01/13/2012 4:55PM

Fair Grounds: Joyful Victory going back to dirt


Trainer Larry Jones said he wasn’t certain where or when Joyful Victory would next start after the 4-year-old filly made her first start following a long layoff Wednesday. But Jones is sure that Joyful Victory will return to dirt after finishing second while making her grass debut in a typically slow-paced Fair Grounds turf race.

“We’ve got a lot of options,” Jones said. “She handled the turf okay, but she’s never run into fractions that slow before. That was the opposite of what she normally gets to run at. We’ll play it by ear, but I’m sure she’s going to get back onto the dirt. It looks like she came out of the race real good. She was very fresh afterward. I do hope that tightened her up some.”

Joyful Victory, a multiple graded stakes winner at 3, was making her first start since being sidelined by surgery on a chipped knee after the Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23.

Yankee Passion tops sprint feature

Jones is involved in the Sunday feature, a second-level sprint allowance also open to $40,000 claimers in which he starts Yankee Passion. Yankee Passion, one of just six horses entered in race 10 of 11, finished a decent, but even, third in a Dec. 7 Fair Grounds comeback race under conditions like Sunday’s, and a sixth-place finish in his turf debut Jan. 1 shouldn’t be held against him. Moonlark, who was one place ahead of Yankee Passion on Dec. 7, also is entered in the race as is horse-for-course Ide Ball and Homerun Berti, a live-looking layoff runner for trainer Steve Margolis.