As the headline event during the fifth of six such Starlight Racing programs in New Orleans this winter, Friday’s allowance and $62,500 optional entering event was contested at six furlongs and offered a purse of $53,000.
Gary and Mary West’s Safe Trip pressed the early pace, took command briefly at the furlong grounds, could not withstand the winner late but proved clearly second best by two lengths, paying $3 and $2.40.
Dan Lynch, Ken Sentel and Merrill Scherer’s Santo Gato made the pace with splits of 22.42 and 45.42 but weakened against the top two in mid-stretch, returning $2.80 for the show position.
Racing resumes on St. Patrick’s Day Saturday at Fair Grounds with an 11-race program that showcases the 2012 debut of reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace in Fair Grounds’ $150,000 New Orleans Ladies. Post time for Saturday’s first race is 12:40 p.m.