Dallas Stewart is hoping Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes will become a family affair.
Stewart was the conditioner of 2014 Silverbulletday winner Unbridled Forever and is currently the trainer of Unbridled Forever’s full-sister, Forever Unbridled, who will be one of the nine-filly field that will be in the 23rd running of the race at the Fair Grounds.
Forever Unbridled is coming off a professional course and distance maiden win on Dec. 12, and Stewart said her work throughout the week has shown she is more than ready for Saturday’s race.
“We’ve got in some really good work this week, and she’s ready,” Stewart said. “She’s posted some pretty impressive times, and if we can bring that into Saturday, I think we’ll have a pretty good chance.”
Stewart said Forever Unbridled’s competitive spirit is very similar to her sister’s, but he thinks her strength may be the biggest difference between the two.
“She’s very talented, just like her sister was,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “She might be a little bit stronger, but we’re just hoping she runs a good race, and maybe we can get a little luck, too.”
“They’re different, but they both love their job and they’re good at it.”
Standing in the way of Forever Unbridled is one of the deeper fields in recent memory, with impressive competitors lined up in nearly every post.
Some of those competitors include Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Top Decile, Grade II $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes winner West Coast Belle and two horses from the barn of Larry Jones, who has had the winner of the race twice in the past six years.
“There will be plenty of talent in this field, there’s no question about that,” Stewart said. “We’ve got some good work in during this week, and we just hope things work out for us.”
Leading the way for the 1 1/16-mile Listed $75,000 Louisiana Stakes on Saturday will be the Brereton C. Jones-owned Albano in the six-horse field.
The 4-year-old Albano is coming off a year in which he won the Grade III $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, finished second in the Grade I $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational and placed in three other graded stakes.
“He’s run really well, and we’re really excited about all the success he’s had,” said Albano’s trainer, Larry Jones. “We’re going to be facing a really tough field this weekend, though. It’s going to be an exciting one, that’s for sure.”
Albano’s biggest challenge may come from 5-year-old Louisiana defending champion Fordubai. The two-time stakes winner recently finished third in the $50,000 Tenacious Stakes on Dec. 21.
Marie G. Krantz Memorial
After going on hiatus following a a ninth-place finish in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in 2013, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey have decided to re-unveil their highly regarded homebred Kitten’s Dumplings in Saturday’s $60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial.
Trained by Mike Maker, Kitten’s Dumplings won the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in October 2013 and has earned nearly $700,000 in a 13-race career, which also includes two other graded stakes victories.
Also included in the field will be defending champion and multiple stakes winner Eden Prairie. In her last outing, the 5-year-old cruised to the winners circle in the $50,000 Blushing K. D. Stakes on Dec. 18.
Eden’s Prairie will also try to keep up her winning ways at the Fair Grounds, coming out victorious in four of her six career starts there.
The race will be 1 1/16 miles and be run on the Stall-Wilson turf course of the Fair Grounds.
Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap
Six-year-old gelding Villandry enters Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap as the favorite, which will be 11/16 miles and be run on the Stall-Wilson turf course.
The David Carroll-trained gelding came away with a dominant win in the Grade III $100,000 River City Handicap on Nov. 8 at Churchill Downs and enters Saturday a considerable favorite despite a few other impressive names littered throughout the nine-horse field.
One of those impressive names include the 7-year-old String King, who will be participating in the Bradley for the third time. He finished second in 2013 and fourth in 2014.
The Charles Smith-owned gelding walked away with an easy win in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf and has 14 victories in his 33 starts, falling just short of $750,000 in lifetime earnings.