12/29/2012 3:32PM

Fair Grounds: Sittin At the Bar formidable among fillies in Louisiana Futurity

Hodges Photography/Alexander Barkoff
The filly Sittin At the Bar will be a huge favorite if she runs in the Louisiana Futurity.

Monday, being New Year’s Eve, is a day for revelry, for imbibing – a New Orleans kind of day. In a city that looks for excuses to party, plenty of folks will be Sittin At the Bar. At Fair Grounds, they will be betting on her.

Sittin At the Bar looked like the most talented Louisiana-bred 2-year-old of either sex when she won the Champions Day Lassie by eight lengths on Dec. 8 as the 3-5 favorite. Back in New Orleans for the fillies division of the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity, Sittin At the Bar figures to be an even shorter price on Monday – free cocktail money for her backers, or so it looks on paper.

Sittin At the Bar, with Mark Guidry on a return call for trainer Brett Brinkman, drew post 4 for the six-furlong Futurity, which lured eight other entrants, including two more for Brinkman, Blanco Canyon and I Dare U Em. Brinkman, who is based at the Evangeline Downs training center and Delta Downs this time of year, said Sittin At the Bar went to Delta following her win at Fair Grounds. Brinkman was vanning Sittin At the Bar from Delta to Evangeline on Saturday, with plans to transport her on race day to New Orleans, the same schedule as on Champions Day. There’s a slight chance Sittin At the Bar still could pass the race, which comes up closer than would be ideal after the Lassie, but Brinkman put the chance of her running at 90 percent.

“If she was running out of her own stall I wouldn’t be quite as antsy about running,” Brinkman said, though Sittin At the Bar shipped professionally during her last trip to New Orleans.

Subsequent to her Lassie win, Sittin At the Bar posted an easy Delta work on a foggy morning that wasn’t picked up by track clockers. Sittin At the Bar might not be as sharp as on Champions Day, but considering that she has won her two races against Louisiana-breds by nearly 16 combined lengths, she doesn’t have to be.

Taralicious, third in the Lassie, races with blinkers added for trainer Bret Calhoun, but has 11 lengths to make up on Sittin At the Bar based on the Lassie result.

The colts and geldings division of the Futurity looks more competitive, thanks mainly to the presence of Butcher and Sunbean. Trainer Bret Calhoun won the Champions Day Juvenile with Hero Force, but appears to have saved Butcher for Monday’s race. Racing for another trainer, Butcher showed little in his career debut in September at Louisiana Downs, but he was a sharp winner of a Louisiana-bred maiden sprint on Nov. 23, running a fast time while beating Warren’s Rebel by 1 1/2 lengths. Warren’s Rebel returned to edge Sunbean, who nearly overcame a slow start to win his career debut for the Brittlyn Stable and trainer Al Stall. Heitai, who races with blinkers added after a third-place finish in the Champions Day Juvenile, also rates as a major contender.

Propelleroneway threat on dirt or turf

Monday’s card also includes two allowance races of note. Race 8 is a first-level allowance with a $50,000 claiming option for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf, and drew two horses with stakes experience, Every Way and Flashy Gal. But the filly to watch might be Propelleroneway, who rallied powerfully to win her turf debut in a maiden race on Dec. 2 at Fair Grounds. Trainer Andrew McKeever said Propelleroneway would stay in Monday’s race even if it is rained onto dirt.

Race 9 is a third-level allowance sprint open to $62,500 claimers that drew a well matched field of nine. The race marks the return to Fair Grounds of Wash Park, who won all five of his starts last meet. Flashpoint, Fire Alarm, Pass the Dice, Shrill, Hamiltonia, and Amanecer de Oro all appear to have a win chance.