Saturday, December 19 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kaddish Edges Smarten Destiny in Monday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Monday, December 14, 2009) – Castleton Lyons’ Kaddish dueled with Clinton Glasscock’s Smarten Destiny throughout the 1 1/16-mile distance of Monday’s $45,000 feature at Fair Grounds before narrowly besting that rival by a nose at the wire.
The winner, trained by Shannon Ritter and cleverly ridden by jockey Victor Lebron, returned mutuels of $9.60, $5.40 and $3.40, toured the distance of the race taken off the grass and run over sloppy going in 1:46.10 and increased his career earnings to $42,000 with his second victory in three lifetime starts.
Monday, December 14 2009
La. Derby Early Bird Noms Close Monday
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, December 13, 2009) – A year and a day after Fair Grounds cancelled a racing program due to a rare snowfall in New Orleans, the Crescent City’s 2009 Louisiana Champions Day program was aborted midway through its 19th running Saturday due to torrential rains. That storm eventually resulted in the loss of Sunday’s program as well due to track conditions.
The decision to cancel Sunday’s races was made by the Fair Grounds’ stewards at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning and subsequently announced by state steward Roy Wood, who explained that the Sunday cancellation would allow Fair Grounds track personnel more time to make sure the track would be in top condition for Monday’s races.
Sunday, December 13 2009
Superior Storm Wins as a Superior Storm Washes Out Races 9-12
NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, December 12, 2009) – When Jac Mac Stable’s Superior Storm won Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies for fillies and mares for the second year in a row and in the process became the third horse in Louisiana Champions Day’s 19-year history to win a total of three races in Fair Grounds’ featured series restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds it proved a precursor of things to come.
Three races later, Fair Grounds’ Louisiana Champions Day program was prematurely aborted when an increasingly violent afternoon storm forced the cancellation of the remaining races of the highlighted afternoon for state-breds in Louisiana.
Saturday, December 12 2009
Kentucky Oaks Runner-Up Stone Legacy Wins at FG
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, December 11, 2009) – Mary Lou Whitney’s Stone Legacy, runner-up to Fair Grounds-based Horse of the Year candidate Rachel Alexandra in last spring’s Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since breaking her maiden at Oaklawn last February when she captured Fair Grounds $45,000 Friday feature by 3 1/4-lengths as the 7 to 10 choice of the fans.
Ridden by last season’s Fair Grounds jockey champion Robby Albarado and conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Stone Legacy came from off the pace to be clearly best, increased her career earnings to $225,651 with her second win in 15 lifetime starts and toured the mile and 40-yard distance in 1:42.90. The homebred daughter of Birdstone paid mutuels of $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10 to her many backers.
Heiligbrodts to Enjoy La. Champions Day, plus Evelyn Benoit on Star Guitar and Tab Benoit
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, December 11, 2009) – Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt – last season’s Fair Grounds owner champions – were on their way from their home in Houston, Texas, to New Orleans when reached by cell phone en route Friday morning and will be in attendance at Fair Grounds for Louisiana Champions Day on Saturday.
“It’s about a four-hour drive, so we expect we’ll be at the races today as well as for Champions Day tomorrow,” said Bill Heiligbrodt Friday. “I think we’ve been to every Champions Day since they started having them. Let me put it this way—if they didn’t have Louisiana racing we wouldn’t be in racing at all. We’ve been the leading owners at Delta Downs and Louisiana Downs as well as Fair Grounds last season, and we have three stallions standing in Louisiana, but more than that, we live for the Fair Grounds meet. We have a lot of fun just being over there with you because everyone over there always treats us so well.”
Friday, December 11 2009
Sky at Sunrise Wins Thursday Feature
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 10, 2009) – Robert Lister’s Sky At Sunrise, who made the pace most of the way but was briefly headed in mid-stretch, continued willingly in the final furlong to win Thursday’s $45,000 featured sprint at Fair Grounds by a nose.
The winner set early splits of 22.27 and 45.41 before getting the final 5 1/2-furlong distance in 1:04.21 in the race for fillies and mares taken off the grass and run on the main track, increased her career earnings to $48,072 with her second victory in three lifetime starts and paid $8.40 $4.60 and $2.80.
Fair Grounds Hosts 19th Louisiana Champions Day Saturday
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 10, 2009) – Brittlyn Stable’s Star Guitar and Jac Mac Stable’s Superior Storm will each be going for their third wins on a Louisiana Champions Day program at Fair Grounds this Saturday – and if both are successful they will join Dixie Poker Ace and Mr. Sulu as the only horses to win three times in the 19-year history of the local program restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds.
Louisiana Champions Day is a betting bonanza, with 126 horses entered for 12 races, 11 of which are stakes worth $1.1 million for the top Louisiana-breds in training. First post is 12:30 p.m. CST.