July 1, 2022

Sugar Bowl, Letellier Memorial highlight Santa Super Saturday at Fair Grounds

Hog Creek Hustle posting a convincing allowance tally at Churchill Downs (c) Coady Photo

A total of six stakes, including a pair of juvenile events, will be offered on Santa Super Saturday at Fair Grounds.

A nice field of nine, including Clever Trevor runner-up Cajun Firecracker, will contest the six-furlong Sugar Bowl. A Florida-bred son of Cajun Breeze, Cajun Firecracker recorded a rallying second when making his first start for new trainer Steve Asmussen in the November 2 Clever Trevor at Remington Park and the bay two-year-old was flattered when the winner, stablemate Long Range Toddy, followed with a victory in Sunday’s Springboard Mile, a qualifier for the Kentucky Derby.

Cajun Firecracker is listed at 9-2 on the morning line and Ricardo Santana Jr. takes over the reins.

Hog Creek Hustle has been installed as 7-2 favorite following a 2 1/2-length win over allowance rivals at Churchill Downs. Corey Lanerie rides for Vickie Foley. Super Steed comes next on the morning line at 4-1 after breaking his maiden by six lengths over allowance foes at Churchill Downs in his second start. Gabriel Saez has the call for Larry Jones. Manny Wah, a convincing allowance scorer two back under the Twin Spires, also rates as a logical contender after a fourth to Improbable in the November 2 Street Sense Stakes. The Will Take Charge colt adds blinkers for Wayne Catalano and Channing Hill will be up.

Ten filly counterparts are under the spotlight in the six-furlong Lettelier Memorial and Lady T N T will be looking to rebound off a last-place finish in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland. A runaway maiden and entry-level allowance winner, the daughter of Justin Phillip didn’t make the early lead after being bumped at the start and we can expect her to be sent from the starting gate under Adam Beschizza.

Lady T N T has been pegged as the 7-2 morning choice for Joe Sharp, who will enter Thursday’s card as the co-leading trainer with 10 wins this meet.

Brad Cox, who is tied with Sharp atop the trainer standings, will send out Unholy Alliance, who is unbeaten from a pair of starts. Shaun Bridgmohan pilots the First Samurai filly. Brendan Walsh has a pair of contenders in debut maiden winners Idle Hour and Q Go Girl. And the Letellier marks the stakes bow of Bell’s the One, who improved to two-for-two for Neil Pessin when rolling to a three-length allowance tally at Keeneland on October 17 and keeps Florent Geroux in the saddle.

Asmussen has a pair in Adventurous Lady, a Remington Park and Lone Star stakes winner who was last seen finishing second as the odds-on favorite in the November 21 Zia Park Princess; and Eskendar, who exits a runner-up to Idle Hour in a Churchill maiden special weight. Santana and Joe Bravo have the respective assignments.

The Bonapaw kicks off the stakes action and the 5 1/2-furlong turf affairs features a rematch between Wynn Time and Switzerland, first and third in the November 22 Thanksgiving H. on the main track. Wynn Time will make his second start back off a lengthy and Marcelino Pedroza keeps the mount for Hugh Robertson in the gelding’s turf debut. Multiple Grade 3 victor Switzerland promises to show high speed once again for Asmussen and Santana.

Prado’s Sweet Ride, a smashing 4 3/4-length winner of the November 22 Falls City (G2) at Churchill Downs, will switch back to turf for Blushing K.D. at 1 1/16 miles. Nine distaffers were entered and Cox will be represented by a pair of serious challengers, Beau Recall and Take These Chains. I’m Betty G merits respect for Mike Maker.

Tom’s d’Etat, a lightly-raced five-year-old son of Smart Strike, will seek his fourth straight triumph while making his first stakes attempt in the Tenacious. The one-mile and 70-yard event has also attracted stakes winners Pioneer Spirit and Snapper Sinclair.

Multiple stakes hero Big Changes, a half-length second to Mr. Misunderstood in the November 17 River City (G3) at Churchill, heads a solid cast of nine in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial at 1 1/16 grassy miles. Other notables include Oscar Nominated and Sir Dudley Digges for the Ramseys and Maker.