Fort Prado Storms to Fair Grounds BC Win

Team Block's always-tough Fort Prado ran closer to the pacesetter Onthedeanslist this time around and registered a neck victory over his rival in the $189,800 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Harrah's Louisiana Downs turf Saturday.

Last time the two met, jockey Robby Albarado let the 5-year-old gray El Prado horse fall too far back and came up second, three-quarters of a length behind Onthedeanslist in the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap over the course.

Saturday, Fort Prado settled along the hedge in mid-pack for Albarado, eased out nearing the stretch, and prevailed after a long drive in a time of 1:43 for the 1 1/16-mile event on good going.

"Last time, I left him a little more work to do and (Onthedeanslist) got a little bit of an uncontested lead up there," said Albarado, who won five races on Saturday's card. "Today, Sampson's Son pressed him a little bit, enough to soften him. I had a great trip and got through on the turn for home."

"This horse relishes a little more give in the ground," said winning trainer Jeff Trosclair, "and that made a little more difference today."

Onthedeanslist, Corey Lanerie aboard, held on for second by a half-length over the fast-closing Waupaca (Elvis Perrodin).

G P Fleet flattened out in the stretch and finished fourth, a head in front of 13-10 favorite Chinese Dragon, who also hung in the stretch for jockey Kent Desormeaux.

"I put myself in a clear position too early," said Desormeaux. "He hasn't been in that position before, so that's the only thing I can change."

The Chilean Gallo Del Bar finished sixth, followed by Sampson's son and Ole Faunty.

Onthedeanslist set a soft pace of :24 1/5, :48 2/5 and 1:13 while maintaning an easy lead into the far turn.

Trained by Jeff Trosclair, Fort Prado, the 7-2 second choice in the field of eight, paid $9.20, $4.20, and $4.40. Onthedeanslist returned $7.40 and $5.20 while completing a $60 exacta. Waupaca, running last all the way to the eighth pole, closed on the far outside to pay $6.80 to show.

Fort Prado, who won five of nine starts in 2005, earned $101,880 while improving his lifetime mark to 9-4-1 in 22 starts. He has won $478,100 in his career.

Also on Saturday's card, which marked the start of "Louisiana Lagniappe Weekend," trainer Pat Mouton won a pair of Louisiana-bred stakes, capturing the Lagniappe Ladies with The Beter Man Can and the Crescent City Derby with Nob Hill Deelite, and favorite, All Wired Up, captured the Lagniappe Sprint.

(Chart, Equibase)