Newly-Graded Fair Grounds BC Attracts Eight

(from Fair Grounds release)
Team Block's Fort Prado is the 121-pound highweight and 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's $200,000-added Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT), the final graded stakes of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.

The Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup, which will be run as a graded stakes for the first time, attracted a field of eight older horses who will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Franks turf course.

Fort Prado was second as the odds-on favorite in the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap last month, part of a solid season for the 5-year-old Illinois-bred son of El Prado. Fort Prado won five times from nine starts in 2005, including the Sea O' Erin Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park in August.

Jeff Trosclair, who has taken over training duties for Fort Prado this winter, will give a leg up to six-time Fair Grounds leading rider Robby Albarado.

The 3-1 second choice is Chinese Dragon, who ships in from California to make his graded stakes debut for trainer Bob Hess Jr.

Chinese Dragon is coming off a photo-finish win in one division of the Sir Beaufort Stakes on opening day of the Santa Anita meet, his fourth stakes win in six U.S. starts. Hall of Famer and Louisiana native Kent Desormeaux rides.

Onthedeanslist, who edged Fort Prado in the Bradley, also makes his graded bow in the Fair Grounds BC for trainer Ralph Nicks. Jockey Corey Lanerie, who will be back aboard on Saturday, controlled a pedestrian pace last month and held off Fort Prado by three-quarters of a length.

G P Fleet, the lone graded stakes winner in the field who also won this race last year, starts for trainer Steve Flint. Since last year's win, G P Fleet has only an allowance victory to his credit, but just missed by a nose to grade I winner America Alive in his last start, the River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Nov. 20 at Churchill Downs.

Jesus Castanon comes in from his Florida base to ride G P Fleet.

$200,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 3:32 p.m.), 4 & up, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Waupaca (KY), 116, Elvis Joseph Perrodin, 8/1
2. Chinese Dragon (KY), 118, Kent J. Desormeaux, 3/1
3. Gallo Del Bar (CHI), 115, Larry Melancon, 10/1
4. Sampson's Son (KY), 113, Roman Chapa, 8/1
5. G P Fleet (FL), 118, Jesus L. Castanon, 6/1
6. Fort Prado (IL), 121, Robby Albarado, 5/2
7. Ole Faunty (KY), 113, James Graham, 8/1
8. Onthedeanslist (KY), 118, Corey J. Lanerie, 9/2