Snowdrops Glistens in Bayou BC Handicap

Odds-on choice Snowdrops charged up four wide at the quarter-pole to grab the lead and went on to a convincing win in the $269,600 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at the Fair Grounds meet on the turf at Louisiana Downs Saturday.

With Brice Blanc aboard for trainer Christophe Clement and owner G. Howard Spink, the Great Britain-bred Snowdrops made it back-to-back graded stakes victories after capturing the My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Calder grass Dec. 3.

The final time for Saturday's 1 1/16-mile test for older fillies and mares was 1:43 1/5 on firm going.

Christophe Lorieul, assistant trainer for Clement, said this was the final start of Snowdrops' career.

"She was (3-5), but it was a very good spot for her," he said. "Obviously, she ran against much better competition last time. It's nice to go out on a win."

The 6-year-old Snowdrops ($3.20, $2.10, and $2.10), carrying top weight of 119 pounds, was settled off a tepid pace in mid-pack before launching her bid on the extreme outside. Pad the Wallet led through fractions of :25 1/5 and :50 2/5 before Where's Bailey could wait no longer and pulled her way to the front, completing six furlongs in 1:14 2/5. But the gray daughter of Gulch was never far from the leaders, and she moved up easily to challenge for the lead, taking command in upper stretch and rolling to a two-length triumph under steady handling.

"On the far turn, it may have looked like she was really accelerating, but the others were kind of slowing down, so I let her go on a little sooner than I would normally," Blanc said.

La Reason ($6.20, $4.40), ridden by Terry Thompson, closed well to finish second while never threatening the winner. She defeated Lenatareese ($4.20), Robby Albarado aboard, for second by 1 3/4 lengths.

Black Rock Road finished a head back in fourth, followed by Where's Bailey, Pad the Wallet, and the Chilean-bred Voz De Colegiala. Freei scratched.

Snowdrops improved her record to 10-3-2 in 23 starts. She earned $161,760 to boost her lifetime bankroll to $594,787.

(Chart, Equibase)