01/23/2009 12:00AM

Stormy West has post edge again over rival


If there's to be a Fair Grounds grass rivalry between Stormy West and Shytoe Lafeet, it would be nice if the playing field were level.

When Stormy West beat Shytoe Lafeet in the Dec. 27 Furl Sail at Fair Grounds, post position probably created a good bit of the three-quarters of a length that separated the two, since Stormy West had post 4, Shytoe Lafeet post 11. But darned if the same thing hasn't happened again in Saturday's $60,000 Marie Krantz Memorial, where Stormy West drew post 5, and Shytoe Lafeet is marooned out in the 12-hole.

In all, 14 older fillies and mares were entered in the Marie Krantz, carded for about 1 1/16 miles on turf. And if you happened to catch the Furl Sail last month, you have a pretty good idea of who's entered Saturday, since the Krantz field includes eight horses that also raced in the Furl Sail.

Stormy West and Shytoe Lafeet were a cut above the rest last time, with Shytoe Lafeet finishing five lengths ahead of third-place Nans Joy, who also returns Saturday. Stormy West, from the barn of Bill Mott, already has put together a successful Fair Grounds season, winning an off-the-turf stakes on the meet's opening weekend before capturing the Furl Sail. A 5-year-old daughter of Gone West, Stormy West appears to have settled nicely into New Orleans this winter, and with plenty of back class, she is entirely eligible to hold her form and win again.

Shytoe Lafeet, never worse than third in three local turf races, managed to work out a decent trip last time under Gabriel Saez, and the pair will need plenty of racing luck again from this wide draw. Stormy West has worked back twice since her last outing, while Shytoe Lafeet shows no interim breezes.

English import Nans Joy, another Mott-rained mare, has a chance to improve in her third North American start, and new shooter High Surf merits some attention. A 4-year-old filly by Storm Cat and out of Surfside, High Surf showed flashes of promise late in her 2-year-old season and early in her 3-year-old year, but she missed much of 2008, and moved far forward when switched to turf last November at Churchill. High Surf won her grass debut, and came back with a close second Dec. 22 at Fair Grounds for trainer Dallas Stewart.