Friesan Fire leads all the way in the Louisiana Handicap.

Friesan Fire leads all the way in the Louisiana Handicap.

Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr.

No Catching Friesan Fire in Louisiana 'Cap

Favorite turns back General Quarters for a 1 3/4-length triumph at Fair Grounds.

Favored Friesan Fire  scored his first victory since his romp in last spring's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) when he led all the way under Shaun Bridgmohan to take the $72,750 Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds by 1 3/4 lengths Jan. 23 (VIDEO).

Last year's favorite in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) while finishing 18th, Friesan Fire covered the 1 1/16-mile distance in a swift 1:43.39 over a fast track for owner Vinery Stables and Fox Hills Farm, and trainer Steve Asmussen. The 4-year-old son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger (by Dehere) raced with blinkers again after finishing third in his comeback race without them at Fair Grounds Dec. 3 against an optional claiming allowance field.

Friesan Fire carved fractions of :24.64, :48.44, and 1:12.38 while under restraint from Bridgmohan and cut loose when challenged coming into the stretch by General Quarters, also returning to action after last year's Triple Crown campaign. Friesan Fire opened a two-length lead mid-stretch and won while being kept to the task late. General Quarters, ridden by Robby Albarado for trainer Tom McCarthy, was 7 1/2 lengths clear of the show horse, Good and Lucky.

Four of Friesan Fire's five career wins from 11 starts have now come on the Fair Grounds main track. He swept the track's 3-year-old stakes series last year--the Lecomte (gr. III),  Risen Star (gr. III), and Louisiana Derby, which he captured by 7 1/4 lengths. His latest victory, worth $45,000, boosted the bay colt's career earnings to $653,765.

Bred in Kentucky by Grapestock, Friesan Fire paid $5.80, $3.80 and $2.40. General Quarters, last year's Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) victor who, like the winner, was making his second start since last season's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), returned $3.80 and $2.40. Good and Lucky was $2.40 to show. Secret Getaway, Fundy, and Coragil Cat trailed.