Multiple grade III winner Daddy Nose Best will try for a third consecutive stakes win on the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots turf and sixth victory in seven starts when he faces an expected eight other older horses in the Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 22.
Cathy and Bob Zollars' Daddy Nose Best enters off a narrow victory Jan. 18 in the Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) over this same course, although he will stretch out to about 1 1/8 miles Saturday after winning the 1 1/16-mile Col. E. R. Bradley on yielding turf.
That victory gave Daddy Nose Best his fifth win in his most recent six starts, a stretch that includes four stakes wins on turf, two each at Fair Grounds and Remington Park.
The highweight at 123 pounds, the 5-year-old Scat Daddy horse will try to secure the seventh stakes win of his career. Daddy Nose Best boasts the top connections of three-time defending Fair Grounds champion jockey Rosie Napravnik and Steve Asmussen, a 13-time leading trainer at the track.
The Fair Grounds is a prep race for the track's Mervin Muniz Handicap (gr. IIT) on March 29.
Other top contenders on Saturday include Calumet Farm's Skyring, who will try to end a six-race skid dating back to his victory in last year's Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Race Course; and Lothenbach Stables' nearly appropriately named Mister Marti Gras, who will make his first start since a runner-up finish in last year's Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Potomac River, who closed out 2013 with a win in the River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, will try to bounce back from an eighth place finish in the Col E. R. Bradley. Trainer Todd Pletcher will ship Robert Evans' Unitarian to Fair Grounds after the 4-year-old Pulpit colt registered back-to-back wins on the Gulfstream Park turf.
$150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT, race 10, approximate post time 4:55 p.m. CST) 4YO&Up, about 1 1/8 Miles, Turf
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Mister Marti Gras (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 116, N. Pessin
2. Skyring (KY), M. Pedroza, 114, D. Lukas
3. Ground Transport (KY), M. Guidry, 113, M. Stidham
4. Daddy Nose Best (KY), R. Napravnik, 123, S. Asmussen
5. Gentelman's Kitten (KY), J. Talamo, 116, M. Maker
6. Potomac River (KY), J. Vargas, 118, J. Camejo
7. Hard Aces (KY), R. Albarado, 115, J. Jones
8. Slip and Drive (MD), J. Graham, 115, H. Robertson
9. Unitarian (KY), M. Smith, 116, T. Pletcher