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NEW ORLEANS, LA – The $75,000 Shantel Lanerie Memorial seems to have a lack of early speed, which would flatter a front-runner. Should things get unexpectedly heated up front, a closer comes into the equation. Trainer Allen Landry has both ends covered in the 1-mile and 70-yard stakes as he starts pace player Saints N Muskets and stretch runner Net a Bear in the final state-bred stakes at the meet for fillies and mares.
The Shantel Lanerie is named for the late wife of longtime jockey Corey Lanerie, who passed away in June of 2018 due to complications from breast cancer. Information on her foundation can be found here https://shantellaneriefoundation.com.
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Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro’s Net a Bear (post 7 as the 5/2 favorite on Mike Diliberto’s morning line with James Graham to ride) is the more accomplished and fancied of Landry’s uncoupled entry. The 5-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet has been a state-bred star the past 3 years and was voted champion 3-year-old filly in 2019 off stakes wins on the turf in the Elge Raspberry at Louisiana Downs and the local Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf. Still, Net a Bear, who is 5 for 22 lifetime, has proven plenty capable on the main track as well, as evidenced by a 9 1/2-length win in an off-the-turf state-bred optional claimer here in January. She heads back to the dirt after a closing second in the local March 6 Red Camelia on the turf, and Landry is expecting another big effort.
“She’s very versatile, she can go both ways and is proven on both surfaces,” Landry said. “I think she’s a little better on the grass but, needless to say, the last time we ran here on the dirt she won by over 9. We’re going to let her run her race. James knows her a little better now and he won’t let her get that far out of it. She had a real good shot last time to win but we were a little too far off the pace, but she did come rolling.”
Rodney Verret’s Saints N Muskets (post 2 at 7/2 with Mitchell Murrill) will get the jump on her stablemate, as she’s shown a penchant for running on or just off the lead and catches a field with little early speed. The 6-year-old daughter of Musket Man has come into her own in her last 4 dirt starts, as she won the Lookout in November at Delta Downs and the Magnolia there in January before running a game second after pressing the pace in the Premier Distaff there in February. Saints N Muskets is 5 for 18 lifetime and enters the Lanerie off a toss-out seventh in her turf debut in the Red Camelia.
“She didn’t seem to like it at all,” Landry said. “She should be fairly live since there doesn’t look to be a whole lot of speed in the race. I think she’s going to set the pace in there. She bounced back pretty nicely and we’re looking forward to it.”
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Whispering Oaks Farm’s homebred Quikfast N Ahurry (post 4 at 3/1 with Colby Hernandez) will appreciate getting back to the dirt after running eighth in the Red Camelia for trainer Steve Flint. The 4-year-old daughter of Closing Argument reeled in Saints N Muskets in the Premier Distaff and has also shown an affinity for the Fair Grounds main track, as she’s 3-2-1-0 here, which includes a win sprinting in an open optional claimer in January. Quikfast N Ahurry is 5 for 12 lifetime, with her lone local loss coming when second in the Crescent City Oaks in March 2020.
Tin Roof Farms’ Snowball (post 1 at 7/2 with Shaun Bridgmohan) is another who has proven equally adept on both turf and dirt for trainer Sam Breaux. The 5-year-old daughter of Apriority was a fast-closing third in the Premier Distaff 2 back and tuned up for the Lanerie when she closed from last of 8 to be third in a local March 5 state-bred optional claimer behind multiple states winner Mr. Al’s Gal. Snowball is 5 for 26 lifetime, which includes a win in the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle at Evangeline Downs in July 2020.
Completing the Shantel Lanerie Memorial field from the rail out: Northpointe Thoroughbreds’ Sebs Princess (post 3 at 15/1 with Marcelino Pedroza), seventh and fourth, respectively, in the Premier Distaff and Magnolia for trainer Steven Duke; Brittlyn Stable homebred Crescentcitypretty (post 5 at 12/1 with Miguel Mena), a stakes winner earlier in her career who returned from a 14-month layoff when fifth in a turf sprint here March 5 for trainer Jose Camejo; and William Reed’s homebred She’s Gone d’Wild (post 6 at 8/1 with Gabriel Saez), fifth in the Premier Distaff 2 back for trainer Bret Calhoun.
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