• New Orleans Saints Package Part of FG’s Crawfish Boil Monday
• Jockey Pat Johnson Suffers Broken Collarbone Saturday
• Trainer Mike Maker Gets 1,000th Win; Adds 1,001 Later at FG
• Updated Louisiana Derby Probables
“It was a good work for him – a really good work,” said Evan Downing, trainer Kellyn Gorder’s assistant at the Crescent City oval on Sunday morning during training hours. “Actually, he did it in something like 59.99 but they just went ahead and put down a minute flat. Then he galloped out in 1:14 and even went a little farther than that in the gallop out, and gallop outs are a big part of his works. He really enjoys them.
“He looked good after the work, cooled out good and ate up everything this morning,” Downing said. “He’ll probably go back to the track tomorrow. Usually, off a strong work like that I’ll just jog him a mile or so. He trains aggressively. He really just trains himself. He knows what he wants to do and just does it. He’s pretty easy to deal with. He’s just a real nice horse.”
Bourbon Courage, who won the Grade II Super Derby at Louisiana Downs last September, went on to finish third beaten a length for the win behind Shackleford and Take Charge Indy in Churchill’s Grade I Clark Handicap in November and was most recently second behind Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Graydar in Gulfstream’s Grade I Donn Handicap Feb. 9.
Graydar, under the care of five-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher and expected to ship in for the New Orleans Handicap, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.80 Sunday morning at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Training Center.
GROUND TRANSPORT FIRES ANOTHER BULLET SATURDAY FOR LOUISIANA DERBY – Marrette Farrell et al.’s Ground Transport, one of the locally based sophomores being prepped for an upcoming engagement in the 100th anniversary edition of the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 30 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59.40 Saturday morning during training hours at the Crescent City oval.
“It was a very nice work for him,” said trainer Mike Stidham on Sunday morning. “He did it well. He broke three lengths behind another horse named Trend that has been graded stakes placed here and had almost caught him by the time the work finished. I got what I wanted from him in the work.”
Jockey Mark Guidry will ride Ground Transport in the Louisiana Derby.
Also on Saturday at Fair Grounds, Louisiana Derby candidate Sunbean, owned by Brittlyn Stable and trained by Al Stall Jr., breezed a half-mile in 50.60.
On Sunday morning at Fair Grounds, Gold Mark Farm’s Mylute breezed a half-mile in 50.60 for trainer Tom Amoss in preparation for the Louisiana Derby.
Meanwhile, on St. Patrick’s Day Sunday in South Florida at Palm Meadows Training Center, Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice breezed five furlongs in 1:00 flat and WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary breezed that same distance in 1:00.60 in preparation for the Louisiana Derby. Both of those 3-year-olds are trained by Todd Pletcher.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PACKAGE PART OF FG’S CRAWFISH BOIL MONDAY – One late attractive addition to Fair Grounds’ Crawfish Boil on Monday from 5-7 p.m. will be a live auction for a package deal involving a New Orleans Saints game during the coming season.
Proceeds from the Crawfish Boil, which will be held on the first floor of the grandstand (west side), will go to the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and tickets to the event are $25, with checks to be made out to Fair Grounds.
The Saints package, to involve one home game of the winning bidder’s choosing, will include four seats, a reserved parking spot, pre-game field passes and a tour of the press box which includes a buffet before and after the game.
Also as part of Monday’s Crawfish Boil will be a raffle for a table for four next November on Thanksgiving Day at Fair Grounds.
JOCKEY PAT JOHNSON SUFFERS BROKEN COLLARBONE SATURDAY – Jockey Pat Johnson, who had been winning races with increasing regularity at the local oval, suffered a broken collarbone when a horse he had just ridden tripped while returning to be unsaddled in Saturday’s fourth race.
“It was a clean break,” said Johnson, speaking over the phone on Sunday morning. “Tomorrow or possibly on Wednesday they’re going to put a plate in there to put the bone back together and right now I’m estimating I’ll be out for about four weeks, maybe less than that.”
TRAINER MIKE MAKER GETS 1,000TH WIN; ADDS 1,001 LATER AT FG – Trainer Mike Maker reached the 1,000-career win milestone in Fair Grounds’ third race Saturday when William Butler’s Magical Season won with Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons.
Career win 1,001 came for Maker in the last race of the day, when Tracy Farmer’s Alydorable won – again with Bridgmohan in the saddle.
Bridgmohan ended up with a four-wins Saturday, as did fellow reins master Richard Eramia.
LATEST LOUISIANA DERBY PROBABLES – Based on Racing Office updates, published news reports and interviews with horsemen. Entries to be drawn March 27 at 11:30 a.m. in the Fair Grounds paddock.
Horse, alphabetically (with trainer, jockey when known and “Road to the Kentucky Derby” qualifying points)
Career record, earnings; best efforts; most recent start listed last
Channel Isle (Wayne Lukas, Jon Court, 1)
8-2-1-1, $100,650; Won Jan. 26 entry-level allowance at Oaklawn; 4th, Southwest (GIII)
Code West (Bob Baffert, Martin Garcia, 20)
6-1-3-2, $146,000; 2nd, Feb. 23 Risen Star S. (GII) at FG, by a nose
Departing (Al Stall Jr., Brian Hernandez Jr., 0-not Triple Crown nominated)
3-3-0-0, $78,000; Undefeated, won MSW, Alw at FG; Won March 2 $50,000 Texas Heritage S. at Hou
Golden Soul (Dallas Stewart, Calvin Borel, 4)
4-1-2-0, $77,400; 2nd, Jan. 19 Lecomte S. (GIII) at FG; 6th, Feb. 23 Risen Star S. (GII) at FG
Ground Transport (Michael Stidham, Mark Guidry, 0)
2-2-0-0, $55,800; Won Jan. 19 MSW and Feb. 23 Alw at FG
Hip Four Sixtynine (Bobby Barnett, Jamie Theriot, 0-not Triple Crown nominated)
7-1-2-0, $46,410; Won Feb. 23 MSW at FG
Mylute (Tom Amoss, Shaun Bridgmohan, 2)
8-2-2-2, $217,695; 2nd, Jean Lafitte S. and 3rd, Delta Jackpot (GIII) at DeD; 7th, Feb. 23 Risen Star S. (GII) at FG
Nina’s Dragon (Lloyd Mason, Julien Couton, 4-unranked, not Triple Crown nominated)
4-1-1-2, $69,690; 2nd, Feb. 16 El Camino Real Derby (GIII) at GG
Palace Malice (Todd Pletcher, Edgar Prado, 10)
4-1-2-1, $111,135; 3rd, Feb. 23 Risen Star S. (GII) at FG
Proud Strike (Steve Asmussen, 0)
4-1-1-1, $40,180; Won Jan. 12 MSW at FG by 7 ½ lengths; 8th, Feb. 23 Risen Star S. (GII) at FG
Revolutionary (Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano, 10)
5-2-1-2, $188,500; Won Dec. 28 MSW at Aqu by 8 ½ lengths; Won Feb. 2 Withers (GIII) at Aqu
Sunbean (Al Stall Jr., Colby Hernandez, 0-not Triple Crown nominated)
4-3-1-0, $131,769; Won Dec. 31 La. Futurity, Feb. 1 Alw, Feb. 23 Gentilly S. at FG, all against fellow La.-breds
Tiz a Minister (Paul Aguirre, 10)
10-2-4-2, $282,780; Won restricted Jan. 26 California Breeders Champion S. at SA; 3rd, San Felipe (GII) at SA