Saturday, January 23 2010
Striking Hight Wins at Fair Grounds Friday
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 22, 2010) – Team Block’s Striking Hight rallied boldly under a strong ride by Fair Grounds leading jockey James Graham to capture Friday’s $45,000 optional claiming feature by a length and a quarter for trainer Richie Scherer.
The winner, an altered son of Smart Strike, paid mutuels of $16, $7.20 and $4.40, toured the about 1 1/16-mile distance over the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:49.64 and increased his career earnings to $58,011 with his second victory in five lifetime starts.
Gr. III Col. Bradley ‘Cap Lurse Condo and Cisco, plus more Road to the Derby Kickoff Day News
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 22, 2010) – When Barr Three LLC and Cherrywood Racing’s Princeville Condo rallied outside the leaders to win Fair Grounds’ $60,000 “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial Handicap by a head Dec. 26, it justified the long-range plans of part-owner and Chicago-based trainer Michele Boyce to send her Illinois-bred gelding to fellow conditioner Greg Geier for this winter’s three-race grass series at the Crescent City oval.
The first leg of that series to be run over the Stall-Wilson turf course is Saturday’s 24th running of the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap – one of six stakes races set for Saturday’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” program at Fair Grounds. Understandably, Boyce will be flying down from Chicago to New Orleans earlier on Saturday to witness the turf test.
Friday, January 22 2010
Lecomte-Bound Citrus Kid Happy to Be in Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, January 21, 2010) – Local authorities normally frown on attempts to ship Florida citrus to Louisiana, but when it comes to shipping the highly regarded 3-year-old Citrus Kid from South Florida’s Palm Meadows training center to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s Grade II Lecomte Stakes as the centerpiece event of its “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” program – nobody has a problem with that.
Following a bullet breeze Tuesday at Palm Meadows accomplished in 1:00.85, Citrus Kid was loaded on a van for New Orleans later in the day and was surely feeling his oats Thursday morning during training hours at Fair Grounds.
Thursday, January 21 2010
General Quarters to March Again in Louisiana ‘Cap, plus Margolis Has Four Live Ones in Saturday’s St
NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, January 20, 2010) – Tom McCarthy, the 76-year-old owner and trainer of the one-horse stable that consists of last spring’s Grade I Blue Grass Stakes winner General Quarters, watched his horse gallop around the Fair Grounds course Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday’s $75,000 Louisiana Handicap as part of the local oval’s six-stakes Road to the Derby Kickoff Day program.
After winning the Blue Grass (and Tampa Bay’s Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes earlier last winter), General Quarters was a victim of a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby, and was discovered to have a chip that required surgery after another dull performance in the Preakness.
Wednesday, January 20 2010
Citrus Kid in Bullet Breeze at Palm Meadows, plus Maximus Ruler, Worldly
NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, January 19, 2010) – Citrus Kid, a regally-bred 3-year-old prospect scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning for Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds, worked five furlongs handily in 1:00.85 at South Florida’s Palm Meadows training center Tuesday morning before leaving for New Orleans later in the day to participate in the local Road to the Derby program.
Citrus Kid is a sophomore son of 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, and one of two East Coast-based invaders for Saturday’s $100,000 Lecomte, the first leg of Fair Grounds’ three-race sophomore series that concludes with the March 27 Grade II Louisiana Derby.
Five Other Stakes Add Depth to Featured Lecomte on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day
NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, January 19, 2010) – Sugar Bowl Stakes winner Cool Bullet faces 10 sophomore rivals, including a pair of invading 3-year-old stakes winners based on the East Coast, in Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Lecomte Stakes – a race which serves as Fair Grounds’ early test leading to 2010’s upcoming Grade II, $750,000 Louisiana Derby on March 27.
However, that race is only one of six stakes showcased on the Road to the Derby program in New Orleans this Saturday. Post time for the first race of 13 races is scheduled for 12:10 pm.
