Wednesday, February 03 2010
EL CABALLO TO PASS FAIR GROUNDS ’CAP, AWAIT MUNIZ MEMORIAL
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, January 31, 2010) –James Spence’s El Caballo, winner of the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds last week on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day, will not be a candidate for the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap as the next leg of the Crescent City oval’s grass series on Feb. 20.
“No, we’re not going to come back in that next race,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “We’re going to wait and come back in the (Grade II Mervin) Muniz Memorial at the end of the season.”
Tuesday, February 02 2010
Hotep Enters Louisiana Derby Picture With Convincing Win
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, February 01, 2010) – Sam-Son Farms’ Hotep proved no disappointment to those Fair Grounds fans who backed him down to odds-on favoritism in Monday’s $40,000 feature for 3-year-olds and may now have entered the long-range picture for the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27.
Ridden by Robby Albarado and trained by Mark Frostad, Hotep was unhurried early, commenced a bold rally outside the leaders approaching the stretch and drew off late to tally by 3 1/4-lengths under intermittent urging.
Rachel Alexandra Halter Up for Bids
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, February 01, 2010) – Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra had her first recorded work of the 2010 racing season at Fair Grounds Sunday morning, but beginning Friday a special commemorative stable halter once worn by the magnificent filly will go on display in Fair Grounds clubhouse.
The halter, encased in a handsome shadow box, includes the signatures of trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel as part of the display, and has already become the subject of a silent auction to kick off a barn-raising fundraiser for the Remember Me Racehorse Rescue facility operated by Fair Grounds-based trainer Dallas Keen and his wife Donna.
Monday, February 01 2010
RACHEL ALEXANDRA enjoys saturday gallop
NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, January 30, 2010) – Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra enjoyed a spirited gallop over the sealed Fair Grounds racing strip Saturday morning with regular exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard for the move.
“She came out on the track at 6:25 this morning accompanied by (assistant trainer) Scott Blasi on a pony,” said Fair Grounds clocker Billy Pettingill. “After she broke off from the pony she dropped in to the rail and stretched her legs in an open gallop all the way around the course.
Bubbler Noses Never Retreat in Marie Krantz Duel
NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, January 30, 2010) – Bubbler burst forth and Never Retreat just missed in the final jump after a hard-fought two-horse stretch duel that was Saturday’s $57,600 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds.
“Mentally, she had it all together today,” said Peaches Geier of Bubbler, speaking as trainer Bret Calhoun’s valued assistant in winner’s circle ceremonies following the Krantz Memorial. “The other day (when sixth in the Furl Sail Handicap which was her first grass experience Jan. 2) she just lost it.”
Saturday, January 30 2010
MILLIONAIRE BOLD CHIEFTAIN BEST IN SUNSHINE MILLIONS CLASSIC
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2010) – Trainer Bill Morey Jr. said his millionaire California-bred Bold Chieftain does things that “take your breath away,” and on Saturday the 7-year-old warhorse knocked the wind from the sails of 11-10 favorite The Usual Q.T. and seven others with a rousing neck victory over Palladio in Santa Anita’s $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic presented by Pepsi-Cola.
With Hall of Famer Russell Baze, North America’s all-time leader in races won, astride the son of Chief Seattle for the 24th time, Bold Chieftain proved best in a stirring stretch run as the eighth running of the mile-and-one-eighth event was negotiated in 1:48.33 before an on-track crowd of 21,487.
Southern Style Wins Friday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (January 29, 2010) – Maynard Chatters Jr.’s Southern Style, allowed to settle early, rallied outside the leaders when set down for the drive and won Friday’s $29,000 optional claiming sprint at Fair Grounds by two and a quarter lengths.
The winner, ridden by Wilfredo Lozano Jr., returned mutuels of $5.80, $3.80 and $2.80, toured the five and a half furlong distance of the race taken off the grass and run over sloppy main track going in 1:03.99 and increased his career earnings to $155,020 with his seventh victory in 17 lifetime starts.
Friday, January 29 2010
Risen Star Noms Due Feb. 6
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 29, 2010) – Nominations for the Feb. 20 Grade II, $300,000 Risen Star Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles are due Feb. 6. Horses that were Early Bird nominees to the Louisiana Derby are automatically subscribed to the Risen Star. Otherwise, subscriptions are $300 each, with an additional $1,750 to enter and $1,250 to start.
Any horse that starts in both the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby and finishes among the top three in either race will have its $25,000 starting fee waived for the Kentucky Derby.
Mike Diliberto Debates ‘Dressing’ for Parade
NEW ORLEANS (January 29, 2010) – The late New Orleans native and local newspaper, radio and television personality “Buddy” Diliberto once boasted that if the New Orleans Saints ever went to the Super Bowl he would parade downtown wearing a dress.
“Unfortunately, he never got to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mike Diliberto, Buddy’s son and morning line maker at Fair Grounds – himself a longtime high profile presence at the Crescent City oval. “He died in 2005 before the Saints began to improve. He would have been enjoying all this more than anything in the world. He was the original unknown Saints fan wearing a paper bag over his head.”
Never Retreat, Category Seven Renew Rivalry in Marie Krantz Memorial ‘Cap
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, January 28, 2010) – Team Block’s Never Retreat and James Perron Racing Stable’s Category Seven, first and second under the wire respectively in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap Jan. 2 before being reversed by disqualification, face off once again in Saturday’s $60,000 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap for older fillies and mares at about a mile and a sixteenth over the Stall-Wilson turf course.
In the Furl Sail, Never Retreat launched a bold bid in the stretch run along the inside but drifted out late to brush Category Seven in the late stages. The latter, also without speed, gained the advantage in mid-stretch but could not stay with that rival after being brushed near the wire and finished second by a neck. The original order of finish was reversed following a stewards’ inquiry and an objection by jockey Richard Eramia aboard Category Seven against Never Retreat.
Wednesday, January 27 2010
First Post Moved Up to 11:30 a.m. CST on Super Bowl Sunday
NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, January 26, 2010) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has moved up first post for Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, to 11:30 a.m. CST. The nine-race program will end by 3:30 p.m. CST, giving local Who Dats plenty of time to enjoy the races before settling in for the biggest football game in New Orleans Saints history. Super Bowl XLIV, pitting the Saints against the Indianapolis Colts, will kick off no earlier than 5:30 p.m. CST.
Fair Grounds gates will open to the public that morning at 9:30 a.m.
Fair Grounds to Reduce Purses Starting Sunday
NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, January 26, 2010) –Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will reduce purses of overnight races by nine-percent, effective Sunday, January 31, and trim the value of 12 stakes events.
A pair of Grade II races for older horses—the New Orleans Handicap and the Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap on turf—have had their purses reduced to $400,000 from $500,000. Four stakes were reduced to $100,000 from $125,000: the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap, the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap, the Bayou Handicap and the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes. Six stakes have gone to $60,000 from $75,000: the Pan Zaretta Stakes, the Colonel Power Stakes, the Bienville Stakes, the Crescent City Oaks, the Crescent City Derby and the Grindstone Stakes.