12/19/2011 4:32PM

Fair Grounds: Margolis warms up with stakes wins from Good Deed, Cherokee Queen

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Lou Hodges Jr.
Cherokee Queen could be pointed to the Jan. Marie Krantz after winning last Saturday's Blushing K.D.

Given the kind of Fair Grounds meets he has had the last two years, and the fact his Fair Grounds string is as substantial as any other trainer’s, Steve Margolis figured to kick into gear as soon as his stable got fully settled following the end of the Churchill Downs meeting. That happened this past weekend, when Margolis won with 4 of 8 starters, taking the Blushing K.D. Stakes with Cherokee Queen on Saturday and the Letellier Stakes with Good Deed on Sunday. And perhaps more impressive than those two was Saturday maiden winner Radiant Talent, whose 4 3/4-length victory went in a faster time than the Sugar Bowl Stakes on the same card and produced an 89 Beyer Speed Figure.

Good Deed, a 2-year-old Klein family homebred out of their mare Hidden Assets, is by Broken Vow, whose offspring often do well at route distances. But Good Deed, who won her third straight race in the $60,000 Letellier, is strictly a sprinter, her connections believe, and that may necessitate going out of town to find a suitable spot.

“They have a really nice program for 3-year-old fillies going long here, but there’s nothing for her here short,” Margolis said.

That fact, Margolis said, makes a race like the seven-furlong Forward Gal at Gulfstream next month seem like an appealing possibility.

Cherokee Queen, a turf router who won her first start for Margolis after being purchased at auction in November, has plenty of options. Rallying late for a neck victory Saturday in the Blushing K.D. Stakes – one of five wins on the card for Shaun Bridgmohan – Cherokee Queen could start Jan. 14 in the Marie Krantz Stakes or await the Mardi Gras Stakes on Feb. 21.

As for Radiant Talent, Margolis said no specific plans have yet been set. Second in his career debut Oct. 30 at Churchill and second there at odds of 1-2 in a Nov. 26 maiden, Radiant Talent broke through in a big way Saturday, pressing the pace before drawing away under Bridgmohan. He ran six furlongs in 1:11.34, while late on the card the Sugar Bowl went in 1:11.78.

“This guy came to me with a lot of positives,” Margolis said. “He’s always trained good, and we thought he could run.”

Whether Radiant Talent can stretch out is another question. He is by middle-distance sire Johannesburg but out of a mare by speed-oriented Meadowlake and from a family who mainly sprinted.

“I don’t want to rule out going longer,” said Margolis, who mentioned the Jan. 21 Lecomte as a possible route spot for Radiant Talent. “He’s a big, strapping horse.”