Friday, January 01 2010
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
EMO Entry Favored in Buddy D. ‘Cap, General Quarters Returns
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, December 21, 2009) – Pick Six and Independent George, a pair of veteran grass campaigners now trained by Earnest M. Oare and coupled in the nom-de-course of his EMO Stables, comprise the 3-1 favored entry in Saturday’s $60,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds when the Crescent City oval re-opens following a brief four-day holiday hiatus.
The fourth running of the Diliberto – named in honor of the late local newspaper, television and radio personality – is scheduled at about 1 1/16-miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course.
Good and Lucky Takes Tenacious Handicap
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, December 20, 2009) – Using a slight change of tactics, jockey Shane Sellers came from farther back than normal to guide Laconian Racing Stable, Steve Organ and Josie Carroll’s Good and Lucky to a 1 3/4-length victory in Sunday’s 45th running of the $60,000 Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds.
“When I looked over the race, I realized there was a lot of speed in there and no one who liked to come from out of it, so I asked if I could take him farther back than normal and they told me to ride him the way I wanted,” Sellers said. “I had a lot of confidence in him because he feels so good when I work him over the track in the mornings, and he settled in so nice for me that I had a lot of confidence in him today. He’s a very nice horse.”
Sunday, December 20 2009
Star Guitar and War Echo Win Big on Santa Super Saturday
NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, December 19, 2009) – Santa Super Saturday’s expanded 13-race program at Fair Grounds this weekend featured Brittlyn Stable’s Star Guitar becoming the fourth horse in history to win three Louisiana Champions Day races with a sublime victory in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, the richest race of the day.
Then, in the next race – another remarkable performance – this time by Winchell Thoroughbreds’ War Echo, taking the inaugural running of Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Daily Racing Form Distaff for fillies and mares with a performance that “echoed” her victory in last season’s Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes.