Shytoe Lafeet Favored in Bayou Handicap

With no Stormy West to contend with at Fair Grounds, she's the 8-5 early choice.

(from Fair Grounds)

Shytoe Lafeet, second best behind Stormy West in the Furl Sail and Marie Krantz Memorial handicaps earlier in the meet, sidesteps that rival to loom the 8-5 morning-line choice in the $125,000 Bayou Handicap for older fillies and mares Feb. 21 at Fair Grounds.

The Bayou, which includes $50,000 in purse money from Breeders’ Cup Ltd., will be run at about 1 1/8 miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course. Eight are entered.

Trained by Larry Jones and owned by John Wieczorek, Shytoe Lafeet won her first outing over the local lawn by 2 1/4 lengths Dec. 4 before bowing to Stormy West by three-quarters of a length in the Furl Sail Dec. 27 and by one length in the Marie Krantz a month later.

The 6-year-old daughter of King of Kings must shoulder the top impost of 121 pounds in the Bayou and will be guided by regular rider Gabriel Saez. They'll break from post 7.

As a battle-tested veteran of graded stakes company, Meribel (7-2) also figures as a top contender in the Bayou. The Peaks and Valleys mare finished sixth, beaten by four lengths, in her only start this year when sent west by trainer Mark Casse for Santa Anita’s San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. II) on the turf Jan. 4. Before that, she was seventh in Churchill’s Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) last fall.

Others worthy of consideration in the Bayou include Love to Tell, best by a head in Fair Grounds’ Pago Hop Stakes Dec. 6 for trainer Mike Burgess and a creditable third in the Marie Krantz. Nans Joy, conditioned by Bill Mott, was a one-length victress in optional claiming company over the New Orleans grass on Jan. 29.

$125,000 Bayou Handicap (Race 9, 4:25 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, About 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Sharbat (KY), Corey J. Lanerie, 116, 8/1
2. My Three Sisters (KY), Shaun Bridgmohan, 114, 8-1
3. Love to Tell (KY), Justin Shepherd
4. Meribel (KY), Miguel Mena, 118, 7/2
5. Whisper to Me (KY), James Graham, 114, 15/1
6. Mizzcan'tbewrong (KY), Jesus L. Castanon, 117, 10/1
7. Shytoe Lafeet (KY), Gabriel Saez, 121, 8/5
8. Nans Joy (IRE), Robby Albarado, 118, 9/2