Monday, December 28 2009

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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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Saturday, December 19 2009

Promising Filly Bella Medaglia Wins Friday Feature

NEW ORLEANS (Friday, December 18, 2009) – Coteau Grove Farms’ Bella Medaglia proved herself to be an good candidate for gold medal stardom in Fair Grounds’ upcoming series for 3-year-old fillies later in the season when she came from off the pace to be best by three lengths when facing seven well-bred 2-year-old maiden rivals in Friday’s $43,000 Fair Grounds feature at a mile and 40 yards.

The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, trained by Glenn Delahoussaye and ridden by John Jacinto, paid $8.40, $3.80 and $2.80, toured the distance in 1:42.35, and increased her career earnings to $34,400 while scoring her first win in two lifetime starts.

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Bonapaw Now Resides as an ‘Old Friend’ at Old Friends Farm

NEW ORLEANS (Friday, December 18, 2000) – Fair Grounds guests who love horses as animals as much as they appreciate horses as athletes might want to make their way down to the winner’s circle after the fifth race on Santa Super Saturday to salute Michael Blowen when he presents the trophy after Saturday’s fourth running of the $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes.

Blowen is the founder and owner of Old Friends Farm, located in Georgetown, Kentucky, where Bonapaw – the two-time winner of Fair Grounds’ Thanksgiving Handicap and a Grade I winner – is now enjoying his retirement as a 13-year-old gelding.

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Thursday, December 17 2009

Country Day Wins by a ‘Country Mile’ in Thursday Feature

NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 17, 2009) – Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Country Day broke in stride to make the pace and increased the margin rapidly in the late stages to win Thursday’s $47,000 five and a half-furlong Fair Grounds feature by six lengths.

Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and trained by Steve Margolis, who was recording his eighth win from 15 starts at the meeting, Country Day notched early splits of 22.56 and 45.84 before tripping the final time of 1:03.38 over the track rated ‘sloppy.’ The winner paid mutuels of $9.60, $4.60 and $3.60 while increasing his career earnings to $84,829 with his third victory in seven lifetime starts.

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Nine Stakes for Santa Super Saturday

NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 17, 2009) – This weekend’s Santa Super Saturday program at Fair Grounds – originally scheduled as a five-stakes-race package – gets four more gifts already wrapped under its tree when the four stakes cancelled from last Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day are to be run as originally drawn.

Saturday’s expanded 13-race program will begin with a first post time of 12 noon and include the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf, $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint and $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint – all of which were postponed after torrential rains forced the abandonment of last Saturday’s races midway through the afternoon.

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Super Hi-5 on Last Race Begins Dec. 26

NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 17, 2009) – Fair Grounds fans seeking an exciting way to recover from excess spending over the holidays might want to try their handicapping skills on the new Super Hi-5 wager that will be offered beginning the day after Christmas at the New Orleans oval.

The Super Hi-5, which requires bettors to select the top five finishers in the designated race in exact order, will be offered on the last race of every card beginning Saturday, December 26, when Fair Grounds resumes racing following a short holiday break.

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Tuesday, December 15 2009

Rachel Alexandra, Plus Santa Super Saturday Update with Special Post Times, Expanded Wagering Menu..

NEW ORLEANS (Monday, December 14, 2009) – Horse of the Year candidate Rachel Alexandra, owned by Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick and conditioned by Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, stretched her legs with a once-around gallop over the Fair Grounds course shortly before training hours ended Monday morning under the watchful eye of Asmussen, who also won Fair Grounds leading trainer honors last season.

Rachel Alexandra easily captured the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks last March 14, seven weeks prior to her facile tally in the Kentucky Oaks, and in the process became the fourth of the last five Fair Grounds Oaks winners to go on and win the Kentucky Oaks.

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