By Michael Adolphson —-
• My Miss Chiff Will Attempt to Stay Undefeated at Fair Grounds
• Underpressure Looks to Take Down Mobile Bay in LA Champions Day Classic
• Fort Pulaski, Trust Factor Renew Rivalry in Champions Day Turf
MY MISS CHIFF WILL ATTEMPT TO STAY UNDEFEATED AT FAIR GROUNDS
Town and Country Racing’s My Miss Chiff will put a spotless 3-for-3 over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track on the line in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint.
Trained by Al Stall, Jr., the graded stakes-placed daughter of Into Mischief came off a six-month layoff last out in the Happy Ticket Stakes on Opening Day, Nov. 18. Prior to that effort, My Miss Chiff was third in Pimlico’s Grade III Miss Preakness Stakes behind multiple graded stakes winner Vertical Oak.
“We didn’t have any problems or surgeries or anything,” Stall said. “She was fine and came right back into training very well like she always does. We had just got a Grade III placing in Maryland and decided to give her the summer off to get her going to focus on Louisiana-breds in the fall. She got down here from Kentucky and fired right off the bench and I think that she might be better coming into this race.”
My Miss Chiff kicked off her career with two emphatic victories over the Fair Grounds main track when she broke her maiden by six lengths at odds of 10-1. This win was followed by a 7¾-length victory in a non-winners-of-two event. Both victories came against fellow Louisiana-breds.
“She’s very forward and aggressive,” Stall said. “She has a lot of want to her and she likes her job on a daily basis. She’s a big strong filly and eats well and gives you confidence when she runs her race every time you go over there.”
Jockey Mitchell Murrill has been aboard the 3-year-old filly for all of her victories, and will return to the saddle for Saturday’s race.
“He comes out and works her and told me that she feels great and that everything is on go,” Stall said.
UNDERPRESSURE LOOKS TO TAKE DOWN MOBILE BAY IN LA CHAMPIONS DAY CLASSIC
While much of the focus on Saturday’s $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic is placed on defending champion and 5-2 morning line favorite Mobile Bay, Mallory Griener’s Underpressure will attempt to spoil the party when he breaks from post seven for Saturday’s main event.
If there’s one thing that the 3-year-old son of Birdstone is, it’s consistent. This year, Underpressure has finished in the money nine out of his 11 starts, which includes a win in Evangeline Downs’ Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes on July 8.
“The thing that I’m confident most about is the fact that he’ll show up,” trainer Chris Richard said. “If you look at his form he’s been first, second and third in most of his starts so there aren’t many starts where his number wasn’t on the tote board. He shows up every time and he’s a really neat horse.”
Nevertheless, Richard realizes how tough it will be to try and tackle Mobile Bay but still believes that his horse is a good fit for the race. Despite having never gone the Classic’s 1 1/8-miles trip, Richard is excited about stretching the horse out.
“If Mobile Bay runs his best race, everyone is running for second place,” Richard said. “He’s going to be a tough handle there, but I sure think my horse fits in the race, I’m excited about the distance, and I felt that he wasn’t distance limited so we feel really good about him. We know that there’s a good accomplished horse that’s going to be difficult to handle, but I think my horse is going to run a big race.”
Corey Lanerie, who piloted Underpressure to a third-place effort against open company this May at Churchill Downs, has the mount for Saturday’s race.
FORT PULASKI, TRUST FACTOR RENEW RIVALRY IN CHAMPIONS DAY TURF
Tigertail Ranch’s Fort Pulaski ended an 11-race dry spell last time out in the Mr. Sulu Stakes on Opening Day, where he defeated heavy favorite Trust Factor. On Saturday the son of Paddy O’Prado will attempt to defeat him once more in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf.
Following a third-place effort in Delta Downs’ Louisiana Premier Night Championship in February, Fort Pulaski took a five-month layoff and returned with a fifth-place finish in the Louisiana Legends Classic at Evangeline Downs on July 8. Trainer Danny Pish admits that he was expecting his horse to come back a bit fresher than he had this summer.
“We gave him a five-month break and he just wasn’t right,” Pish said. “We kept thinking that it was one of those deals where we thought we were going to see it earlier, but he has put on weight and matured quite a bit since then. We just hope he shows up again on Saturday.”
“Trust Factor is far too consistent,” Pish added. “I feel like my horse is coming in in good shape. However, I do believe that Trust Factor is a very worthy favorite.”
Jose Valdivia, Jr. has the return call.