01/29/2011 2:01PM

Sour to display promise at Fair Grounds


There’s a no-conditions Louisiana-bred turf allowance race and a second-level optional claiming turf sprint on a thoroughly decent Monday card at Fair Grounds, but this is the season of 3-year-olds, and it will be most interesting to see what unfolds in Monday’s third race.

Fair Grounds, continuing a recent trend, generously allowed this maiden special weight dirt route onto the card with just six entrants, and one of them is a promising colt named Sour.

Sour’s strong debut showing on Jan. 2 escaped widespread general notice because he was beaten more than five lengths. But the horse in front of him, Machen, who is scheduled  to run back in a first-level route allowance on Sunday, turned in the best maiden performance at this Fair Grounds meeting. Sour got away somewhat slowly but found his stride on the turn, passing all save the winner while finishing three lengths clear of the show horse. Sour, bred and owned by Adele Dilschneider and trained by Al Stall, is a son of Lemon Drop Kid, and figures to improve at distances longer than the six furlongs of his debut.

The 3-year-old maiden race is directly followed by the day’s highest-class fare, a one-mile grass race with no allowance conditions but restricted to Louisiana-breds. Six were entered for turf, with Up and Out of Site to start only if turf races are moved to the main track on Monday, which, given the forecast, is not out of the question. The 9-5 favorite is Wildrally, who won the Jan. 28 Dixie Poker Ace over Louisiana-bred turf horses, but is far from a cinch. Hallway, Desert Wheat, and even Classy Deelites and Eighth at Citypark all have a chance.

In race 8, the turf-sprint allowance, take a long look at Sensational Love, who starts under the race’s $40,000 claiming option. Claimed for just $10,000 about nine months ago, Sensational Love seeks her fourth straight win for owner-trainer Steve Asmussen, and rallied strongly to win a one-turn Fair Grounds grass race in her most recent start.

◗ Willcox Inn, third in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, had his first workout of 2011 on Friday, going three furlongs in 37.20 seconds on the Fair Grounds main track. Willcox Inn won’t be ready to race for several weeks, and trainer Mike Stidham said last week he hadn’t targeted a specific comeback race.