Tuesday, January 19 2010
Turf Melody, Maximus Ruler, Cool Bullet Vie in Saturday’s Lecomte
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, January 18, 2010) – Fair Grounds’ “Road to the Derby” series gets underway this weekend in New Orleans when Sugar Bowl Stakes winner Cool Bullet and local buzz horse Maximus Ruler get their stiffest tests to date – facing two stakes winners based on the East Coast as well as seven others in the Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes.
As the first local Grade II Louisiana Derby prep, the $100,000 Lecomte is the centerpiece event among six stakes races Saturday. However, also highlighted is the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley for older horses on the Stall-Wilson turf course, the $75,000 Louisiana Handicap for older horses on the main track, and the $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies as the initial leg of the series that leads to the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks. Two $75,000 sprint stakes, the Gaudin Memorial on the main track and the Dr. Leggio Memorial on the grass, complete the stakes portion of the 13-race program.
Monday, January 18 2010
Clear Sailing Much the Best in Sunday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, January 17, 2010) – Coteau Grove Farm’s Clear Sailing, away alertly and quickly in command, responded to clever rating throughout under veteran jockey Shane Sellers in Sunday’s $45,000 Fair Grounds feature for fillies and mares at a mile and 40 yards and drew off to tally by 8 3/4-lengths without urging by the rider.
The daughter of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, trained by Glenn Delahoussaye, increased her career earnings to $56,940 with her second win in three career starts and paid $3, $2.40 and $2.10, accomplishing the distance in 1:42.69 after making early fractions of 25.30 and 50.22. In her local bow, Clear Sailing broke her maiden by four and a quarter lengths here on Dec. 28.
Fair Grounds Resident Rachel Alexandra Up for Horse of the Year Monday
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, January 17, 2010) – Superstar filly Rachel Alexandra, undefeated in eight starts as a 3-year-old including an unforgettable win in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks, could be named Horse of the Year at the annual Eclipse Awards ceremony Monday night in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Currently stabled at Fair Grounds in trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn, Stonestreet Stables’ Rachel Alexandra is one of two finalists for the Horse of the Year honor, along with older mare Zenyatta, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in November to remain undefeated in her own storied career.
Col. Bradley, Louisiana ‘cap, tiffany lass fields shaping up
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, January 17, 2010) – As always, the Grade III Lecomte Stakes, first leg of Fair Grounds’ sophomore series that culminates in the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27, will be the headline attraction of this Saturday’s “Road to the Derby” card at the Crescent City oval, but probable starters slated for Saturday’s Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap, $75,000 Louisiana Handicap, and $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes also lend promise to an exciting afternoon of racing.
Those considered likely for two other sprint stakes this Saturday – the $75,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial and the $75,000 Dr. A. B. Leggio Memorial – underline the challenging handicapping angles of the day.
Saturday, January 16 2010
Starlight Racing Lights Up New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 15, 2010) – The first of three Starlight Racing programs at Fair Grounds this season on Friday night had track management describing the event as successful beyond expectations – and that was despite increasingly rainy weather and a temporary late afternoon local power outage that caused a one-hour delay before the first race of the evening.
“If you had told me that with the rain and the power outage we would still have this many people I wouldn’t have believed you,” Fair Grounds president Austin Miller said midway through the racing program. “It is probably double the average Friday crowd.
Thursday, January 14 2010
Jackson Memorial, Happy Ticket Stakes Featured Saturday
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, January 14, 2010) – The 38th running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket Stakes, a five-and-one-half-furlong sprint restricted to accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares, and the fourth running of the $60,000 John E. Jackson Jr. Memorial Stakes, open to all accredited older Louisiana-breds, are the co-featured highlights of Saturday’s 10-race program at Fair Grounds.
In the Happy Ticket, Southern Equine Stables’ Cajun Conference, second in Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint at last asking Dec. 19, has been installed as the slight 5-2 choice in the morning line over Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Sax Appeal, who has been absent from competition since finishing third in the $100,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare sprint last Aug. 1 and is pegged at as the Happy Ticket’s second choice at 3-1.