By Kelsey Riley
Stakes winners Acting Zippy and Blues Street will both attempt to keep two-race win streaks alive when they face the starter in the Feb. 20 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans.
The Fair Grounds Handicap is one of six stakes (four graded) on the Fair Grounds Saturday program. Acting Zippy enters the 1 1/8 mile turf test for older horses off a front-running neck victory in the Jan. 30 John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. III) at Sam Houston Park at the same distance. Prior to that effort, the 5-year-old gelded son of City Zip-Stormack, by Future Storm posted a 2 1/2 length allowance win at Sam Houston going 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy surface on Jan. 16. Acting Zippy has won 10 races from 31 starts, and six stakes races, for earnings of $574,228. He appears to be improving with age; four of his stakes wins came as a 4-year-old in 2009. The John B. Connally was his first graded score. Baltimore Bob and Gretsky, third and fifth respectively in the John B. Connally will also line up here. Acting Zippy was bred in Florida by Carl Bowling and Ellen Thompson, and is owned in partnership by Bowling and trainer William D. Bennett.
Blues Street enters the Fair Grounds Handicap looking to regain the form that saw him win the 2009 Memorial Day Handicap at Mountaineer. Since that September win, the Todd Pletcher charge has placed in two stakes, and he enters Saturday’s race off consecutive one mile allowance scores, his last win coming on Jan. 3. Each of Blues Street’s six wins have been at one mile, so he will have to add an extra furlong to find the winner’s circle here. The 6-year-old gelded son of Street Cry-Capote Blues, by Capote was bred in Kentucky by Harriet Finkelstein. He is now owned by Anstu Stables.
Another pair of runners will enter the Fair Ground Handicap off respectable graded stakes efforts. Get Rich Quick will attempt to use a runner up effort in the Jan. 23 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. III) as a springboard to his first stakes victory for trainer Malcolm Pierce. The son of Seeking the Gold out of the Strawberry Road mare Danka has placed in three stakes since last March.
Giant Oak, winner of the Arlington Classic Stakes as a 3-year-old in 2009, will make his first start since November after running with some of the best of the 2009 sophomore class. The son of Giant's Causeway -Crafty Oak, by Crafty Prospector was narrowly beaten by Misremembered in the Oct. 3 Indiana Derby (gr. II), and in his next start finished fourth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, behind Blame, Misremembered, and older horse Einstein in the Clark Handicap (gr. II).
Three-time stakes winner Secret Getaway will attempt to find the winner’s circle off a fourth place effort in the Lousiana Handicap behind Friesan Fire and General Quarters. Secret Getaway is owned by Sand and Cee Stables and trained by Michael Stidham.
The oldest horse in the field and the highest earner is 10-year-old Silverfoot. The gelded son of With Approval-Northern Silver, by Silver Ghost has won six stakes throughout his career, including five grade III events for earnings of $945,325. Silverfoot makes his first start since September in the Fair Grounds Handicap for trainer Dallas Stewart and Chrysalis Stables.
$100,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. III, Race9, 4:13 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1.Baltimore Bob (MD), BJ Hernandez, Jr., 119, H Pitts
2.Giant Oak (IL), E Razo, Jr., 120, N L Pessin
3.Silverfoot (KY), J Theriot, 116, D Stewart
4.Blues Street (KY), J Castellano, 120, T A Pletcher
5.Secret Getaway (KY), K J Desormeaux, 116, M Stidham
6.Acting Zippy (FL), R Albarado, 120, W D Bennett
7.Dubious Miss (KY), P A Valenzuela, 118, P J McGee
8.Gretsky (KY), L Taylor, 115, G Northrop, Jr.
9.Get Rich Quick (KY), M Mena, 118, M Pierce
10.Transduction Gold (KY), J Graham, 114, J Glenney