NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, November 15, 2009) – Oak Tree Stables’ Yare alternated for the early lead in Sunday’s $51,000 feature before drawing off for a 3 3/4-length score under regular rider Gerard Melancon.

The six-furlong sprint restricted to accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares served as a prep for the upcoming $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint on Dec. 12. The winner had to survive a stretch run foul claim from Shane Sellers, rider of the odds-on favorite Master Link who finished third, before paying mutuels of $16.40, $6 and $2.60.

Yare made or forced the pace with early fractions of 21.89 and 46.17 before accomplishing the final time of 1:11.17. The daughter of Time Bandit out of a Wild Again mare increased her career earnings to $147,720 with her fifth victory in 12 lifetime starts.

Daniel Family Farms’ Wanna Cuddle rallied late to finish second, a head in front of Master Link. Wanna Cuddle paid $6 and $3, while Master Link returned $2.10 to show.

Jockey Quotes

Gerard Melancon (Yare, winner): “Shane came inside and it got a little tight. She felt good and I think we’re going to aim her for [Louisiana] Champions Day. She’s a little bitty filly but she’s got a really big turn of foot.”

Shane Sellers (Master Link, third): “I tried to ride her like a good horse. I’m looking at her on paper and I’ve never been on her but she’s always been on the lead. You can’t win on the lead all the time and at some point in time she’s going to have to run that kind of race so I dropped back. Going into the middle of the turn I was happy with my decision. I was sitting with a lot of horse and I just needed to make a move with her. I didn’t want to be a genius but the opportunity presented itself today. I was either going to be a hero or a ‘you-know-what’and I guess I was a ‘you-know-what’ today.

“If I had to do it over again I’d do it all over again. You’ll win more races that way. I’m stuck in the middle between two speed horses and it’s always the one stuck on the inside that’s going to cave.

“I was just looking for some running room. If I would’ve taken a hold of her and she just dropped her head on me I would’ve thought, well, I made the wrong choice and she just doesn’t want to run like that. Sometimes in racing you have to make a choice and today I guess I made the wrong choice.”