02/24/2012 3:43PM

Fair Grounds: Real Power gets stakes audition in turf allowance


NEW ORLEANS – Trainer Neil Pessin dashed out for lunch Friday to one of his favorite places around here, Charlie’s Sea Food in nearby Harahan. He recommends the seafood-stuffed eggplant and the corn and crab chowder, by the way.

Pessin is such a regular at Charlie’s that one wall contains recent winner’s circle photos of Pessin runners at Fair Grounds, accompanied by a plaque calling it Pessin’s “Wall of Fame.” He is hoping he will have two more photos to add to the wall come nightfall Sunday, because he has excellent chances in a pair of allowance races that highlight the Sunday card here.

In race 7, an optional claimer for 3-year-olds scheduled for about 1 1/16 miles on turf, Pessin sends out the gelding Real Power, who was third in a similar race that was rained off the grass Jan. 26. And in race 9, an optional claimer for older fillies and mares scheduled for about one mile on turf, he brings back the filly Dos Lunas, who is making her first start in more than six months.

Wet weather, though, would reduce Pessin’s chances by half.

“He’ll stay in, even if the race gets moved to the main track,” Pessin said of Real Power. “I think he’s better on turf than dirt, but he’s competitive on dirt. If her race comes off the turf, she’s out.”

Real Power hasn’t had a whole lot of luck in the weather department this meet. He was scheduled to run last weekend, but his race was canceled when heavy rain forced the latter half of the card to be abandoned.

“Hopefully, we’ll be on the grass,” Pessin said. “I think he’ll be a pretty nice turf horse. I want to run him back in a stake in a couple of weeks. It’s not ideal timing, because his race didn’t go last week. But he has to win this race. If he doesn’t, it’s a moot point.”

Among those in against Real Power is Bold Front, who won a maiden race Feb. 4 that came off the turf. Entered for the main track only is Tetradrachm, who won a maiden race here Jan. 6 following a brutal trip in his final start at Churchill Downs.

Dos Lunas had her scheduled comeback race two weeks ago moved to the dirt, so she was scratched. Despite the layoff, “I think she’s good enough to win,” Pessin said.

“She’s a pretty stay-fit horse,” he said.

The horse to beat in the finale likely is Artemus Kitten, second in a stakes at Sam Houston last time out after winning a first-level allowance here Jan. 11.