Monday, January 04 2010


Sophomore Hopefuls Stay Put, Quiet Temper Win Sunday


NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, January 03, 2010) – Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Stay Put joined the list of Steve Margolis-trained sophomores who have passed their latest tests on the road to the Grade II, $750,000 Louisiana Derby by coming from last place to win Sunday’s $45,000 allowance optional claiming feature by one length in impressive fashion while going a mile and 40 yards.

Earlier in the day, Mark Stanley’s 3-year-old filly Quiet Temper made similar strides toward the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks with a dominant front-running performance in a race with similar conditions but restricted to members of the distaff set.





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Sunday, January 03 2010


Category Seven Wins Furl Sail Following Disqualification


NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, January 02, 2010) – James Perron Racing Stable’s Category Seven, overlooked by Fair Grounds racing fans in Saturday’s $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap, ended up paying win mutuels of $34.40, $14.60 and $6.60 following a disqualification of Team Block’s Never Retreat, who was first under the wire a neck in front of the eventual winner.

Trained by Kenneth Hargrave and ridden by Richard Eramia, Category Seven came from far back to move for the lead at the eighth pole, but was carried out by Never Retreat in the final furlong despite corrective action by Never Retreat’s rider James Graham.





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Friday, January 01 2010


Tears of Jupiter Wins on New Year’s Day


NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 01, 2010) – Tears of Jupiter, owned by Media Thoroughbred Group and trained by Eric Heitzmann, benefited from a patient, late-charging ride by jockey Curt Bourque to win Friday’s $45,000 allowance feature at Fair Grounds, contested at about five and a half furlongs over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “good.”

Finishing second a length behind the winner was another late runner – Gale Springer and Gabe Grossberg’s True Brew – who bested pace-pressing Freyja by a half-length at the wire.





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Noble’s Promise, Piscitelli, Dublin, Backtalk Lead La. Derby Early Bird Noms


NEW ORLEANS (Friday, January 1, 2010) – New Year’s Day in New Orleans means more than cabbage and black-eyed peas. It also marks the official birthday of all registered Thoroughbred racehorses, including the newly turned 3-year-olds eligible for the Grade II, $750,000 Louisiana Derby on March 27 and, ultimately, the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1.

Fifty-seven promising 3-year-olds comprise the Early Bird nominations for the Louisiana Derby, which closed December 14. Among them are a number of impressive winners from the first two months of Fair Grounds’ 138th Thoroughbred Racing Season Presented by Miller Lite, such as Bravo Whiskey, a sharp debut winner on Dec. 14 for trainer Neil Howard; Miles Heir, an effortless maiden special weight winner on Dec. 5 for Steve Asmussen; Stay Put, a game maiden special weight winner in the slop on Dec. 7 for Steve Margolis; and Wow Wow Wow, winner of the meet’s first two-turn maiden special weight on dirt for foals of 2007 on Nov. 28, trained by D. Wayne Lukas.





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Red Rally and The Rumor’s True Prevail in Divisions of Louisiana Futurity


NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 31, 2009) – Dan Lynch, Ken Sentel and Merrill Scherer’s Red Rally broke in full stride to make all the pace and increased the margin to six lengths at the wire when winning Thursday’s colts and gelding division of Fair Grounds’ $109,445 Louisiana Futurity as the 3-10 fan favorite.

“I couldn’t believe he got away like that,” said Merrill Scherer, who trains the horse for his owner-partners. “I’ll put him on the shelf for awhile, probably three or four months. I’ve run him hard this year and he deserves a break.”





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Much Obliged Strong Choice in Saturday’s Furl Sail Handicap


NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 31, 2009) – Pin Oak Stable’s Much Obliged, odds-on winner of Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap on opening day Nov. 6, looms as a strong 8-5 morning line choice once again when she heads a field of 11 grass-favoring fillies and mares – including an entry – in Saturday’s 37th renewal of the $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap at about 1 1/16-miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course

The daughter of Kingmambo will shoulder the top impost of 123 pounds Saturday, most of which will be made up by jockey Francisco Torres. She finished a close third, beaten only a head for the win, in Woodbine’s Grade II Canadian Stakes at previous asking Sept. 20.





