NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, February 26, 2012) – Fox Hill Farms’ reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59 flat Sunday morning at Fair Grounds with regular exercise rider Jen Brasser in the irons.

Once again stepping on the track as the first work horse of the morning, Havre de Grace was clocked with splits of 11.80, 23.80, 35.60 and 47.40 before getting the five-eighths in 59 and then galloped out the three-quarter mile distance in 1:13.60. Her five-furlong work was accomplished in a final time four-fifths of a second faster than her previous move at that distance six days earlier.

“She’s a little faster and faster every time she works now,” said trainer Larry Jones, shaking his head and only semi-successfully keeping a smile from his face. “I don’t understand why that keeps happening.

“Seriously, she looked like she was galloping pretty easy out there,” Jones said. “It was a good work for her. I think we’ll probably start working her in company, now.”

At the present time, Havre de Grace is being pointed for a start in Fair Grounds’ third running of the New Orleans Ladies on March 17. That test for older fillies and mares would have a purse of $150,000 if the champion mare, or any multiple Grade I winner, starts.

MARK VALESKI, BELIEVE YOU CAN, MR. BOWLING IN FINE FETTLE SUNDAY – Brereton Jones’s Mark Valeski, second by a nose in Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, had cleaned up his feed tub and was doing very well Sunday morning, according to trainer Larry Jones.

“All my horses came back well and are in good shape today,” said Jones. “I talked to all of them last night, and they all told me that they were so excited to see Mark Valeski run that, well, they just decided to go ahead and let him have his chance to shine.”

Brereton Jones’s Mr. Bowling, winner of the Grade III Lecomte here last month and coupled in the wagering with Mark Valeski in the Risen Star, was unplaced in the Risen Star.

“I can’t find anything wrong with him,” said Jones, “and (jockey) Robby Albarado told me after the race he just kind of let him finish on his own after he realized he wasn’t going to get anything.

“As for Believe You Can, she’s OK today, too,” said Jones of Brereton Jones’s filly, fourth in the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes Saturday after winning the $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes here last month. “We’ll still be pointing her to the (Grade II) Fair Grounds Oaks next month. We thought she ran a good race yesterday.”

‘RACHEL’ WINNER SUMMER APPLAUSE, ‘BRIDGE’ BOTH WELL SUNDAY – Gillian Campbell et al.’s Rachel Alexandra Stakes winner Summer Applause, as well as Carl Moore’s Chamberlain Bridge, runner up in Saturday’s $75,000 Colonel Power, came out of their impressive efforts Saturday in good order, according to Jill Parrot, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun.

“We were really, really pleased with the way the filly ran for us,” said Parrot. “As for Chamberlain Bridge, he sometimes causes his own problems, but we thought he ran a good race, too. In fact, there was only one way it could have been any better.”

JOSIE CARROLL PROUD OF ‘RACHEL’ RUNNER-UP AVIE’S SENSE – Josie Carroll, trainer of Tall Oaks Farm’s Rachel Alexandra Stakes runner-up Avie’s Sense, was extremely pleased with her filly’s effort Saturday in the final designed preview for the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 31.

“I thought she ran a huge race and I’m very proud of her,” said Carroll. “I would have liked to have gotten another race into her before she ran in that one yesterday, but we couldn’t get one for her. To step up from a maiden win into graded stakes company is quite a jump, but I thought she proved yesterday that she belongs in this kind of company. Hopefully, she’ll continue to do well over the next few days and we’ll be able to consider a race like the Fair Grounds Oaks for her.

“As for the winner (Gillian Campbell et al.’s Summer Applause), we know what a nice filly she is because she used to be with us in this barn,” Carroll concluded. “We are very proud to have run that well against her.”