New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The connections for Ria Antonia, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, had things mapped out for the 3-year-old filly to face the boys in Fair Grounds' Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 22.
However, unseasonably cold weather in New Orleans has forced the track to be closed to training and Ria Antonia has been set back in her preparations.
"The weather down there is really putting a damper on our plans," said Ron Paolucci, owner of Loooch Racing and manager of Ria Antonia's career. "We were on a tight schedule anyway, and when they closed the track for training again this morning (Thursday) for a third day we're even on a tighter schedule now."
Trained by Jeremiah Englehart, Ria Antonia may make her first 2014 start in Fair Grounds' Rachel Alexandra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies also on Feb. 22.
"I realize we can't help what Mother Nature does, but we originally had her scheduled for six breezes before her next race on a Saturday-to-Saturday schedule, then it was five and now we might be down to four," Paolucci said. "It would cost me a lot of money to ship my filly somewhere else, but I can't hurt my filly if she's not ready in time. Our plans for her now have become more uncertain. We'll just have to see how she does on a day-to-day basis - at least for the next few days."
The filly was placed first in the Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita after finishing second at 32-1 to 5-1 third pick She's a Tiger. The two fillies brushed down the stretch which caused the disqualification. Her only other win came in her second start.
Ria Antonia, co-owned by Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable, has earned $1,156,140 with her two wins in five starts.