Friday, January 29 2010
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.
Tuesday, January 26 2010
Wicked Uno Edges Lela in Monday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, January 25, 2010) – Gold Mark Farm’s 15-10 favorite Wicked Uno broke in stride to make the pace and held on in the final strides to win Monday’s $45,000 five-and-a-half-furlong feature for 3-year-old fillies at Fair Grounds by a head.
The winner paid $5, $3 and $2.10, set early splits of 23.13 and 46.75 before tripping the final timer in 1:05.23 and increased her career earnings to $54,630 with her second win in three lifetime starts.
Jody Slew Would Be Welcome Addition to Grade III Silverbulletday
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, January 25, 2010) – Last weekend’s $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes provided one welcome surprise for the barn of conditioner Bret Calhoun when Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Jody Slew got up in time to win the local oval’s first prep for the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks March 26.
Carl Moore Management’s Speedacious, 12-length heroine of Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie, was the expected probable starter in the Tiffany Lass for the Calhoun barn, but a minor setback for her left Jody Slew in a position to step up to the plate. Originally scheduled for a grass career, the daughter of Slew City Slew was left in the Tiffany Lass to keep her fit for the next attractive turf stakes to come along, but what happens now after she has won her first race at two turns on dirt?
Saturday, January 23 2010
KINSALE KING ADDS ANOTHER UPSET WIN IN PALOS VERDES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2010) – Gaining his third straight upset victory under the care of trainer Carl O’Callaghan, lightly-raced 5-year-old gelding Kinsale King scorched the four-race winning streak of Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion Dancing in Silks Saturday when triumphant in Santa Anita’s 58th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at six furlongs.
With Martin Garcia in the saddle, Kinsale King withstood the late charge of another longshot, Ventana, by one-half length while 9-10 favorite Dancing in Silks settled for third, another 1 ¼ lengths back without mounting a serious threat under Joel Rosario.
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.