03/19/2008 12:00AM

Nicksappealinglady tries turf


NEW ORLEANS - Trainer Gregory Sacco has had a solid meet in his first winter in New Orleans, scoring 6 wins from 36 starts, though none of his victories has come in a stakes.

He has a chance to change that and finish the Fair Grounds season with a bang when he sends out Nicksappealinglady in the Bedanken Stakes, Friday's feature race for 3-year-old fillies going about 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The $60,000 Bedanken is the third stakes on the card, following two races for statebred fillies and mares.

Nicksappealinglady won her maiden in her last outing, holding on for a 1 1/4-length score over a sloppy main track. She was awarded an 89 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest Beyer earned by anyone in Friday's nine-horse field.

Though this will be Nicksappealinglady's first start on the turf, Sacco is confident that she will adapt well.

"She's a big, rangy filly - she'll be able to handle the surface," said Sacco. "She keeps improving, and her mother is a half-sister to Lady's Din, who was a Grade 1 winner on turf."

Nicksappealinglady was struggling in the final furlong of her maiden victory going a mile, but Sacco said he feels confident about asking her for the extra sixteenth of a mile.

"I don't think she has distance limitations," said Sacco. "She lost a bit on the lead, but she gave that up in the turn."

To win the Bedanken, Nicksappealinglady will have to defeat Democrat Taxes, who won a first-level allowance in her last start.

That victory came at this distance over the turf here on Jan. 6. She has been training steadily for her return, turning in six solid works leading up to this race.

Lickety Lemon will be returning from Ocala, Fla., where many of Mark Casse's horses spend the winter. Lickety Lemon finished third in the Grade 3 Natalma at Woodbine last fall before having a troubled trip when second in the Jessamine at Keeneland.

Those stakes finishes mark Lickety Lemon as the class of this field, but it is possible that her connections will be using this as a tune-up for the April 17 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, her next target.