By Dick Downey
Joe Sharp, assistant to trainer Mike Maker, says he's not all that concerned with the fact that Vicar's in Trouble drew post 14 in the Risen Star Stakes.
“I’d much rather have that than the one-hole,” said Sharp, who's married to "Vicar's" jockey, Rosie Napravnik. “The outside post shouldn’t bother him. He’s not a horse that has ever had any issues in the gate. We’ve never had any gate problems with him.
“If hecan make the lead from out there with enough room to get over more toward the inside that will be fine, but if he can’t, he really doesn’t need the lead," Sharp continued. "He’s been behind horses in the morning, and it doesn’t bother him. He’s not going to come off the bridle. It’s not going to hurt his feelings if he doesn’t have the lead. That’s why we like to work him in company. He seems to get a little more out of it. He doesn’t need the lead right away, but I would think he’ll get it soon enough. He’s not a ‘waiting-around’ kind of guy.”
That conclusion was evident when Vicar's in Trouble romped by 6 3/4 lengths in the Lecomte Stakes in January. He didn’t have the lead in the first half-mile, tracking Roman Unbridled before leaving the field in his wake.
“I can’t say I was surprised when he ran as well as he did in the Lecomte,” Sharp said, “but I was very impressed. Obviously, there were some very nice horses in there against him. You had to have a lot of respect for Steve’s horse (Gold Hawk) and Larry’s horse (Albano), so I was impressed that our horse could do as well as he did against them.”
This is a high-spirited colt. When Sharp took some visitors to Vicar’s stall Wednesday morning, he had to fend off a biting Vicar's in Trouble.
“He just acted like that at first because I’ve been playing with him,” said Sharp. “He just thought I came down here to mess with him again.”
Pletcher Crew Arriving Thursday
Todd Pletcher’s four horses shipping in for Saturday’s Louisiana Derby Preview Day are expected to arrive at Fair Grounds shortly before noon on Thursday. They include Risen Star entry Intense Holiday. Mike Smith will be aboard him Saturday.
“They’ll leave (South Florida) tomorrow at 10 o’clock our time,” said Adrianne Hall, Pletcher’s office manager on Wednesday. “(Assistant trainer) Ginny DePasquale will be traveling with them."
Intense Holiday breezed a half-mile at Palm Meadows Sunday in :49.60. Pletcher is also shipping Got Lucky for the Rachel Alexandra, Micromanage for the Mineshaft Handicap and Unitarian for the Fair Grounds Handicap.