02/16/2010 12:00AM

Six last-out winners meet in Mardi Gras


NEW ORLEANS - It's not a condition of the race, but six of the seven 3-year-old fillies in Tuesday's Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds enter off a win.

Kinsolving is easily the classiest runner in the $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race. Her resume shows the depth of her connection's estimation of her, as she has made three starts in graded stakes.


Last June, Kinsolving finished third in the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes at Churchill. Off that effort her connections entered her in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga, where she failed to fire, finishing ninth, beaten 22 lengths.

"She didn't handle the track at Saratoga that day," said Scott Blasi, assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen. "But we've always thought highly of her, as you can see by where we've entered her."

Kinsolving last started in August at Charles Town, winning the $100,000 Miss Shenandoah Stakes. She rated just off the pace before scoring a 1 1/4-length victory as the even-money favorite.

For Kinsolving, Tuesday's competition look like less of a challenge than the fact she's coming off a layoff and will be trying turf for the first time.

"Turf is the question," said Blasi. "She's taken to every surface except Saratoga, and she handled the synthetic at Keeneland."

For Kinsolving's main rival, Wicked Uno, the Mardi Gras is both a step up in class and a switch to turf.

"She should take to the grass, with her breeding," said trainer Tom Amoss. "At this point in time, she's acting more like a sprinter, so it's a chance to let her do what she likes, while she gets to try a surface that her family likes."

Baby Sister will be taking a still larger step up in class, from a maiden race to a stakes, but she has shown a liking for both turf and the distance of this race.

Baby Sister's lone win came on Dec. 27, in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds, when she came from off the pace to win by 1 1/2 lengths. She had tired to fourth in her previous start at Churchill Downs.

"I thought she ran an impressive rebound race here," said trainer David Carroll. "There are some nice fillies here, but we are very happy with how she's doing and she's yet to run a bad race."