Updated on 09/17/2011 9:52AM

Robideaux's amazon simply amazing


NEW ORLEANS - Distinctive Code has a problem.

"She's so big, she barely fits in the gate," said trainer Larry Robideaux.

But once she gets out, there's nothing at all wrong with Distinctive Code. A 4-year-old amazon of a filly, Distinctive Code has won five times and finished second five times in a productive 14-race career, and Saturday she has found a spot to win the first stakes of her career when she starts in the $75,000 Pan Zareta Handicap at Fair Grounds.

Distinctive Code faces six rivals in the six-furlong Pan Zareta, and she beat three of them winning an allowance prep for the race here on Jan. 9. Robideaux has worked Distinctive Code twice since her win, four furlongs in a bullet 48.40 seconds on Jan. 22 and five furlongs in a swift 1:00.60 on Feb. 1. The works say Distinctive Code is coming into the Pan Zareta as well as she went into her last start, and Robideaux isn't arguing otherwise.

"I think she'll be even better this time," Robideaux said.

Distinctive Code stands about 17 hands tall, Robideaux said, but her size belies her quickness. Trapped snugly in the gate, she doesn't often whistle straight to the lead, but once into stride Distinctive Code is quick. "It's hard to believe she's that athletic as big as she is," Robideaux said. "She's like another big horse I used to train. I'd tell the rider, She might not give you much the first jump out of the gate, but on the second one you better be ready."

Robby Albarado should be prepared. The leading rider at Fair Grounds, he was aboard for Distinctive Code's allowance race and gets a return call in the stakes.

Run for Little Bit was second to Distinctive Code on Jan. 9, and had a right to need the race since she hadn't started since July. She has won 3 of 5 starts at Fair Grounds and can turn the tables with improvement. Turner's Hall wasn't a factor in Distinctive Code's win, but she lost all chance with a stumble at the start and is a better horse than she showed last time.

There are two new players here: Fleeta Dif, who ships from Texas and makes her first start since Dec. 7, when she beat 3-year-old fillies in the $30,000 City Fair Stakes; and Stonington, who won a first-level allowance here Jan. 10 in a quick time. Stonington's allowance win was validated when the horse she beat, Joyce Ann, easily won her last start.

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