Updated on 09/16/2011 6:39AM

Sprint sets up for a closer


NEW ORLEANS - Speed usually rules sprint races for younger horses, but a trio of 3-year-old closers bears watching on Monday at Fair Grounds.

Chamrousse, She's Rite on Time, and Meteor Miracle, who won their maiden races with strong stretch runs, will match late kicks in the seventh race, a first-level, six-furlong allowance for 3-year-old fillies.

That begins a series of four interesting races to close a 10-race program here. The eighth is a turf-sprint maiden for younger horses, the ninth a competitive optional claimer/allowance for fillies and mares on turf, and the nightcap a maiden route race for 3-year-old fillies.

Meteor Miracle is the only one of the three fillies to have won over the Fair Grounds track. Making her debut on Dec. 13 for trainer David Carroll and owner George Hoskins, Meteor Miracle launched a rally on the far turn and did not let up until she was five lengths clear of the place horse at the finish. Carroll has plans to stretch Meteor Miracle out in distance, but wants her to have another sprint before he does. Though his filly won off in her debut, Carroll recognized that the early leader, Spiked Punch, was coming quickly back to the field, and is not overrating her performance.

Still, it certainly was good enough to make her competitive with Chamrousse, who also is 1 for 1 in her career, and She's Rite on Time, who won her debut in an open allowance race, then finished second in a Lone Star stakes race.

Chamrousse made a mid-race move to reach contention in her Nov. 13 debut at Churchill Downs, then seized the lead and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Her trainer, Niall O'Callaghan, does not push his horses to win at first asking, which makes Chamrousse's performance especially noteworthy. She has four works during her last five weeks of training at Fair Grounds, including a Dec. 24 five-furlong move in a strong 1:01.80.

She's Rite on Time comes back from a six-month layoff for trainer Steve Asmussen, but clearly has ability and races with Lasix for the first time.

In the eighth, impressive training-race winner Ifyouprefersilver makes her career debut in a race scheduled for about 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. Favoritism in the ninth race might go to De Aar, trainer Michael Dickinson's fourth starter at this meet. In the 10th, the good-looking filly Tomokas Outrageous makes her first start in a route race for trainer Al Stall.

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