Updated on 09/15/2011 1:38PM

Fan Club's Mister needs luck


NEW ORLEANS - All trainer Rickey Harris wanted was for Fan Club's Mister not to draw an outside post in Saturday's $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap. Ouch. Saddled with the outside gate in a 14-horse field, Fan Club's Mister, the 120-pound highweight, will need every bit of his tactical speed - and much racing luck - to overcome a terrible draw.

Neither Fan Club's Mister nor any of the other top contenders can afford to give up an edge in the closely matched Woodchopper, a turf race restricted to 3-year-olds to be run at about 1 1/16 miles. Sixteen horses were entered in the race, with the two lowest weights excluded, but a 14-horse field on a course with tight turns surely will surely lead to trouble for some.

Which is why Fan Club's Mister, with his early foot and class, was an appealing prospect. Fan Club's Mister led all the way when he won the Grade 2 American Derby at Arlington this summer, and was on the pace before tiring in the final furlong to finish sixth in the Grade 1 Secretariat. He has not raced since

Sept. 16, but Harris likes the way the colt has trained at Fair Grounds. Now, jockey Craig Perret must send the horse for position and hope for the best.

Bowman Mill, who will be making only his fifth career start, may be favored in the Woodchopper, given his high-profile connections, trainer Michael Dickinson and jockey Robby Albarado. By Kris S. out of the good broodmare Aletta Maria - whose 2-year-old daughter, Ntombi, won over this turf course a couple of weeks ago - Bowman Mill won his debut last October, then did not race again until July.

In his return, he won a Delaware Park allowance race with a performance that earned him a spot in the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup, where he finished second, beaten two lengths by a top-class colt, Navesink. Bowman Mill, racing in blinkers for the first time, dueled on a fast pace in the Oct. 20 Japan Racing Association Stakes, settling for a clear second. Since then, Bowman Mill has been working regularly at Dickinson's farm, and he should be prominent throughout the Woodchopper.

Dynameaux, from the Steve Asmussen barn, won an off-the-turf allowance race here Nov. 24 in his first race back from a six-month break, though Asmussen would have preferred that race stay on turf. Dynameaux wound up on the lead, and Asmussen fears he will be too keyed up Saturday.

Also of interest is the improving Illinois-bred Mystery Giver, a full brother to the good turf mare Ioya Two, who easily won the Autobot Stakes at Hawthorne in his last race.

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