Spot Plays for Mardi Gras Day at Fair Grounds
While Mardi Gras 2021 in New Orleans won't be quite as festive with public health restrictions still in place and unseasonable cold dampening the mood even more, Fair Grounds has put together a stellar weekday program in celebration of the local holiday.
Among the horses of interest on the nine-race card:
#2 MALIBU BIRD (7-2) has blown hot and cold through four starts for trainer Norm Casse, but appears to have been tearing up the track in the mornings since the beginning of the year and thus could be sitting on one of her better efforts. Runner-up to graded performer Girl Daddy in her debut, she shortens up to what will perhaps be a more favorable distance while adding Lasix.
Given the recent weather it might be tough for this maiden for three-year-old fillies to stay on the turf as scheduled. However, that might not make much difference to second-time starter #4 SPARE CASH (10-1), who should benefit greatly from the experience of her Jan. 2 debut where she was shuffled back while saving ground before showing some mild late interest to finish fourth. The first two across the wire in that grass event both came back to win their respective next starts, so it was a tough race overall.
By Quality Road and out of Cash Control, who campaigned primarily on turf but captured the 2015 Tiffany Lass S. over this main track, this filly is bred to handle just about any surface. The price should be square, too, given Brad Cox stablemate #14 Adventuring, among others, figure to attract more attention.
Race 8 -- Mardi Gras S.
#8 JEANIE B. (8-1) turns back in distance after a reasonably good third in the Marie G. Krantz Memorial after setting the pace, and thus likely reverts to the stalk-and-pounce tactics that were customary in her three previous on North American soil. Latest shows she has a bit of class, and her one run around a single turn last year at Woodbine produced a close second-place finish to the stakes-winning Sav in an allowance.