had the leaders in his sights while racing widest on the course. Icon Ike struck the top in the final furlong and won by about one length in a final time of 1:32.85. He paid $25 to win.

Hero of Order crossed the finish second but was disqualified to fourth for coming out and interfering with Hammer’s Terror. The disqualification moved Pure Tactics to second and Hammer’s Terror, the 9-5 favorite, up to fourth.

In the Lacombe, for 3-year-old fillies, Miz Ida, five wide at the quarter-pole, emerged from between horses in midstretch to beat Firehouse Red and Napravnik by three-quarters of a length. Making her first start since Dec. 21, when she beat Firehouse Red in an allowance race, Miz Ida was ridden to victory by Shaun Bridgmohan, his fourth winner on the card. The Proud Citizen filly, a Klein family homebred trained by Steve Margolis, paid $24.80 to win and was timed in 1:32.23 for 7 1/2 furlongs. Citizen Advocate, who broke through the gate before the start, pressed a slow pace (50.92 for the opening half-mile) and held third.

With more than half the field loaded for the race, the start of the Lacombe was delayed for several minutes by Spun Ribbon, who had an equipment problem and then was reluctant to load.