03/20/2013 11:31AM

Fair Grounds: At the Pulpit ready for another battle


At the Pulpit is only 4, but already he has the look of a tried-and-true warrior. The gelding battled his way to a nose victory in his last start at Fair Grounds, continuing a string of solid efforts that have come to define him in just 14 starts.

Trainer Michelle Lovell called At the Pulpit “a gamer” earlier in a four-month Fair Grounds meet that is quickly winding its way to an end. When At the Pulpit steps up into second-level allowance company Friday at the New Orleans track, he will be looking to keep plugging away.

Seven other older horses are scheduled to face At the Pulpit in the seventh of nine Friday races, a $49,000 allowance that also carries a $40,000 claiming option and goes at about one mile on the grass. Richard Eramia again has the mount on At the Pulpit.

Eramia, who once again ranks among the top five jockeys at the meet, has been aboard At the Pulpit in all five prior races at Fair Grounds this winter. The gelding finished second, fourth, second, and third before finally making it through his first condition by holding off 33-1 shot Madris in a March 6 turf race at this same distance.

To win right back, At the Pulpit will have to turn the tables on the likes of Major Gain and Scat About, both of whom pinned narrow defeats on him in earlier races. Those two are among the well-matched field that makes the feature a fine wagering event.

Other notables in the lineup include the Ken Ramsey stable entry of Sneaky Kitten and Coalport, both 4-year-old sons of Kitten’s Joy, and Bauers Got Hours, a last-out upset winner in wire-to-wire fashion.

In the slight chance of wet conditions forcing the race to the dirt, the presence of three main track only entrants – Arkansas Martini, Silver Wings, and Adulare – obviously would alter the complexion of the race in a dramatic way.

One other allowance, a second-level sprint for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares, directly follows the feature as the eighth race. The $43,000 race drew a field of seven, with two of them entered for a $20,000 claiming option.

First post Friday is 1 p.m. Central. There are no more twilight Fridays remaining at the meet, which runs through March 31.