01/27/2009 1:00AM

Nans Joy looks to close in allowance


NEW ORLEANS - Stormy West looked so dominant coming into last Saturday's Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap for trainer Bill Mott that she scared four horses into Thursday's ninth race, including her stablemate, Nans Joy.

Thursday's feature, the ninth, a $48,000 third-level allowance going about a mile on the turf, tops a strong card, with a no-conditions Louisiana-bred allowance going as the fifth race and a first-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies as the seventh.

Nans Joy enters this race off a third-place effort in the Furl Sail Handicap. In that race, she came from eight lengths back to get up for show but never threatened Stormy West or Shytoe Lafeet, who finished first and second again in the Krantz last Saturday.

"We had her in the stakes race, but she just isn't at Stormy West's level right now," said Mott's assistant trainer, Mike Kaetzel. "She fits here, and her closing style should be good for this course. Even if they go the first half in 50, it still seems like the ones coming from the back win."

Nans Joy will have Robby Albarado back aboard.

Trainee, who also scratched Saturday, was a close third in her last effort, an off-the-turf third-level allowance. Only 4 of her 24 races have been over turf, and she could be live if the race is switched to the main track.

The weather may be a factor, with showers predicted for Wednesday. Should the race be moved to the main track, Alina would be the class of the field if she is back to full strength after seven months on the shelf.

In the seventh race, a mile turf allowance for 3-year-old fillies, the standout is Elision. She enters this after being scratched twice after races were moved off the turf. She has the marking of a promising runner, and we will see how far she has progressed since winning by four lengths at Woodbine on Oct. 10.

The fifth race, carded as a turf mile for older Louisiana-breds, comes up surprisingly deep, with five horses returning from the Jan. 3 Dixie Poker Ace. Classy Deelites and Hallway were just a length behind the winner, Star Guitar, that day, and none in here look to be his equal.

After finishing sixth in the Dixie Poker Ace, Willist won an allowance on Jan. 18, coming home 1 1/2 lengths in front over a sloppy track. He will be making his third start in January.