Luna eclipses rivals

La Luna Rouge only enhanced a progressive-looking profile when she shrugged the monkey from her back in an above average maiden at Fair Grounds yesterday.

Owners Feel the Thunder stable and Patty Kanter have seen their three-year-old daughter of Leroidesanimaux hit the board in her three previous racecourse visits, but under a nicely judged ride by jockey James Graham, La Luna Rouge forged clear down the stretch to win by a rather comfortable half-length.

“She’s been knocking on the door for a while now,” said Stidham. “And we’re just really glad to get her maiden broke. Hopefully, we can go on from here.”

Stidham also had news of Istanford, who returned from a near five-month lay-off to finish an honorable second in the Bayou Stakes Saturday.

“Coming off a lay-off and going a mile and a sixteenth, we were very happy with her performance,” said Stidham. “She went a bit too fast the first quarter, but we were delighted that she was still able to fight out the finish, and we’re confident that she can only come on from the outing.”

As to where Istanford could head next, Stidham pointed to a Grade II over a mile at Gulfstream Park towards the end of March as a possible stepping stone. 

As for this week, Stidham has only one horse entered: Masquerade at Fair Grounds Thursday.

Don’t forget to catch up with all the latest news later this week.


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