01/29/2010 1:00AM

Stidham proceeds slowly with Four Gifts


NEW ORLEANS - Multiple graded stakes winner Four Gifts has moved into trainer Michael Stidham's barn after being purchased at the Fasig-Tipton November sale for $310,000.

Previously trained by Steve Asmussen and owned by Heiligbrodt Stable, Four Gifts followed her victory in the Grade 3 Delta Princess at the end of 2008 with two Grade 3 victories last year, the Eight Belles in May at Churchill, and the Charles Town Oaks in August.

She has been off since that victory, and came to the Stidham barn at the beginning of January, to begin working in preparation for her 4-year-old campaign.

"Peter Redekop now owns her and sent her to me to get her back in training, and back to the races," said Stidham. "So far, so good."

Stidham said Four Gifts is still a month and several works shy of being ready for the races. He has not yet decided upon a race for her return.

"She's won some great races, and we'll try to get some more black type on her," said Stidham. "She's still several works away from running."

Euroears on target for Col. Power

Euroears, who suffered his first Fair Grounds defeat in six races last Saturday's Gaudin Stakes, has returned to Bret Calhoun's barn in good shape.

Usually the fastest out of the gate, Euroears broke a step slower than Cash Refund, then gave chase well into the stretch before tiring to finish third.

"He came out of it very good, no excuse," said Peaches Geier, assistant to Calhoun. "I don't know if it was because he chased that horse, but he came back fine."

Euroears, now 6, will be pointed toward the Colonel Power on Feb. 20, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race he won in 2008.

Mineshaft next for Good and Lucky

Good and Lucky was unable to make it two in a row against Friesan Fire last Saturday as Friesan Fire wired the field in the Louisiana Handicap.

Good and Lucky attempted to come from well off the pace, as he did in an allowance race on Dec. 20. In the Louisiana Handicap, Friesan Fire had much more left in the tank, as he defeated General Quarters by 1 3/4 lengths, while Good and Lucky finished third, beaten more than nine lengths.

"There was no shame in running third to those two horses," said Ruth Schmidt, assistant to trainer Josie Carroll. "He came back good. Those two were just faster than he was."

Schmidt indicated that Good and Lucky, who has been in the money in nine of 11 races at Fair Grounds, will be pointed toward the Grade 3 Mineshaft on Feb. 20.

Early post for Super Bowl Sunday

Local radio announcer Jim Henderson called it, in the seconds after the Saints won the NFC Championship, "Pigs have flown. Hell has froze over. The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl."

Routines in New Orleans have been disrupted by the Saints' success. In preparation for the game, many businesses have closed, and local schools have canceled classes for the Monday following the game.

While the changes at the Fair Grounds have not been as dramatic, adjustments have been made, with the first post hustled up to 11:30 a.m. Central on Sunday, Feb. 7, so that all parties involved can get home in time for the kickoff.

The Fair Grounds simulcast facility will close at the conclusion of the Golden Gate Fields card. The slot facility and OTB centers in the region will remain open and show the game.

* Next Saturday's feature, the Black Gold Stakes, is shaping up as a field of six or seven. The turf sprint has drawn one of Michael Stidham's rising stars, Workin for Hops, who will step up into stakes company after an impressive 4 1/2-length victory in an allowance race over Mountain Justice.