Friday, November 27 2015

STAKES RECAP: Thanksgiving Handicap


NEW ORLEANS (November 26, 2015)
– In lieu of turkey this year, defending meet champion owner Maggi Moss’ and trainer Tom Amos had their Control Stake well done on Thursday afternoon when the sophomore son of Discreetly Mine – the lone 3-year-old in the field – proved swiftest of the swift in the 91st running of the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Breaking on top from post five, the bay colt held off Robert Persons and Earl Conrad Sanderson, Jr.’s Officer Griffin throughout and powered home to a 1¼-length victory, giving the owner-trainer team their third victory in the race and second in a row following Delaunay’s romp in 2014.

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Friday, November 20 2015

Fair Grounds Barn Notes: Thursday, November 19

• Rachel Alexandra Half-Brother Debuts Sunday
• Amoss Aiming for a Dozen and a Derby
• Eden Prairie Tops Salty Saturday Allowance
• Heitai Looking Like a Million for Saturday’s Return
• Work Tab


Dolphus, a half-brother to Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly of 2009 Rachel Alexandra, will make his career debut in Sunday’s sixth race for trainer Joe Sharp in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Owned and bred by Dede McGehee’s Heaven Trees Farm, the son of multiple champion Lookin at Lucky has had a steady stream of works for his able conditioner, including a bullet five-furlong gate move at Churchill Downs Trackside on Nov. 11. In his first work over the local surface, the chestnut charge worked a half-mile in :49.60.

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Sunday, November 15 2015

Fair Grounds Barn Notes


A combination of a star-studded jockey colony and renowned trainer roster highlights what looks to be a promising and exciting 144th thoroughbred racing season at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

With defending champion jockey James Graham shifting his tack to California, the rider title appears up for grabs in 2015-16. All three members of the three-way tie for second last season – Miguel Mena, Florent Geroux and Francisco Torres – return this season and are joined by returning veterans Richard Eramia, Robby Albarado, Willie Martinez, Brian Hernandez Jr. and Jamie Theriot.

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Saturday, March 28 2015

Louisiana Derby Week Notes: Friday, March 27

Coalport Continues to Impress
• Swift Jugni Stretches Out in Fair Grounds Oaks
• Good Deed Ready to Take on the Boys
• Bluff to Aim toward Keeneland Allowance
• Mizz Money to Appalachian

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Thursday, March 26 2015

Louisiana Derby Week Notes: Thursday, March 26

• Slumber Looms Large in Muniz
• Stanford, Divine Oath and Red Rifle Ship Well for Pletcher
• Lovely Maria Likely for Ashland
• Grade I-winning Turf Mare La Tia Retired

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Wednesday, March 25 2015

Louisiana Derby Week 2015 Notes: Worktab Report


A DAY IN PARADISE – Monday, five furlongs in 1:00 flat (4/16) – Larry Jones –“He worked really well. He’s coming in as well you can hope for, like all of my horses on Saturday. We know we’re being ambitious with him, but when you run for that kind of money there are going to be some good horses in there. If we use War Story as our common denominator – as effective as he’s been in the last two – he only beat us a couple lengths and (A Day in Paradise) was coming off a long layoff at that time and just got a little tired. We’re optimistically hoping with him, even though we know his numbers may not match up. If there’s ever a time to try him it’s now and the distance should suit him and not be a problem at all because he just never gets tired.”

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Louisiana Derby Post Position Quotes

POST 1 – STANFORD (Florent Geroux, 5-1)
Todd Pletcher (trainer) – “(I’m) happy with the post. He will likely be forwardly placed.”

POST 2 – MR. Z (Kent Desormeaux, 4-1)
D. Wayne Lukas (trainer) – “I don’t think it makes too much of a difference. There’s a good run to the first turn and nine horses. It’s fine; a good post and he has good natural speed.”

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Friday, March 20 2015


Altamira Racing Stable and David Bernsen’s St. Joe Bay is likely to return to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots from his California base for the Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby on Mar. 28, according to conditioner Peter Miller. The dark bay son of Saint Anddan set a quick pace while hounded by 111-1 longshot Hero of Humor in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 21 at Fair Grounds – including a first quarter in :23.29 and a half-mile in :47.08 – before holding on for a game fourth, beaten less than three lengths by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s multiple graded stakes winner International Star.

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Thursday, March 19 2015


Loooch Racing Stables and Chris Dunn’s War Story put the finishing touches on his preparation for the Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby (Mar.28) on Wednesday morning with a bullet work in :58.80 over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track for trainer Tom Amoss. Working early in the morning, the son of Northern Afleet negotiated those five panels in a move that mirrored his bullet work at Oaklawn Park in :47 flat on Feb. 11 – his final preparation prior to a runner-up finish in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 21.

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Sunday, February 22 2015


Mike Maker (trainer, International Star, 1st) – “He was doing super and he ran as advertised. I wasn’t worried about the post. Realistically I thought we had an outside trip and we wound up having a trip like in the Lecomte turning for home looked.” On coming back for the Louisiana Derby: “Not going to change routes for him; he loves it (at Fair Grounds) and there’s no reason to change course.”

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Grade III Rachel Alexandra Quotes

Florent Geroux (jockey, I’m a Chatterbox, winner) – “She just relaxed on her own. Coming from the 10-hole, we had to either go, sit very close or take back. When everyone went, I decided to take her back and she was relaxing very nicely. I kept an eye on Rafael on (Angela Renee) and made him stay with horses a little longer and made him wait a little bit. My filly was very nice. Even if he would have come with me head-to-head from the half-mile pole to the finish line, my filly was the best today.”

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Friday, February 20 2015

Barn Notes: Friday, February 20


According to trainer Todd Pletcher, J S Bach will be scratched from the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes because of a fever detected on Wednesday. Expected to vie for favoritism after commencing his career with two impressive races – including earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure while romping in a 1 1/16-miles maiden special weight on Jan. 17 – the Florida-bred son of Tale of the Cat will now have to wait for his stakes debut. Owned and bred by Donald Dizney and his Double Diamond Farm, no plans for said contingency are yet available.

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