03/23/2011 2:58PM

Fair Grounds Oaks loses Snow Fall due to illness


Snow Fall, one of the 3-year-old fillies entered in the Grade 2, $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday, will be scratched from the race after seeing her temperature spike to 104 degrees a few days ago, trainer Mike Stidham said Wednesday morning.

“She worked five furlongs in 59 and 3 on Sunday morning, we entered her, and that afternoon she had a temperature of 104,” Stidham said. “She’s responding. It looks like it was just a virus. She’s doing better, but we could never run her Saturday.”

Snow Fall was coming off an easy victory Feb. 25 against maidens in her first start on dirt, and going two turns, after a pair of turf sprints.

Stidham still will have plenty of firepower on Saturday’s card. He sends out Workin for Hops in the Grade 2, $400,000 Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap for older turf horses, and Upperline in the $100,000 Bayou Handicap for older females on turf.

Workin for Hops finished fourth, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, in last month’s Fair Grounds Handicap, his first start in nearly five months. Last year, Workin for Hops won the American Derby at Arlington.

“He ran a good race for his first start in five months,” Stidham said. “It was a tough field, he wasn’t beaten that far, and he’s come back with three solid works since. He looks like he’s the lone speed, but you never know how this course is going to play.”

Upperline will be seeking her second straight win, having captured the Allen “Black Cat” LaCombe Memorial in her last start. She won the Arlington Oaks last year.

“I expect her to run another good one,” Stidham said.

Once this meet ends on Sunday, Stidham said he will take the majority of his horses to Delaware Park, and have another string at Arlington.