William Farish’s Patriot Act, runner-up by a neck when favored in the Tenacious Handicap last month, gets a chance to make amends in the Louisiana Breeders’ Cup Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
The 1 1/16-mile test carries a purse of $75,000 and has attracted a field of six older males. Patriot Act, the 2-1 morning-line selection, will carry 117 pounds, including regular rider Robby Albarado, and will break from post No. 4.
In the Tenacious, contested at the same distance, Patriot Act was unhurried early and rallied in the stretch to be clearly second best while unable to catch the front-running Kid Grindstone.
However, in his start before that at Churchill Downs Nov. 18, the Neil Howard trainee closed with a bold rush at that same middle distance in a second-level allowance race to be best by nearly two lengths.
The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred is by A.P. Indy out of the Copelan mare Classic Value.
Asked to shoulder the top impost of 119 pounds in the Louisiana Breeders’ Cup is Michael Langford’s Jonesboro, who breaks just outside Patriot Act in post position No. 5.
In his last start in Delta Downs’ $97,000 Sam’s Town Stakes Dec. 1, the 5-year-old chestnut broke in stride to make the pace and drew off in the final furlong for a 7 1/4-length score. Donnie Meche will ride.
Also coming off a win in his last start is Sandburr. The Mike Stidham trainee won Sam Houston’s $100,000 Star of Texas Stakes at last asking Dec. 2 despite racing wide. He should benefit from the strong handling of jockey James Graham.
$75,000 Louisiana Breeders’ Cup Handicap (Race 9, 4:20 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse,, Jockey, Weight
1. Middleweight (KY), Lonnie Meche, 116
2. Pressed (KY), Corey Lanerie, 115
3. Matzoh Toga (ON), Jesse Campbell, 114
4. Patriot Act (KY), Robby Albarado, 117
5. Jonesboro (KY), Donnie Meche, 119
6. Sandburr (TX), James Graham, 115