01/21/2012 5:24PM

Fair Grounds: Mr. Vegas takes Bradley

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John Duca/Tom Cooley
Mr. Vegas leads the field home in the Colonel E.R. Bradley.

NEW ORLEANS - For the connections of Mr. Vegas, the most taxing part of the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap was its aftermath.

On the lead throughout the 1 1/16-mile grass race, Mr. Vegas and jockey Miguel Mena came out into the path of second-place Dubious Miss shortly before crossing the finish line with a 1 1/2-length lead.  Up went the inquiry sign from the Fair Grounds stewards, and in came an objection from Dubious Miss's rider, Corey Lanerie, but after a fairly brief review, the numbers on the board stopped blinking and remained as posted.

"He did come out a little bit," said Mr. Vegas's trainer, Richie Scherer. "I'm just glad the stewards saw things my way."

Scherer said tentative plans had called for Mr. Vegas to track another horse in the Grade 3, $97,000 Bradley, but Mr. Vegas glided straight to the front and set easy fractions of 24.30 and 49.41 seconds for the first quarter- and half-mile, with Mena keeping his mount well off the fence. Mr. Vegas can get rank in his races, and, Scherer said this week, is not the easiest horse to ride, but he was more settled than usual Saturday, and had a decent kick when Mena asked for run in the stretch. Dubious Miss had made mild inroads into Mr. Vegas's lead when Mr. Vegas shifted out, causing Lanerie to stop riding for a stride or two, but stewards judged that the incident hadn't affected the race's outcome.

Mr. Vegas, a New York-bred son of Freud, won his third straight start, all during this Fair Grounds meet, and paid $12.40 to win while running about 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:43.49. Behind Dubious Miss came Strike Impact, even-money favorite Suntracer, Lonesome Street, and Baltimore Bob.