Updated on 09/16/2011 9:54AM

Is Queen Kelly well enough?


NEW ORLEANS - The virus struck Queen Kelly a month ago, just as the 2-year-old Louisiana-bred filly with a small-time pedigree was to take the first of two shots at big money. First came the $100,000 Champions Day Lassie on Dec. 14, and on Thursday is the Louisiana Futurity.

Having easily beaten the best statebred 2-year-old fillies at Louisiana Downs, Queen Kelly figured as a major player in the two Fair Grounds races.

That was until she got sick. A week before the Champions Day race Queen Kelly began showing signs of an infection. Her white-blood cell count dropped, a sign of trouble, and she wasn't quite herself. Her trainer and co-owner Kelly Broussard did what he had to do and ran her in the Lassie, but Queen Kelly had none of her usual pep and checked in sixth. The winner, Kool K.J., was a horse Queen Kelly had already beaten.

"I took a shot there. If she fires, she should be first, second or third," Broussard said.

Her blood count has since improved, and Queen Kelly is coming around now, but will it be in time for Thursday's Futurity?

"The last race didn't knock her down," Broussard said Monday. "After she ran she kept getting better and better. Her white count's up, but it's not 100 percent."

It might have to be if Queen Kelly is to win the six-furlong Futurity. Itsmybag, third in the Lassie, returns in Thursday's race, and at least three new players will affect the race.

Kilt Lilt and Notrestrainable blew out statebred maidens at Fair Grounds, but the horse to watch is the Kentucky invader Forty Dolls. Trained by Morris Nicks and owned by James Spence, Forty Dolls has raced only once, winning an open $50,000 maiden claimer Nov. 22 at Churchill. A maiden claimer is a maiden claimer, but Forty Dolls scored by four lengths while well in hand, and has the look of a filly who will improve in only the second race of her career.

Histoire Sainte tries Furl Sail

Histoire Sainte returns to her favorite course Friday in the $75,000 Furl Sail Handicap, the only local grass stakes for fillies and mares that she hasn't won.

Histoire Sainte, who will turn 7 on Jan. 1, has won all three of her races on this course. She took the Bayou Breeders' Cup in March of 2000, and won the Sixty Sails the last two years. But Friday, she is part of a deep field headed by Quick Tip, Old Money, Lady of Peace, and Salty Farma.

Friday's program also features the colts and geldings division of the Louisiana Futurity.

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