Tuesday, February 16 2010


Rock Hard Noses Giant’s Tomb in Lundi Gras Feature


NEW ORLEANS (Monday, February 15, 2010) – Stacey Moak’s Rock Hard, a distant last in the early stages of Monday’s featured sixth race, passed seven rivals in the stretch to earn a nose victory over Sam-Son Farms’ Giant’s Tomb in the $41,000 first-level allowance with $50,000 claiming option, originally carded for the turf but contested at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

Rock Hard, with Miguel Mena aboard, and Giant’s Tomb, with Corey Lanerie up, exchanged brushes in the stretch as they surged to the front but a stewards’ inquiry did not find either horse at fault.





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Letsgetitonmon, Friesan Fire Work for Saturday Stakes


NEW ORLEANS (Monday, February 15, 2010) – Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Letsgetitonmon, who closed well to finish third beaten two lengths for the win in Fair Grounds Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 23, breezed a half-mile in 49.60 Monday morning at Fair Grounds in preparation for Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes – the final major designed prep for the Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby March 27.

Letsgetitonmon, a son of Maria’s Mon, is one of the more prominent sophomores conditioned by Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen at Fair Grounds this season.





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Maximus Ruler Out of Saturday’s Risen Star, plus Dominic Terry Injured Monday Morning


NEW ORLEANS (Monday, February 15, 2010) – Don Benge’s Maximus Ruler, runner-up behind Ron the Greek in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 23, will not run in Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes after coming up with a slight injury following a breeze Sunday morning at the New Orleans oval.

“He didn’t want to place his right hind foot down toe to heel when he was being walked yesterday afternoon,” said trainer Clark Hanna of Maximus Ruler Monday morning. “Usually, he walks very forwardly, but when we took his shoe off his foot seemed to be a little sensitive. We took some pictures and they came back clean, so we gave him some hot water therapy and some anti-inflammatory medication to take the soreness out, and he seems to be much, much better this morning (Monday). Now, we’re going play things by ear, and evaluate him for a few days. We’ll see how he does with no medication over the next 24 to 48 hours to make sure he’s okay.





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Monday, February 15 2010


Paradise Bound Wins Valentine’s Day Feature


NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, February 14, 2010) – Live Oak Plantation’s Paradise Bound, allowed to settle just off the pace in Sunday’s $39,000 Fair Grounds feature for maiden fillies and mares, responded willingly when set down for the drive and drew off for a 1 3/4-length score in the race transferred from the Stall-Wilson turf course and run on the main track at a mile and a sixteenth.

Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and ridden by Pat Valenzuela, Paradise Bound returned mutuels of $24.60, $9 and $6, increased her career earnings to $40,203 with her first victory in five career starts, and accomplished the distance in 1:47.99.





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Chantilly Nayla, Wicked Uno Vie in Tuesday’s Mardi Gras


NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, February 14, 2010) – Salman Rashed’s Chantilly Nayla and Gold Mark Farm’s Wicked Uno are set to match strides as the 5-2 and 3-1 first and second choices, respectively, in the morning line for Tuesday’s $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds.

The 66th running of the Mardi Gras, as usual contested on the lone Tuesday racing day of the New Orleans season, is to be run at about five-and-one-half furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course and is now restricted to 3-year-old fillies.





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Maximus ruler gets sunday breeze for saturday’s risen star


NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, February 14, 2010) – Don Benge’s Maximus Ruler, runner-up in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Lecomte Jan. 23 after inheriting an unwanted pacesetting scenario, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 Sunday morning in preparation for next Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes as the showcase race on Louisiana Derby Preview Day.

“The idea is to get him to relax,” said trainer Clark Hanna, “so we broke him off at the half-mile pole this morning, let him go to the seven-eighths and then let him gallop out the rest of the way on his own. He came back bucking and squealing so we might want to send him out again to go a quarter-mile on Thursday just to keep him relaxed.





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Sunday, February 14 2010


Hotep, General Quarters, Jody Slew Get Preview Day Works


NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, February 13, 2010) – Two prominent 3-year-old colts pointing toward Fair Grounds’ Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 20 were given their last significant works Saturday morning in advance of next weekend’s final major prep for the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27.

Sam-Son Farms’ Hotep, a full brother to last year’s Grade I Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat Saturday morning in a move that met with trainer Mark Frostad’s full approval.





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Saturday, February 13 2010


Handleman wins friday feature at fair grounds


NEW ORLEANS (Friday, February 12, 2010) – Gold Square LLC’s Handleman made the pace and increased his margin in the final furlong to win Friday’s $41,000 six-furlong allowance sprint at Fair Grounds by three-and-a-quarter lengths at the wire.

The winner, trained by Steve Margolis and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. returned mutuels of $5.60, $3.20 and $2.20, increased his career earnings to $92,040 with his second victory in eight lifetime starts, and toured the distance in 1:10.95 over muddy going after setting early fractions of 22.10 and 45.84.





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LOUISIANA DERBY PREVIEW DAY APPROACHING FEB. 20


NEW ORLEANS (Friday, February 12, 2010) – Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is due to run at Fair Grounds in the New Orleans Ladies March 13, but well before that – on Feb. 20 – the Crescent City oval hosts Louisiana Derby Preview Day, featuring six stakes races on the same day, four of which are graded.

Serving as the centerpiece of next weekend’s all-star afternoon is the 37th running of the Grade II Risen Star Stakes, which with its new higher grading and richer purse of $300,000 is sure to attract some of the nation’s top 3-year-olds as the final local prep for the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27.





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Rachel Alexandra Drills in Drizzling Rain Friday


NEW ORLEANS (Friday, February 12, 2010) – Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, aiming once again for an anticipated confrontation with her older rival Zenyatta in Oaklawn’s Grade I Apple Blossom April 9, worked Friday morning at Fair Grounds in advance of her scheduled seasonal bow March 13 in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies at the Crescent City oval.

“We worked a couple of horses Thursday and the track was sealed very well, so we went ahead with her work this morning,” said Scott Blasi, cornerstone assistant to Eclipse Award winning trainer Steve Asmussen, of Rachel Alexandra’s five-furlong move accomplished in 1:03.80 over the race track rated sloppy. “She galloped out well. We wanted to keep her in her rhythm. We wanted to stay in our routine. I was very happy with how she was moving.”





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Friday, February 12 2010


Rachel Alexandra Pointing to March 13 New Orleans Ladies


NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, February 11, 2010) – Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra will make her 4-year-old debut in the March 13 New Orleans Ladies, assuming she continues to progress as expected, owner Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables confirmed Thursday. The $200,000 New Orleans Ladies is for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

“That is our intended goal,” Jackson said by phone Thursday evening. “I believe she’s on schedule and she’ll get the prep race before she goes on to Oaklawn. There are other tracks that have offered to have us go, but right now we’d rather stay here.”





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Thursday, February 11 2010


Starlight Racing Returns Feb. 19 With Bucktown Allstars


NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, January 10, 2010) – Following a successful January debut that packed the Miller Beer Garden chalet with young professionals seeking drink specials and charbroiled oysters, Starlight Racing returns to Fair Grounds for its second installment Friday, February 19, at 5 p.m.

Starlight Racing brings a new upscale nightlife option to the city with specialty drinks in the trackside Miller Beer Garden, live music by the Bucktown Allstars, world famous charbroiled oysters from Drago’s, additional specialty fare from Messina’s and, of course, nine live Thoroughbred races to watch and wager on.





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