Spectacular Lisa Impressive in Chou Croute

(from Fair Grounds report)
Spectacular Lisa posted her second consecutive stakes victory in impressive fashion in the $100,000 Chou Croute Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Ridden by Robby Albarado, the 4-year-old gray assumed command on the far turn, opening up a two-length advantage into the stretch, and powered home unchallenged, hitting the wire in 1:43 2/5 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Spectacular Lisa, the second choice, stalked pacesetter Spirited Maiden down the backstretch through a half mile in 48.33.

"I had a good trip,"said Albarado, who has won the last four stakes run at Fair Grounds and has 10 stakes wins this meet.

The daughter of Formal Gold won for the third straight time since transferring to trainer Mike Stidham's barn in November, improving her career earnings to $177,000 for owner Green River Farms. She had won the Houston Distaff Handicap at Sam Houston Race Park in her last start Jan. 17.

"She stepped up today with a big effort," said Stidham, who won the Chou Croute for the second consecutive year. "She's a sweetheart. She is very simple to train, and Robby has done a great job with her. She just wants to win."

Tropical Blossom, the slight 8-5 favorite, closed late to finish a non-threatening second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Spectacular Lisa and a length clear of 17-1 Princess Pelona in a field of seven older fillies and mares. The top finishers each carried 117 pounds.

Playa Maya was scratched earlier Saturday.

Spectacular Lisa paid $5.60, $2.80 and $2.60. Tropical Blossom returned $3 and $2.60. Princess Pelona's show was $5.20. The $2 exacta was worth $19.60.

(Chart, Equibase)

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