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.
In Saturday’s Ladies, Superior Storm made the pace under jockey Robby Albarado, returned a $3.20 straight price and toured the 1 1/16-miles in 1:41.11. The daughter of Stormy Atlantic, who won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie two years ago before annexing last year’s Ladies, has now joined Dixie Poker Ace and Mr. Sulu as the other three-time winners on Champions Day.
“Any time you win, it helps substantiate your belief in your horse,” said trainer Richard Jackson after this renewal of the Ladies, “but the way the track was today, I was a little concerned. She seemed to struggle with it a little bit, but in the end her class stood out.”
Trainer Merrill Scherer saddled the first two finishers under the wire in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile for 2-year-old colts and geldings when Red Rally ($4 under jockey Francisco Torres) bested stablemate Devilish Due by 3 1/ 4-lengths while accomplishing the six furlongs in 1:11.68
“Luckily, the same guy (Dan Lynch) (co)-owns ’em both,” quipped the trainer (and co-owner) after the Juvenile, “so I didn’t get anybody mad at me.”
After winning both races prior to the Juvenile, jockey Robby Albarado was unseated in the post parade for that race and took off his remaining mounts due to lower back soreness.
In the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie for 2-year-old fillies, Carl Moore Management’s Speedacious, trained by Bret Calhoun, quickly gained command and never looked back winning by 12 lengths – largest win margin of the day – got the three-quarter mile distance in 1:11.33 and returned $11.20 to win.
“We’ve been having a little problem breaking (from the gate) before today,” said winning jockey Carlos Gonzalez. “Today she broke great, was running easy, and when I smooched at her a little down the lane she just took off. It all went pretty easy.”
In the $50,000 Starter Handicap Stakes, which began the Thoroughbred portion of the Louisiana Champions Day stakes races, Hardy Farms’ Twilight Ross was the winner under jockey Robby Albarado.
“That’s a nice way to start off Champions Day,” Albarado said at that time. Told that the win was his 13th Champions Day win, breaking him out of a tie with Calvin Borel for most Champions Day winners, Albarado added, “Well, then, that makes it even better.” Twilight Ross paid $3.20 and toured the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:48.57.
Louisiana Champions Day began with three stakes for Louisiana-bred Quarter Horses, with Blue Louisiana Jolla ($19.40) winning the Quarter Horse Classic, Jes A Game ($16.80) taking the Quarter Horse Derby and Game Show Special ($7.80) capturing the Quarter Horse Juvenile.
Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program with a first post time of 12:30 p.m.