NEW ORLEANS — Brittlyn Stable’s Sunbean dug in to hold off Rowell Enterprises’ Heitai by a half-length after a one-eighth mile duel down the stretch in Monday’s $105,615 colts and geldings division of the Louisiana Futurity at the New Orleans Fair Grounds.
“When he broke on the lead, I just let him go on with it,” winning jockey Colby Hernandez said. “I knew he was a really nice horse, and he finished strong for us.”
The Brahms filly, trained by Al Stall Jr., had only one prior start, a second place in a Dec. 8 maiden special weight.
Sunbean broke on top and set pressured fractions of 21.74 seconds and 45.10 in the six-furlong race.
Heitai finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Dan Lynch & Merrill Scherer’s third-place finisher, Nubin Ridge, who was nearly eight lengths clear of the rest of the nine-horse field.
Sunbean increased his career earnings to $71,169. He paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.60. Heitai returned $4 and $2.60, while Nubin Ridge paid $2.40 to show.
Two races earlier, P. Dale Ladner’s Sittin at the Bar justified her odds-on favoritism by winning the fillies division of the $105,615 Louisiana Futurity by 2¼ lengths over Jeffery Quebedeaux’s I Dare U Em.
The Into Mischief filly rallied outside in the upper stretch and drew clear under jockey Mark Guidry, who was also aboard when Sittin at the Bar won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie on Dec. 8.
“Mark said it took her a little longer to get in gear today,” winning trainer Brett Brinkman said. “The hardest thing with these Louisiana-breds is you can run them too much because of all the opportunities. I was a little bit nervous about it. She probably wasn’t quite as geared up as last time.”
I Dare U Em nosed out JRita Young Thoroughbreds’s Taralicious, who set the early fractions of 22.34 and 46.92. The final time for the six-furlong sprint was 1:11.46.
The winner upped her career earnings to $218,369 with her third win from five starts. Her backers received $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. I Dare U Em returned $5.20 and $2.80, while Taralicious paid $2.40.
“I think we’re going to stay with Louisiana-bred company,” Brinkman said about his plans for Sittin At the Bar, who has tackled open stakes company previously.