Walk This Way Struts to Gentilly Win

(from Fair Grounds report)
Walk This Way staked a claim as the top 3-year-old Louisiana-bred at Fair Grounds this meet by winning Saturday's $100,000 Gentilly Handicap for state-breds on the turf.

On the far turn, the son of In A Walk eased out for the stretch run and rallied strongly to out-kick the favored Old Lee to the wire to post a 1 1/4-length victory. The final running time was 1:37.39 for about one mile over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

Ridden by Corey Lanerie, who inherited the mount after Shane Sellers came up sick earlier in the day, Walk This Way saved ground in mid-pack down the backstretch as Arcus and Katzanova ripped through a half-mile in 47.34 seconds.

"I had a good trip," said Lanerie, who rode three winners on the day. "I broke sharp and placed myself well, but the key was my horse really relaxed well on the backstretch. When I asked him, he kept giving me more and more."

Old Lee, who went off the even-money favorite, closed well on the inside to gain the place, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of longshot Peggy's Promise in a field of 10 sophomores. Mr. Sam was scratched earlier Saturday.

Walk This Way also won the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile in December for trainer Pat Mouton, and improved his earnings to $168,280 for owner Stanley Seelig with the win on Saturday.

"I was happy to pick up Corey, because he'd seen my horse run last time and saw how rank my horse was," said Mouton. "He knew the key was to get him to relax. He did a fantastic job."

Walk This Way paid $17.40, $5.60 and $5. Old Lee returned $3 and $2.60. Peggy's Promise showed for $9.20.

(Chart, Equibase)