Prayer For Relief Rolls In Louisiana


Prayer for Relief has developed into a serious 3-year-old over the past several months. He won his third consecutive derby and fourth straight race Saturday, when he cruised home by 2 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.

With the win, Prayer for Relief, who races for Zayat Stables and is trained by Bob Baffert, remained undefeated at 3 and unbeaten on dirt. He was the 6-5 favorite in the Super Derby, which was the richest race of the meet and the centerpiece of a Saturday program that featured five other stakes. Purses for the races totaled $1 million, making the card the biggest of the Louisiana Downs season that closes Sept. 25.

Prayer for Relief ($4.40) broke on top in the Super Derby and proceeded to lead the field through an opening quarter in 24.48 seconds and the first half-mile in 50.31. Trubs chased in second, about a length behind Prayer for Relief, with Mr Woodrow in third, followed by Meistersinger.

“Today, I thought [Meistersinger] would be on the lead, but after the break you never know,” winning rider Rafael Bejarano said. “I was supposed to be the second speed, and [Trubs] the third speed.”

But when Meistersinger did not join the pace fray from his rail post, Prayer for Relief and Bejarano seized the position and controlled the tempo, remaining in command through six furlongs in 1:15.49. Awesome Bet and Populist Politics made a run at the leader with about a furlong to go, but Prayer for Relief turned those rivals back and went on to cover the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:52.29.

“He did it easily,” Bejarano said.

Awesome Bet edged Populist Politics by a nose for second, while it was another 1 1/2 lengths back in fourth to Alternation.

Prayer for Relief began his win streak in May, when he won a first-level allowance at Hollywood Park in his first start at 3. He proceeded to win the Grade 3 Iowa Derby in June and the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby in August. The success is a long way from the $50,000 maiden claiming race that Prayer for Relief won last year at 2.

“He has really blossomed over the past four months,” said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Baffert, who was traveling Saturday. “Last year, he wasn’t showing what we wanted to see, so we had to run him where he was competitive, where he could win.”

But this year has been a different story for Prayer for Relief, who picked up $300,000 for his win in the Super Derby. He has now won 5 of 8 starts and $965,500. Barnes said next-race plans for Prayer for Relief would be decided by Zayat Stables and Baffert.

The remaining order of finish in the Super Derby was Mr. Woodrow in fifth, followed by Malibu Glow, Trubs, Meistersinger, and G.W.’s d’Oro.


Rahystrada scores in Kentucky Cup Turf

Robert E. Courtney Jr.'s RAHYSTRADA (Rahy) drew closer to reaching $1 million in lifetime earnings on Saturday when running away with the $150,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (G3) under Greta Kuntzweiler. The Byron Hughes trainee grabbed command of the race in the long stretch run and drew off to be 3 3/4 lengths clear on the wire of the 1 1/2-mile grass affair.

Rahystrada raced in midpack early on as Harrods Creek (Langfuhr) led the way on the undulating Kentucky Downs turf. The chestnut gelding had moved up between horses by the time the pacesetter had reached a mile in 1:41 3/5, and continued motoring to pass all rivals. The seven-year-old stopped the clock in 2:32 2/5 on the firm going, boosting his career earnings to $941,904 and improving his mark to 34-12-3-5.

Rahystrada was sent off the 4-5 favorite in the 10-horse field and did not disappoint his backers while paying $3.50, $2.40 and $2.60. Odds On (Brz) (Roi Normand) came from last to take second by a head over fellow rallier Miami Deco (Limehouse). It was another half-length back to Rules of Honor (Catienus), who stalked the pacesetter on the backstretch.

Harrods Creek, Lemonade Kid (Lemon Drop Kid), defending champion Rezif (Distant View), Silver Mountain (Victory Gallop) and Getta Rhythm (Action This Day) completed the order under the line. Formaggio (Dynaformer) fell on the downward slope nearing the mile marker after saving ground on the inside but walked off.

Rahystrada earned his second stakes win this year having already captured the Colonial Turf Cup in mid-June two back. He was fifth last out in the Arlington Million (G1), a race he ran fourth in last season. His other black-type scores came in last year's Arlington H. (G3) and the 2009 River City H. (G3), and the veteran runner has also placed in four stakes, including the Tampa Bay S. (G3) in March and the 2010 Dixie S. (G2).

Bred in Kentucky by Jaime S. Carrion, Trustee, Rahystrada is out of the unraced Deputy Minister mare Ministrada, who has also produced Grade 3 winner Lone Star Sky (Conquistador Cielo) and an unraced sophomore filly named Embracing (Bernardini). Ministrada is herself a daughter of Grade 2 victress Funistrada (Fappiano), making her a half-sister to Grade 2 vixen Krisada (Kris S.) and Grade 2-placed stakes winner Conte di Savoya (Sovereign Dancer).

Farther back in this female family one can find 1985 champion turf horse and sire Cozzene (Caro [Ire]) as well as Grade 1 heroine Serape (Fappiano).



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