Turfway Prevue S. winner INHISGLORY (Pure Prize) makes his debut for trainer Mike Stidham in Saturday's $60,000 Black Gold S., one of two sprint stakes for three-year-olds on the Fair Grounds card.
Formerly trained by Wayne Mogge, the bay gelding was purchased by Peter Redekop on the eve of his game score in the 6 1/2-furlong Turfway Prevue, where he just lasted by a nose.
Inhisglory has compiled a three-for-four career mark, all on synthetic surfaces, and will try to keep the streak going while switching to the dirt. On the plus side, he has been training forwardly on the Fair Grounds surface since his arrival in the Stidham barn.
His five rivals include TRUBS (First Samurai), who trims back to six furlongs after a pair of fourth-place efforts going a mile in the Jean Lafitte S. and Springboard Mile S.; DIVINE MUSIC (Songandaprayer), who earned his way into stakes company off a smart allowance/optional claiming victory over HYDRO POWER (Aptitude) at this track and trip; and 12-length maiden romper CHANGING THE RULES (Peace Rules), most recently a troubled fourth to Divine Music, but eligible to improve with a better trip for Steve Asmussen.
Just as the Black Gold honors the legendary colt who swept the 1924 Kentucky and Louisiana Derbies, Saturday's companion race, the $60,000 Tiffany Lass S., pays tribute to the champion filly who turned the Kentucky Oaks/Fair Grounds Oaks double in 1986.
Once again, Stidham fields another strong contender in FLASH MASH (Smarty Jones), a smashing 10 1/4-length allowance winner two back at Fair Grounds. She put her perfect record on the line next time out in the My Trusty Cat S. at Delta Downs, but turned in a thoroughly uncharacteristic performance and faded to sixth as the 4-5 favorite. Flash Mash has since signaled her well-being by firing a bullet half-mile in :47 2/5 at Fair Grounds on January 26, and bids to get back on track against five foes in the Tiffany Lass.
Others to note in the six-furlong dash are Asmussen's WICKED DEED (Harlan's Holiday), who brings a two-race winning streak into her stakes bow; Sorority S. victress UNBRIDLED PRAISE (Songandaprayer), who takes the blinkers off in the wake of her disappointing effort in the Letellier Memorial S.; and GOING TO KUKARO (Speightstown), who is aggressively spotted off a second-place finish in her debut at Oaklawn.