Autobahn won an off-the-turf Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap Jan. 26.

Autobahn won an off-the-turf Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap Jan. 26.

Lou Hodges, Jr.

Familiar Foes Return For Bayou 'Cap

A field of seven is entered for the Feb. 23 Bayou Handicap at Fair Grounds.

The top four finishers in last month’s Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap will square off again, this time stretching out an extra half-furlong and switching to grass in the $150,000 Bayou Breeders’ Cup Handicap Feb. 23 at Fair Grounds.

Also entered in the field of seven is Just Little, a French-bred filly who was sixth in her American debut but is a group III winner overseas. The Bayou is a 1 1/8-mile test open to 4-year-olds and up.

In the hotly-contested Marie Krantz, which was taken off the turf because of rain at Fair Grounds Jan. 26, Autobahn Girl came from off the pace to catch front-running Candy Ball by a neck in the final strides. Platinee was just another neck back in third, while Swingit finished a competitive fourth in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Autobahn Girl, a 4-year-old A.P. Indy filly, won her third stakes and sixth race overall for owner/breeder Live Oak Plantation. In November, the Malcolm Pierce trainee proved she could be successful on the Fair Grounds turf, taking the Pago Hop Stakes by a neck, also in late-running fashion.

Patrick Husbands will get the return call on Autobahn Girl, who is out of the Cure the Blues mare Saoirse.

Candy Ball, who is 0-for-3 on the Fair Grounds turf, has just a single victory since August 2006, that having come in an allowance test at Harrah's Louisiana Downs last October. The 6-year-old Lemon Drop Kid  mare is trained by Andrew Leggio Jr.

Platinee, a 6-year-old Gulch mare trained by Bill Mott, will make only her third career stakes appearance in the Bayou, while Swingit has won three of her last five turf starts, all of them in stakes competition. A 4-year-old by Victory Gallop, Swingit is 5-0-2 from 12 starts for trainer Hal Wiggins.

Just Little will return from a more than seven-month layoff for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Most recently, the 4-year-old Grand Slamfilly was sixth in the July 7 American Oaks (gr. IT), a 1 ¼-mile event at Hollywood Park. Just Little won four of six starts in France, including the Prix Vanteaux (Fr-III) April 29 at Longchamp. Robby Albarado will ride for the first time.

$150,000 Bayou Handicap (Race 9, 4:26 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey

1. Swingit, 116, James Graham
2. Candy Ball, 116, Miguel Mena
3. Just Little, 117, Robby Albarado
4. Platinee, 114, Shaun Bridgmohan
5. Mystic Soul, 115, Jamie Theriot
6. Ballymore Lady, 114, Corey J. Lanerie
7. Autobahn Girl, 117, Patrick Husbands