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Tuesday, December 29 2009


WORKIN FOR HOPS WINS FAIR GROUNDS FEATURE MONDAY


NEW ORLEANS (Monday, December 28, 2009) – Estrorace LLC’s Workin for Hops, away alertly and quickly in command, relinquished the lead in the run down the backstretch but rallied strongly in the lane to capture Monday’s $45,000 optional claiming grass feature for 2-year-olds by 4 1/2-lengths.

The winner, trained by Mike Stidham and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., paid $12, $4.60 and $3.20, accomplished the about one mile distance over the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:41.63 and increased his career earnings to $45,400 with his second victory in three lifetime starts.





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Buddy D. ‘Cap Brings Focus to Upcoming Turf Stakes


NEW ORLEANS (Monday, December 28, 2009) – Fair Grounds’ famous trio of graded grass stakes appears a lot greener in 2010 due to the strategic repositioning of the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Handicap for the day after Christmas in 2009.

The “Buddy D.” – also contested over the Stall-Wilson turf course – was moved from its late November renewal 13 months ago into its new spot in time for the 2009-2010 Thoroughbred Racing Presented by Miller Lite, allowing it to become an excellent preview of the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap Jan. 23, the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap Feb. 20 and the Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap March 27 as part of the showcased Louisiana Derby Day program.






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Monday, December 28 2009


Cash Refund Wins Sunday Feature Off Seven-Month Layoff


NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, December 27, 2009) – Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Cash Refund proved no disappointment to those who backed him down to 3-10 favoritism when he withstood a strong late challenge from Sam-Son Farms’ Written in Stone to win Sunday’s $47,000 Fair Grounds sprint feature by a half-length.

Cash Refund was making his first start since finishing second to Captain Candyman Can in the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 19.



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General Quarters Preparing for Battle of New Orleans ‘Cap


NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, December 27, 2009) – General Quarters’ owner-trainer Tom McCarthy reported for duty early at Fair Grounds’ Barn 35 Sunday morning to check on his Blue Grass Stakes winner who returned to competition Saturday afternoon in his first start since last spring’s Preakness.

“My horse ran a good race yesterday,” said McCarthy of his personable gray colt’s second place finish in Saturday’s six furlong sprint, “and he came out of the race just fine. Last night he was making me do a street dance just to keep up with him when he was cooling out and then he ate up his dinner just fine.





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Sunday, December 27 2009


Princeville condo ascends FG’s Diliberto memorial throne


NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, December 26, 2009) – Jack Barr, Michele Boyce and Nate Ruffolo’s Princeville Condo came to Fair Grounds and trainer Greg Geier this winter so regular conditioner Boyce could see how well he’d perform on grass against stakes quality competition.

On Saturday, in the $60,000 “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial Handicap in New Orleans, the “Prince” ran like a king, scoring by a half-length to pay mutuels of $16.80, $8.40 and $6 while accomplishing the about 1 1/16-mile distance over the “good” Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:47.95, and also increasing his career earnings to $172,670 with his sixth victory in 10 lifetime starts.





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Monday, December 21 2009


Careless Rapture Wins Monday Feature


NEW ORLEANS (Monday, December 21, 2009) – Roy Varner’s Careless Rapture, never far off the pace, assumed control into the stretch and kicked clear in the final furlong to win Monday’s featured eighth race, a $49,000 allowance with claiming option at one mile on turf, by 1 ¾ lengths over 11 other Louisiana-bred females.

The 3-year-old filly by Entepreneur, trained by Mike Burgess and ridden by Curt Bourque, paid $13.80, 5.80 and $4.60. In her fourth win from 11 starts, Careless Rapture managed the “good” going over the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:42.52 and increased her earnings to $118,560.





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