09/06/2014 5:58PM

Kaplan, Leyva team up for two stakes wins on turf

Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Rosie Napravnik, riding at Louisiana Downs for the first time, guides Sassy Kitten to victory in the River Cities.

BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Bill Kaplan and jockey Juan Leyva swept the  turf stakes for 2-year-olds at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, when My Point Exactly overcame adversity in the $75,000 Sunday Silence and Naval Command held off La Rambla in the $75,000 Happy Ticket.

The races were two of six stakes supporting the Grade 2, $400,000 Super Derby won by Vicar’s In Trouble ($4.60). The slate of seven stakes worth a cumulative $900,000 made for the richest card of the meet.

Naval Command ($6.40) was prominent throughout the Happy Ticket, run at a mile, and in the drive held off La Rambla for a neck win. Naval Command covered the distance on firm turf in 1:37.40.

“This filly has unbelievable speed and talent, and we wanted to stretch her out and see if she could carry her speed two turns,” said Kaplan, who trains Naval Command for Pinnacle Racing Stable, Jack Hendricks,  and Roger Justice.

My Point Exactly ($5.40) settled off the pace in the Sunday Silence at a mile on turf, launched a bid on the final turn, and was forced to check between rivals. He then re-rallied for a neck win over Sylvan Hills Boys.

Leyva said the finish was so close because of the notable trouble the horse had in the turn.

My Point Exactly races for the partnership of Pinnacle Racing Stable, Norman, Hendricks,  and Justice.

Sassy Kitten takes River Cities

Sassy Kitten was an explosive winner of the $75,000 River Cities, pulling clear by 3 3/4 lengths over Malibu Yankee in the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares. It was the second straight stakes win for Sassy Kitten, who captured the off-the-turf West Virginia Senate President’s Cup at Mountaineer in her prior start Aug. 2.

Sassy Kitten added blinkers for the race at Mountaineer, and Mike Maker, who trains the horse for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, said the equipment has been a boost for the filly.  Earlier this week Maker said Sassy Kitten “has the tendency, when she gets the lead, to wander a little bit.”

Maker also said he liked the filly more on turf, and she was returning to the surface for the River Cities.

Rosie Napravnik was aboard in what, according to Daily Racing Form records, was her first win at Louisiana Downs. She had her first  mounts at the track Saturday.

 Kylie’s Cutie ($5.40) and Mr. L.S. Shoe ($15.40) gave the owner-trainer team of Phyllis Hodges and her husband, Jim Hodges, a sweep of the $100,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds. Pat Johnson was aboard Kylie’s Cutie for her 6 ¾- length romp, while Richard Eramia rode Mr. L.S. Shoe.

 Benwill ($29) was placed first in the $75,000 Unbridled after Coalport, who crossed the wire in front, was disqualified following an objection and stewards’ inquiry into the1 1/16- mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up. Donnie Meche rode Benwill for Oak Leaf Training Center and trainer Mike Burgess.