02/26/2011 8:21PM

Napravnik wins two more stakes at Fair Grounds

Hodges Photography / Lynn Roberts
Upperline takes the lead in upper stretch of the Lacombe Memorial.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik continued her romp through the Fair Grounds race meet on Saturday, winning two of the three stakes races on the program. The victories, aboard Upperline in the Allen Lacombe Memorial and Man of Strife in the Gentilly Stakes, gave Napravnik eight stakes victories from 26 such opportunities this winter in New Orleans. Napravnik, the meet’s leading rider, had 77 total Fair Grounds wins after Saturday’s races.

Upperline’s trainer, Mike Stidham, is having a similarly successful Fair Grounds meet: After Saturday’s action, his stable had won 27 races from just 81 starters, a strike rate of 33 percent. Upperline, owned by a partnership that included Stidham, scored her first turf victory in the $58,800 Lacombe. A graded stakes winner on Polytrack, Upperline was making her second start after an extended layoff, and was given a perfect pressing trip by Napravnik. Upperline took over from early leader Ice Mist in mid-stretch, and had plenty left to hold clear the rally of Category Seven. Favored Forest Uproar had trouble keeping a straight course in the stretch and checked in third. Upperline paid $7.40 to win and was timed in 1:46.68 for one and one-sixteenth miles over turf rated good.

Napravnik’s win aboard Delta Downs-based Man of Strife in the Gentilly was a little trickier. Racing mid-pack in the Gentilly, a turf race for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds, Man of Strife was in a position to challenge for the lead partway around the far turn, but Napravnik waited as long as she could, letting Man of Strife go after turning into the stretch. Rallying widest in a blanket finish, he was up by a neck over Populist Politics, with favored Loranger Native third. Man of Strife, trained by Brian House for Heartlines Horse Ranch, paid $10 to win, and was timed in 1:47.77 for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Earlier on the card it was Lovenotlost winning a head-bobbing finish with favored Tensas Punch in the $60,000 Sarah Lanes Oates, a one-mile turf race for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies. Ridden to victory by Shaun Bridgmohan, Lovenotlost is trained by Wes Hawley for owner Tri-Star Racing. Lovenotlost overcame trouble on the first turn to win by nose over Tensas Punch, who was on the lead or pressing throughout the race. The winner paid $10.40 and was timed in 1:43.08. Take Me Home Too held on for third.