Letithappencaptain Favored in Stonerside

(from Lone Star track report)
Letithappencaptain, who already has one stakes win at the Lone Star meeting, was installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for Saturday's $150,000 Stonerside Stakes at Lone Star Park.

The seven-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies is the first of eight stakes races at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack this weekend. The remaining seven are to be run Monday as part of the fifth annual Memorial Day extravaganza known as the Lone Star Million.

The Stonerside has attracted a highly competitive field of 11, making for a very attractive betting race.

Letithappencaptain, who has four wins in seven starts, was dismissed by bettors last time out before romping to a 41/2-length win in the Wafare Farm at 13-1 last month. The Louisiana-bred daughter of Captain Bodgit was making her first start outside of state-restricted company in the Wafare Farm.

Bred, owned and trained by Whitney "Zeke" Zeringue, the ultra-consistent Letitihappencaptain has finished off the board just once in seven starts. She will face her toughest test yet in the Stonerside against a field of talented fillies.

Lone Star Park's all-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen has four of his top fillies entered in the Stonerside. Cole Norman, currently leading Asmussen in the trainer standings, has two.

The Asmussen quartet is led by Eternal Cup, who made a strong impression on opening night with her 9 1/2-length domination of an entry-level allowance field. But in her next start as the odds-on favorite in the Wafare Farm, the Montbrook filly lacked the needed response in the stretch and was well beaten by Letithappencaptain.

Eternal Cup will be ridden by Asmussen's first-call rider Corey Lanerie, who rode three of the trainer's Stonerside entrants (Souris, Eternal Cup and City Sleeper) in their last starts. Asmussen and Lanerie have won 31 races together this meeting through Wednesday.

The other Asmussen horse that figures to get significant support from bettors is Souris, 8-1 on the morning line and winner of stakes at Arlington Park and Delta Downs. She was the even-money favorite in the $250,000 WinStar Oaks at Sunland Park last time out, but failed to threaten and finished more than 13 lengths back.

"I'm hopping she just didn't handle the racetrack," Asmussen said of the disappointing effort. "It was evident halfway down the backstretch that she wasn't into it and wasn't going anywhere."

The WinStar Oaks was run at one mile, a distance that Souris has never won at or beyond. The Defrere filly is three of four in sprints, including both of her stakes wins.

"I think seven-eighths (the Stonerside distance) is ideal for her," Asmussen said. Souris had her final workout for the Stonerside on Tuesday, a four-furlong breeze in :49 3/5.

Eddie Martin Jr. will ride Souris this time around.

The other Asmussen fillies are Valid Pulpit, who has three stakes wins in her last five starts, and City Sleeper, who has won three straight and tries stakes company for the first time.

Asmussen is after his first stakes win of the season. Lone Star Park's all-time leader in stakes wins (27) has compiled a record of 12-0-1-3 in the eight stakes run here this year.

Norman's best chance at extending his lead over Asmussen in the standings is with Miss Bridget Jones, who is 4-1 on the morning line. The lightly raced filly won her last race, a second-level allowance here last month, by more than six lengths. It was the Peaks and Valleys filly's first start since breaking her maiden in December at Hollywood Park.

Norman's first-call rider, Jamie Theriot, will be aboard Miss Bridget Jones. Norman and Theriot have won 35 races together this season.

Real Bear, 7-2 on the morning line, has one win in a Keeneland maiden special weight. The Ronny Werner trainee followed that effort with a strong fourth in the La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

"She's a pretty decent filly and she's training good," Werner said. "I don't see this one coming up as tough as her last stakes race."

$150,000 Stonerside Stakes, 3-year-old filles, 7 furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Letithappencaptain (LA), Kirk Paul LeBlanc, 117, 3/1
2. Valid Pulpit (KY), Jeremy Beasley, 117, 15/1
3. Sisterlita (LA), Weldon T. Cloninger, Jr., 114, 50/1
4 Lady Mallory (TX), Elvis Joseph Perrodin, 117, 12/1
5. Real Bear (KY), Donald R. Pettinger, 114, 7/2
6. Miss Bridget Jones (KY), Jamie Theriot, 114, 4/1
7. Fabulous Brush (FL), Gerard Melancon, 117, 12/1
8. City Sleeper (KY), Timothy T. Doocy, 114, 12/1
9. Eternal Cup (FL), Corey J. Lanerie, 114, 9/2
10. Souris (KY), Eddie M. Martin, Jr., 117, 8/1
11. Scottish Heritage (LA), Chandra R. Rennie, 117, 30/1