Sunday, March 18 2012
New Orleans Ladies (Havre de Grace)
Jockey Ramon Dominguez (Havre de Grace, winner): “We had a great trip. My main purpose was to try to keep her out of trouble. She was ready to run, as usual with all Larry Jones’ horses coming off of the layoff. She seems like she was definitely much the best on paper and she proved to be so today. I thought it was ‘mission accomplished’ first race back and she did great.
“We saved some ground going into the first turn and down the backside. I had a chance to get her in the clear and get her going and from then on she was on cruise control. When it was time to go I had to tap her a few times and she got into gear and it was easy from then on.”
Saturday, March 17 2012
Wash Park Takes Starlight Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, March 16, 2012) – Keith Plaisance’s favored Wash Park commenced a rally in mid-stretch outside the leaders and was up to be best by three-quarters of a length in Friday’s Starlight Racing feature at Fair Grounds.
As the headline event during the fifth of six such Starlight Racing programs in New Orleans this winter, Friday’s allowance and $62,500 optional entering event was contested at six furlongs and offered a purse of $53,000.
Friday, March 16 2012
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace Favored in Saturday’s New Orleans Ladies
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, March 15, 2012) – Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace will make her long awaited 2012 debut Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots when she goes to the post as the prohibitive favorite in the $150,000 New Orleans Ladies, becoming the second Horse of the Year in the last three seasons to use that Crescent City stakes test for older fillies and mares for her return to competition.
Havre de Grace, who has breezed six times at Fair Grounds since February 10 in preparation for her return, has accomplished all those moves impressively, never being asked for much but twice being timed in the fastest work of the morning at the distance.
Major Rules Drill Rivals in Thursday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, March 15, 2012) – Bellamy Stable’s Major Rules broke in stride to make the pace and prove best by 1 3/4-lengths at the wire in Thursday’s featured $49,000 allowance and $17,500 optional claiming six-furlong sprint at Fair Grounds.
Trained by Morris Nicks and ridden by James Graham, the winner tripped off the timer with early fractions of 21.20 and 44.11 before accomplishing a final time of 1:09.49. Major Rules returned mutuels of $6.40, $3.80 and $3.20 and increased his career earnings to $84,718 with his fifth win in 11 lifetime starts.
Wednesday, March 14 2012
Havre de Grace is Fit to Dance in New Orleans Ladies
NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, March 14, 2012) – The only thing the nation’s reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace has left to do prior to her 2012 debut in Saturday’s $150,000 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is gallop up to the race.
“That work she had Monday (five furlongs in 59.60 on a track rated fast) was exactly what we were looking for,” said Cindy Jones, wife and invaluable assistant to trainer Larry Jones during training hours Wednesday morning at Fair Grounds. “She did it real easy – without being asked for anything extra – but we’re very pleased with how it went and she came out of it real well.”
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace Draws Post 2 for Saturday’s $150,000 New Orleans Ladies
NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, March 14, 2012) – Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace drew post position 2 for her 2012 debut in a field of five set for Saturday’s $150,000 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Here’s the complete field in post-position order, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, owner): Sterling Madame (James Graham, Tom Amoss, Paul and Andrena Van Doren); Havre de Grace (Ramon Dominguez, Larry Jones, Fox Hill Farms); Annabel Lee (John Jacinto, David Schwartz, David and Sarah Schwartz); Distorted Love (Richard Eramia, Helen Pitts, A D K Racing); and Juanita (Rosie Napravnik, Mike Maker, William and Graydon Patterson).
Tuesday, March 13 2012
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace Gets Final Work in Advance of Saturday’s New Orleans Ladies
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, March 12, 2012) – Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace put in her last workout in advance of Saturday’s $150,000 New Orleans Ladies this morning at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, breezing five furlongs in :59 3/5 with regular exercise rider Jen Brasser aboard. The 5-year-old mare worked in company with an unraced 3-year-old filly, Just Jan, who went the same distance in 1:00 under Rosie Napravnik while breezing to the inside of Havre de Grace.
Due to short but heavy showers earlier in the morning, trainer Larry Jones decided to wait until after the renovation break ended at 8:30 a.m. to work Havre de Grace, as opposed to going out at her usual 6 a.m. slot.
Monday, March 12 2012
Uptown Bertie Rules Sunday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, March 11, 2012) – Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Uptown Bertie, allowed to settle early, commenced a rally entering the lane and drew off in the final furlong for a 2 3/4-length tally in Sunday’s $46,000 mile and 70 yard feature for maiden sophomore fillies at Fair Grounds.
Trained by Steve Margolis and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, the daughter of More Than Ready returned mutuels of $5.60, $3 and $2.20, increased her career earnings to $55,227 with her initial victory in seven lifetime starts and accomplished the distance in 1:43.44.
Holocaust Survivor Ida Schultz, Namesake of Stakes-Winning 3YO Filly Miz Ida
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, March 11, 2012) – When Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Miz Ida powered home with a late-running three-quarter-length victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Allen LaCombe Memorial at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, winning trainer Steve Margolis was quick to bring attention to the filly’s namesake.
“This horse is named for a Holocaust survivor,” said Margolis. “She’s a friend of Bert and Elaine’s who is just a wonderful lady and lives in South Florida now. She is a lovely lady – a real ray of sunshine to all the people down there who know her from the old Gulfstream Park. She used to go there every day.”
Friday, March 09 2012
Bluehard Best in Friday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, March 09, 2012) – Norman Miller III and Norman Miller IV’s Bluehard pressed the pace, took command at the furlong grounds and drew off late to capture Friday’s $41,000 Fair Grounds feature for accredited Louisiana-breds by 2 1/4-lengths.
The allowance and $12,500 optional claiming race for older horses was contested at six furlongs.
Van Berg Returning to FG As Benefit Auctioneer March 20
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, March 09, 2012) – When the devastating news concerning the health issues of recently retired jockey E.J. “Tee Joe” Perrodin became public – and that Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots would be hosting a charitable crawfish boil March 20 to benefit the popular rider’s family – one of the first people to volunteer his services at the upcoming event was Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, who will be returning to New Orleans that afternoon as an auctioneer.
Native Louisianan Perrodin, 55, who won 3,083 during his lengthy career, announced is retirement from the saddle in early February at Fair Grounds. Tragically, just days later, the revered reinsman was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer.
French Breeze Wins Thursday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, March 08, 2012) – Justice Family Racing’s French Breeze proved the third time’s the charm when she visited the winner’s circle for the first time in Thursday’s featured $46,000 grass dash for maiden sophomore members of the distaff set.
The daughter of good grass sire Elusive Quality trailed the field in the run down the backstretch in the sprint at about 5 1/2-furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course, commenced a rally entering the lane, took command in mid-stretch and drew clear the rest of the way for a length and a half tally.