Brereton Jones' homebred Believe You Can blew away the competition March 9 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, easily taking the $150,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes by 5 3/4 lengths for her second straight win off the layoff (VIDEO) .
The 4-year-old Proud Citizen filly who won the 2012 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) trained forwardly up to this start in a 1 1/16-mile event against five other older fillies and mares after taking the Feb 2 Tiffany Lass Stakes by 10 1/4 lengths when running for the first time since June 2012. She was never challenged, leading unpressured from the start under jockey Rosie Napravnik to complete the distance in 1:44.48 while favored at 1-9.
"I am very pleased to get to bring her back this year and in this fashion where you really don't have to have the gut wrenching, demanding efforts coming right off of the bench," trainer Larry Jones said. "But we got a great bottom in her now and I do think we can have a great year."
Off alertly at the break from the outside post, Believe You Can was angled over to the rail by Napravnik and assumed control with longshot Myriad chasing behind through fractions of :24.76, :48.72, and 1:13.20.
"She really is a special filly to me and today we had a little bit of déjà vu," Napravnik said, recalling the Tiffany Lass win. "It was almost exactly the same race as last time and she's set up to have a great year. We are really looking forward to it."
Bred in Kentucky out of the El Prado mare El Fasto, Believe You Can improved her record to eight wins and a third from 12 starts, with earnings of $1,239,484.
Later on the card, Napravnik captured the $150,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes with Delaunay for owner Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss. The 6-year-old Smoke Glacken gelding ran six furlongs in a sparkling 1:08.36 over five other older sprinters (VIDEO).