Needing gameness more than experience to prevail as a strong favorite in Saturday’s $145,500 Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds, La Crete proved up to the challenge by re-rallying to win the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series race under Joel Rosario in only her second lifetime start.
A half-sister to the Grade 1-winning Clairiere, La Crete was sent off as the 11-10 favorite against five three-year-old filly rivals in the Silverbulletday following a wire-to-wire, 2 1/4-length debut victory at Churchill Downs on Nov. 20. Sent to the lead again here, La Crete led by about a length over Fannie and Freddie through early splits of :24.50 and :48.79.
Fannie and Freddie challenged La Crete around the far turn, poked her head in front at the six-furlong mark, and opened up enough at the eighth pole to suggest she was on her way to victory. However, Fannie and Freddie’s staying power proved non-existent as La Crete battled back inside and drew off to a one-length score.
A homebred racing for Stonestreet and trained by Steve Asmussen, La Crete returned $4.20 after completing one mile and 70 yards in 1:43.93 over a fast track. Fannie and Freddie finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Bernabreezy, who had a head on Candy Raid. Completing the order of finish were Miss Chamita and Sweet as Pie.
“She’s a little more forward than Clairiere was early on. As far as working and training into a race, they’re very similar,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi, when asked to compare the half-sisters.
Clairiere won the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and Cotillion (G1) last term and placed in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), Mother Goose (G2), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and Alabama (G1). She finished fourth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
As far as this year’s Kentucky Oaks, La Crete earned 10 qualifying points for the event for which her stablemate, likely juvenile champion Echo Zulu, is currently favored. Fannie and Freddie earned four points here, boosting her total to eight. Bernabreezy earned two points and Candy Raid one point.
Bred in Kentucky, La Crete has now bankrolled $159,460. By Medaglia d’Oro, she’s out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Cavorting, a daughter of Bernardini.