The first three finishers in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will square off again at the Louisiana track when they return for the Feb. 25 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III).
Believe You Can, Summer Applause, and Inny Minnie, who respectively ran first, second, and third in the Jan. 12 Silverbulletday, figure to be the top choices in the Rachel Alexandra, named for the 2009 Horse of the Year and winner of that year’s Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). The 1 1/16-mile contest for 3-year-old fillies is the seventh race on the card with post time of 2:58 p.m. CST.
Brereton Jones’ homebred Believe You Can, who launched her sophomore campaign in style with her front-running Silverbulletday victory, has only lost twice during her six-start career. Trained by Larry Jones, the daughter of Proud Citizen broke her maiden in her second try last summer at Delaware Park and captured the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park in October.
Bred in Kentucky, Believe You Can is out of the El Prado mare El Fasto. Rosie Napravnik, who was aboard for the Silverbulletday, has the return riding assignment. Toting top weight of 122 pounds, Believe You Can will break from the inside post.
The Brett Calhoun-trained Summer Applause, who beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Believe You Can in the Silverbulletday, is also a contender. The daughter of Harlan's Holiday—Summer Exhibition, by Royal Academy, has an affinity for the Fair Grounds track, over which she posted an eye-catching seven-length victory in an allowance optional claiming contest Dec. 31.
Summer Applause is owned by Gillian Campbell, R Group Management, and Greenwood Lodge Farm, which bred her in Kentucky. Robbie Albarado, who has guided the bay filly in her last two starts, will be in the irons from post 5.
Like Summer Applause, Innie Minnie is looking for her first black-type victory in the Rachel Alexandra. Trained by Steve Margolis for Jake Ballis, the daughter of Hard Spun ran a respectable second in the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) in November after breaking her maiden on Keeneland’s Polytrack in October. She holds a record of 1-3-1 from five starts for earnings of $162,500.
Shaun Bridgmohan has been named to ride Inny Minnie, who was bred in Kentucky by Equine Equity Partners. Inny Minnie will break from post 3.
The other four entrants will make their stakes debuts in the Rachel Alexandra. Avie's Sense broke her maiden by 5 1/4 lengths at Fair Grounds Jan. 12; Table Three Ten and Applauding and are both undefeated in two starts and winners by significant margins at Fair Grounds; and Annaclone is looking for her first victory at the New Orleans track after running third there in her last three outings.
$200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 2:58 p.m. CST), 3YO fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Believe You Can (KY), R Napravnik, 122, J L Jones
2. Avie's Sense (KY), J Graham, 116, J Carroll
3. Inny Minnie (KY), S Bridgmohan, 116, S Margolis
4. Table Three Ten (KY), J Castellano, 116, H G Motion
5. Summer Applause (KY), R Albarado, 118, W B Calhoun
6. Applauding (FL), S J Sellers, 116, A M Stall Jr.
7. Annaclone (KY), M Mena, 116, B S Flint