Spritely Walker Ends Slump in Dixie Poker Ace

Spritely Walker snapped a 22-month drought by capturing the $79,650 Dixie Poker Ace Sunday at the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.

Trained by five-time Fair Grounds leading conditioner Steve Asmussen for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Spritely Walker last won in March 2004 at Delta Downs. Since then, he's had a pair of second-place finishes and five third-place efforts in 10 starts.

With Corey Lanerie aboard, Spritely Walker settled just off the early pace of Little Happy before moving in front at the top of the stretch. He then held off the charge of 3-2 favorite and two-time Dixie Poker Ace winner Mr. Sulu to prevail by a neck.

It was his third stakes win of the weekend for Asmussen, after a pair of victories Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The Asmussen-trained Dixie Meister was second to Brass Hat in Saturday's New Orleans Handicap (gr. II).

Spritely Walker paid $6.80, $3.20, and $2.20. It was the eighth win in 25 lifetime starts for the 6-year-old son of Skywalker and elevated his career earnings above the $500,000 mark.

(Chart, Equibase)