The Eclipse Award-winning Indian Blessing will attempt to maintain a perfect record for Hal and Patti Earnhardt when she leads a field of seven in the $200,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
One of six stakes slated for Louisiana Derby Preview Day at the New Orleans oval, the 1 1/16-mile Silverbulletday features a rematch between Indian Blessing, winner of the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), and Brereton Jones’ Proud Spell, second-place finisher in the Oct. 27 event at Monmouth Park.
After earning champion 2-year-old filly honors in 2007, Indian Blessing made her 3-year-old debut at Santa Anita Jan. 13. She set the pace in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) and held on to win by a head. The homebred daughter of Indian Charlie, trained by Bob Baffert, used similar tactics to post a 3 ½-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup. She is unbeaten in four career starts.
Proud Spell, unbeaten in three other efforts before her second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup, has not raced since that start but has been training forwardly at Fair Grounds for conditioner Larry Jones. Also a homebred, the daughter of Proud Citizen earned her last victory in the Sept. 15 Matron Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont.
Trainer Steve Asmussen sends out Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and JMJ Racing Stable’s Tale of the Cat filly Jolie the Cat. Coming off a wire-to-wire victory in the one-mile Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds Jan. 12, the Heiligbrodt homebred looks to build a three-race winning streak after taking her maiden by 2 ½-lengths at Fair Grounds Dec. 7.
Most likely to run down those three is Neil Howard trainee Highest Class. The Briarwood Stable filly attempts to regain her winning form after a third-place finish in the Tiffany Lass. A daughter of Mineshaft bred in Kentucky by Edward Barton, she previously had consecutive victories in a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs and an allowance at Fair Grounds, both over the 1 1/16-mile distance.
Miss Missile, Absolutely Cindy, and High Surf complete the field.
$200,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III, race 8, approximate post 3:55p.m. CST), 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies, dirt
PP, Horse Name, Weight, Jockey
1. Jolie the Cat (KY), 122, Shaun Bridgmohan
2. Highest Class (KY), 116, Robby Albarado
3. Miss Missile (KY), 122, Diego Saenz
4. Absolutely Cindy (KY), 122, Julien Leparoux
5. Proud Spell (KY), 122, Gabriel Saez
6. High Surf (KY), 116, John Velazquez
7. Indian Blessing (KY), 122, Garrett Gomez