02/26/2011 11:55AM

Snow Fall sizzles in Fair Grounds maiden win for Stidham


Harbor Fox, the 13-10 favorite in Friday’s race 8, an entry-level, two-turn allowance race for 3-year-old fillies, finished a disappointing fifth for trainer Mike Stidham. But another Stidham 3-year-old filly, Snow Fall, was far from disappointing clearing the maiden ranks in race 6. Left in an off-the-turf maiden race, Snow Fall tracked a fast pace set by Tapia, passed her in midstretch, and went on to a 5 1/2-length victory. She turned in a meet-best time of 1:41.97 for one mile and 70 yards, the most commonly run dirt-route distance this Fair Grounds season. Snow Fall was assigned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

“Her works on dirt had been great,” Stidham said when asked about the decision not to scratch Snow Fall, whose first two races were turf sprints.

Meanwhile, Stidham said he was undecided as of Friday on whether to enter Willcox Inn, the third-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, in the March 5 Grindstone Stakes. Willcox Inn has been working steadily for his first start at age 3.

Stidham also said Workin for Hops and Gran Estreno, the fourth- and sixth-place finishers in the Fair Grounds Handicap, were on target to run back in the Mervin Muniz on March 26.

Winning the Friday feature in an mild upset was the Steve Margolis-trained Switching Gears, who fought back late after being headed by sharp last-out maiden winner St. John’s River.

◗ Jockey John Jacinto had won on only one of 28 mounts since returning to action from a broken wrist he suffered in an early December spill, but Jacinto had himself a day on Friday. Riding in five of the day’s 10 races, Jacinto won on all of his mounts.