Rapid Rhythm A Rousing Battle of New Orleans Winner

Submitted by brian.spencer on December 4, 2016 – 12:22pm

 Robert S. Evans’ Rapid Rhythm ($5.60, $3.80 and $3.20) was a stylish winner of Saturday afternoon’s $60,000 Battle of New Orleans Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, closing from last at the top of the stretch in the 5½-furlong turf dash to swoop by them all and get up at the wire by a half-length over Thomas Galvin’s Bret Calhoun-trained defending champion Adrianne G ($7.20 and $5). Recently privately purchased and kept in the barn of Mike Stidham, the daughter of Successful Appeal was sent off at 9-5 and was ridden with confidence by James Graham. It was another 1¼ lengths to Barry and Joni Butzow’s Joe Sharp-trained Calypso Run ($6) to complete the trifecta.

Rapid Rhythm, owned by David Ross and bred by the Lazy Lane Farms, LLC, won the Oakley Stakes at Laurel Saturday. photo by Jim McCue.

Rapid Rhythm (at the time owned by David Ross’ DARRS, Inc.) bred by Lazy Lane Farms, LLC, winning the Oakley Stakes at Laurel in September.  photo by Jim McCue.

After Adrianne G and Stidham-trained Full Tap set fractions of 21.44, 44.60 and 56.67, Rapid Rhythm stopped the clock in a swift 1:03.12 over a firm Stall-Wilson turf course, earning $30,380 to increase her career bankroll to $200,903. The victory was her second consecutive stakes tally and made the dark bay 4-year-old filly a perfect 4-for-4 at the New Orleans oval. A Virginia-bred, she won her first open stakes after taking the restricted Oakley Stakes last out at Laurel Park on Sept. 24. In 18 lifetime starts, she has won seven times and five of eight since joining the Stidham barn. Two back, she was a valiant second in the $278,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint.

“Turning for home I said ‘I hope I get there’,” Graham said. “She leaves herself a little too much to do, but she got the job done. Mike told me to let her get her feet under her and keep her out of trouble.”

“She’s as honest as you can get,” Stidham added. “She won at Laurel and ran big at Kentucky Downs, so she really doesn’t need a specific turf course, but she obviously really loves this place. I just told James ‘don’t get her stopped’ and he didn’t. I was just glad that she was getting into the picture at the sixteenth-pole and had a shot.”

Boom Bam Bing, Tesalina (CHI), Full Tap and Manille completed the order of finish. Seeking Paradise, Touch of Bling and Neilinger were scratched.