12/10/2011 7:51PM

Fair Grounds: String King provides owner-breeder with first training victory

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Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.
String King splits horses to narrowly prevail in a three-horse photo in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf.

Charlie Smith bred String King and owns String King, and String King gave Smith his first win as a trainer with a narrow victory in the $100,000 Turf on the Louisiana Champions Day undercard at Fair Grounds.

String King, one of only two horses Smith has sent out in seven 2011 training starts, is a 3-year-old with an obscure pedigree, by Crowned King and out of a Fly a Kite mare. But the horse can run a little. He won his turf debut early this past summer at Louisiana Downs by four lengths, and in September finished a close fourth in the $100,000 Unbridled, an open turf stakes.

Back from a layoff of more than two months, String King and jockey James Graham stalked the moderate pace of Kissimmee Kyle, who went past the half-mile in 49.71 seconds while on a one-length lead. Kissimmee Kyle still led by 1 1/2 lengths at the stretch call, but String King and Wildrally came at the pacesetter in tandem, catching up to him in the final yards, with String King, between horses, home by an inch or two.

“He was a little slow coming around, but when he came around, he came around,” said Smith. “He’s always been a fighter. He runs hard.”

String King ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:45.40, and paid $10.20 to win. Wildrally finished third, followed by Idefromthebayou and narrow favorite Old Bushmill.

Beanwah’smachine remains unbeaten

Before taking the Classic with Star Guitar, trainer Al Stall and owner Brittlyn Stable won the $100,000 Juvenile with Beanwah’smachine, who ground out a half-length victory over Masculino to remain perfect after three starts.

A son of Successful Appeal bred by Brittlyn, Beanwah’smachine ($3.60) had to work harder Saturday than he did in an allowance victory on opening day of this meet. Racing in fourth behind a solid pace, Beanwah’smachine remained inside until midstretch, when jockey Shane Sellers executed a nifty right turn, cutting out from behind Masculino and Bucktown for clear running, and wearing down Masculino in the final 100 yards. Validfromthegitgo finished third. The winning six-furlong time was 1:11.66.

Amenecer de Oro connects at 31-1

Amanecer de Oro scored the one of the day’s biggest upsets, winning the $100,000 Sprint by one length at 31-1.

Winning his first stakes on dirt, Amanecer de Oro pressed the pace of Bold Recruit, taking over past the furlong pole to win by one length under John Jacinto. Southern Dude, My Star Runner, and Chief Jay – the three favorites – came home third, fourth, and fifth.

A 3-year-old Afternoon Deelites colt owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds and trained by Steven Duke, Amanecer de Oro won his fifth race from 15 starts. His only previous stakes success came in the Red Erwin, a turf race for 3-year-olds at Louisiana Downs.

Amanecer de Oro paid $64.20 and was timed in 1:10.64 for six furlongs.

Speedacious runs down pacesetter in Ladies Sprint

Speedacious used to have only one gear – fast. But she has learned to rate just enough to come from slightly off the pace, and that running style landed her a victory Saturday in the $100,000 Ladies Sprint.

Wearing down pacesetting Little Polka Dot in what became a two-horse race in the stretch, Speedacious won by 1 3/4  lengths, running six furlongs in 1:10.68 and paying $6.80. Bret Calhoun trains the 4-year-old Speedacious, a daughter of Yankee Gentleman, for owner Carl Moore. U Belong To Me was almost 10 lengths behind Little Polka Dot in third.

Izzie’s Gold pulls huge surprise in Lassie

Izzie’s Gold made a clear early lead and just kept on going, winning the $100,000 Lassie by four lengths at odds of 42-1 under Gerard Melancon.

An E. Dubai filly co-bred and owned by Buddy New, Izzie’s Gold ($86.40) won her career debut in June at Evangeline Downs but had since lost three races. She set early fractions of 22.33 and 46.25 seconds in the Lassie, and no one ever got close to her, with 19-1 chance Carmen’s Mystery along for second. Sunday’s Child, part of a Brittlyn-owned entry that went off at 2-5, finished third. Bleu Darling, the other half of the entry, made a big move on the turn but flattened out to finish eighth.

Harlie’s Dream noses out heavy favorite in Lassie

Harlie’s Dreams held on by a nose over heavily favored Lawyer Tiffany to win the $100,000 Ladies under Robby Albarado.

Fourth in the race’s 2010 edition, Harlie’s Dreams tracked a slow pace much of the trip before taking over in the final furlong from Lawyer Tiffany. The top two were four lengths clear of third-place Cat’s Production despite drifting out badly from midstretch to the finish. Harlie’s Dreams, a 4-year-old Pleasant Tap filly owned by Coteau Grove Farms and trained by Pat Devereux, paid $9.60 to win and was timed in 1:47.02 for 1 1/16 miles.