Monday’s five stakes offerings at Fair Grounds include the $75,000 Woodchopper, which will feature the anticipated return of Concert Tour. The multiple Grade 2-winning colt will try turf for new trainer Brad Cox.
Woodchopper – Race 7 (4:53 p.m. ET)
A leading Kentucky Derby contender following a convincing win in the Rebel S. (G2) last spring, Concert Tour skipped the first leg of the Triple Crown after weakening to third as odds-on favorite in the Arkansas Derby (G1). He will make his first start since a well-beaten ninth in the Preakness (G1) when lining up for the Woodchopper at a mile on turf.
The son of Street Sense likes to race on or close to the pace. Fernando de la Cruz will pick up the mount for Cox, who removes blinkers for the colt’s turf debut. Concert Tour made his first five starts with the headgear..
Concert Tour is listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite among 11 rivals.
Bruce D. S. (G1) winner Point Me By, unplaced in his last two outings, is among the challengers. Big Lake, one of two entrants for Steve Asmussen, will make his first appearance since a third in the Rebel. The Hall of Fame conditioner will also send out Hidden Enemy, who has finished fourth in a couple of graded stakes and broke his maiden on Fair Grounds’ turf.
Letellier Memorial – Race 6 (4:24 p.m. ET)
The stakes action kicks off with the $75,000 Letellier Memorial for two-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
Girl With a Dream has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for Cox following a nice allowance tally at Churchill Downs in mid-November. The Practical Joke filly adds Lasix, and Florent Geroux retains the assignment. Cox also has Com’ On Sweet Luv, who exits a convincing maiden tally over the track in her second start. Marcelino Pedroza Jr. will be back up.
Microblome, an impressive debut maiden winner at Saratoga, merits respect for Tom Amoss. The filly cuts back in trip after a fourth in the Sorority S. at Monmouth Park.
Joseph E. Spanky Broussard Memorial – Race 8 (5:22 p.m. ET)
Cheetara looms as the one to catch in the $75,000 Joseph E. Spanky Broussard Memorial for fillies and mares.
A Chilean Group 2 winner, the four-year-old filly captured her lone U.S. stakes appearance, the Seeking the Pearl S. at Colonial Downs in late August, sprinting. Cheetara stretched out for her last two starts, winning a Keeneland allowance most recently, and the Nacho Correas trainee will try to carry her speed a mile and 70 yards Monday with Colby Hernandez.
Other runners in the eight-horse field include Audrey’s Time, third in the Nov. 25 Falls City (G2) at Churchill Downs; stakes winner Moon Swag, unraced since a third in the Oct. 1 Seneca S. at Churchill; and stakes runner-up Microcap.
Pago Hop – Race 9 (5:51 p.m. ET)
Thirteen three-year-old fillies are set for the $75,000 Pago Hop S. at a mile on turf.
Arm Candy, an allowance winner at Keeneland two back, is the 7-2 morning line choice for Asmussen. The Twirling Candy filly didn’t like the off turf in the Valley View (G3) last time, and Arm Candy ran a big race at the distance when finishing a neck third in the Hilltop S. earlier this season. Geroux rides.
Grade 2 runner-up Barista rates as a major contender for Jimmy Baker, and Delaware Park stakes queen Out of Sorts will look to make a late impact on the cutback in distance.
Sugar Bowl – Race 10 (6:22 p.m. ET)
Juveniles conclude the stakes action in the $75,000 Sugar Bowl S. at six furlongs, and Higher Standard is the probable favorite among nine runners.
A 5 3/4-length debut winner at Churchill Downs, Higher Standard is eligible to make amends following a runner-up as the favorite in the Advent S. at Oaklawn Park 24 days ago. Amoss trains the Into Mischief colt, and James Graham will guide.
Chattalot has stakes experience for Asmussen, finishing fourth in the Lively Shively on the closing weekend at Churchill, and Kaely’s Brother exits a second in the Jean Lafitte S. at Delta Downs for Cox.
Underhill’s Tab may attract support following a rallying debut score at Fair Grounds for Al Stall Jr. Colby Hernandez pilots the Unified colt.