Fan Club's Mister overcame the outside post position and an unfavorable pace scenario to win Saturday's $100,000 Woodchopper Handcap on the Fair Grounds grass.
Jockey Craig Perret got Fan Club's Mister off to a sharp start and right into the race. He relinquished the lead briefly to Even The Score with a furlong to go, but battled back and held on to win by ½ length over Mystery Giver. Even The Score was third, another nose back.
The time of 1:44 tied the stakes record set by Yukon Robbery in 1992.
"I had a pretty tough post," said Perret, "and being here, it's very tough making the lead and lasting the whole way."
Trainer Rickey Harris said he and Perret discussed not going for the lead but events dictated that strategy once the race began.
"Luckily, he was game enough to last all the way," Harris said.
Also Saturday, Sunny Scarlett won the filly division of the Louisiana Futurity by 1 ½ lengths over Sweet Remiss. Sunny Scarlett ran 6 furlongs in 1:12.
And on Sunday, Zuppy came along in deep stretch to catch front-running favorite Hail to Bag and win the $25,000 colts and geldings division of the Louisiana Futurity by a neck. Abagfullofit was third. Zuppy, by Zuppardo's Prince, was clocked in 1:11 under Donnie Meche. Hail to Bag had been undefeated.
In other weekend racing:
Calder Race Course
Extend posted a mild upset in Saturday's $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap for fillies and mares. The 3-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song raced on the lead, was headed by Happily Unbridled at the top of the stretch but fought back to win by a neck. Halo Reality was third and the favorite, De Bertie, got home fifth. Extend ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:40.14. Trainer Roger Attfield said he hasn't planned out a campaign for Extend. "At some point I want to freshen her up for Canada next year," he said.
Eibar Coa, who won with Extend, also won Saturday's $100,000 Pete Axthelm Stakes for 3-year-olds, guiding One Eyed Joker to a ½-length score over Tour of the Cat. Boastful was third. Tv Sports Director ran seventh as the mutuel favorite. One Eyed Joker, by Polish Numbers, ran 7 ½ furlongs on the grass in 1:28.15. "I really had a perfect trip," said Coa. "I saved all the ground on the first turn. I had all the horse I wanted around the turn." Trainer Bill Perry said One Eyed Joker may need a little rest. "He'll probably run at Gulfstream at some point," he added.
Summer Colony showed the way in Saturday's $100,000 Ladies Handicap, then held on to win by a neck over Stop for Schnapps. Strolling Belle was third. Summer Colony, toting John Velzaquez, got the 1 ¼ mile in 2:05.80. The 3-year-old daughter of Summer Squall from the Pleasant Colony mare Probable Colony, was dispatched as the mutuel favorite. "She's still learning and I think she will be even better in the future," said winning trainer Mark Hennig. He said he will take the filly to Florida and look at races at Gulfstream and in California.
Hawthorne Race Course
Saturday's $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity finished like it shaped up -- a two-horse race. And at the end, it was Colorful Tour, part of a three-horse entry saddled by P. Noel Hickey, first across the wire with Mucho Rapido second. Riverdance Tour, another part of Hickey's herd, was third. Mucho Rapido, with Alfredo Juarez Jr. aboard, saved ground and got the lead turning into the stretch. But Colorful Tour, with Roberto Villafan up, caught up and drew clear in the final sixteenth. Hickey said of Mucho Rapido, "He's a nice horse. I just liked mine better." Juarez said he had trouble getting Mucho Rapido to switch leads. "Maybe that's what cost him the race." Hickey will take his string south for the winter but said he hasn't decided which will go where.
Watch out for Ayanna in next year's various Oaks. The In Excess filly picked up her second stakes win Saturday, decisively whipping colts in the $75,000 Christmas Futurity. Pressured early by Four Corners, Ayanna shook clear, finished 6 furlongs in 1:08.32 and won by 1 ½ lengths over Bug Hall. Bella Cash was third. The final time for 6 ½ furlongs was 1:15.28. "She did everything on her own, including kick away from the field off the turn," said winning rider Seth Martinez. Ayanna also won the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park last month.
Timeless Love, with Greta Kuntzweiler up, upset Saturday's $50,000 Gowell Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, holding on to win by a nose over Bo's Sister. Iffy was third while the favorite, Born to Dance, never threatened and finished eighth of 12. Timeless Love, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Gilded Time, got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.02 and paid $61.80 to her faithful.
Blue Hills scored a front-running, ½ length victory over Unbridled Lady in Saturday's $50,000 Carousel Stakes. Powerful Package was third. Blue Hills, a 3-year-old daughter of Cure the Blues, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:45.04. Trainer Jimmy Murphy added blinkers for the race. "She keeps waiting on horses and I thought it was time to put blinkers on her," he said.
The World Owes Me got the job done in the late going in Saturday night's $40,000 Snow White Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Jockey Ramon Dominguez, continuing his quest for the national races-won riding title, traveled from his Maryland base for the ride. The World Owes me, sent off the favorite, caught pace-setting Afnan in the stretch and drew off to win by 4 ¼ lengths. She ran the 7 furlongs in 1:27.