BATTLE AT SEA SCORES FIRST STAKES WIN IN CRESCENT CITY DERBY; TESTING ONE TWO TAKES CRESCENT CITY OAKS

Battle At Sea_3-24-2018-F
Battle At Sea with Jose Ortiz aboard captures the 46th running of the Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Crescent City Derby
Fair Grounds, 3-24-18, 1 mile 70 yards, $75,000
Accredited Louisiana Breds, Three-year-olds

BATTLE AT SEA
Into Mischief–Mystery At Sea
Breeder: Clear Creek Stud LlLC
Owner: Three Diamonds Farm
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz

2nd
Pound for Pound
Redding Colliery–Buttercup’s Song
Breeder: J. Adcock & B&B Bloodstock
Owner: Israel Flores Horses LLC
Trainer: Jose Grimaldo
Jockey: Florent Geroux

3rd
Gracida
Custom for Carlos–Tensas Wedding Joy
Breeder: Curt Leake & Elm Tree Farm , LLC
Owner: Zedan Racing Stables Inc
Trainer: Doug F. O’Neill
Jockey: Terry J. Thompson

NEW ORLEANS (March 24, 2018) – Three Diamonds Farm’s Battle At Sea successfully transitioned into stakes company with a win in the $75,000 Crescent City Derby against state-bred competition.

 Coming off a gate-to-wire maiden breaking score February 10, the 3-year-old trained by Mike Maker led his foes from start to finish again Saturday with Jose Ortiz aboard.

 “Going into the race, I saw some speed to my inside but when I went to the post parade he was really keen and pulling me,” Ortiz said. “When I got to the lead, he relaxed. I felt like I was going fast but he was relaxed. When I asked him to go, he gave me a little run.”

 Battle At Sea opened up on the field going down the backside after posting splits of 23.28 and 46.69. He shrugged off a challenge from eventual third-place finisher Gracida around the turn, and never relinquished his advantage. He crossed the line 2 1/4 lengths clear of second-place finisher Pound for Pound. The final time was 1:44.90. Double Star rounded out the superfecta. Sent off at 7-1, Battle At Sea paid $17.40, $7.40, $4.80.

 Three Diamonds Farm bought the son of Into Mischief for $55,000 at last year’s OBS March 2-year-olds in training sale. He debuted at Churchill Downs in June only a few months later with a fourth-place finish but did not start again until December 29.

 “He had a little injury at Saratoga so we had to give him some time off,” Maker said. “We were pointing to this meet. He’s a big old horse that wants more ground.”

 That seems to be the case as the Louisiana-bred is now 2-for-2 around two turns.

 Rounding out the field were Double Star, Treys Midnite Moon, Gladyousawme, Grand Luwegee, Uncle Nearis and Ready Prospector.

Testing One Two_3-24-2018-F
Diego Saenz aboard Testing One Two wins the 13th running of the Crescent City Oaks at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Crescent City Oaks
Fair Grounds, 3-24-18, 1 mile 70 yards, $75,000
Accredited Louisiana Breds, Three-year-old fillies

TESTING ONE TWO
Star Guitar–Yes Sir
Breeder: Brittlyn, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Victor Arceneaux
Jockey: Diego Saenz

2nd
Champagne Diva
Tale of the Cat–Wine Diva
Breeder: Becky Winemiller
Owner: Diamond Racing, Inc., Janssen, J., Janssen, J., Camodeca, P. and Camodeca, N.
Trainer: Leo G. Gabriel, Jr.
Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

3rd
Remember Daisy
Misremembered–Very Speightstown
Breeder: Al Ulwelling & Bill Ulwelling
Owner: Al Ulwelling & Bill Ulwelling
Trainer: Gary M. Scherer
Jockey: Mitchell Murrill

 

Earlier on the card, Brittlyn Stable’s Testing One Two made amends in the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks five weeks after a fifth-place finish in the Gr. II Rachel Alexandra Stakes.

 Testing One Two pounced from a stalking position around the far-turn and went clear of her Louisiana-bred competition in the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths. The final time for the 1-mile 70 yards distance was 1:43.21.

 “Last time she wasn’t really prepared for this stretch but she was so game,” said Evelyn Benoit, owner of Brittlyn Stables Inc. “I just hoped she could relax and do her thing today.”

 With her win Saturday, Testing One Two improved her record to four wins from six starts and $199,135 in earnings.

 Jockey Diego Saenz has ridden the filly in each of those starts.

 “All I needed was to have a clear trip and I got it,” Saenz said. “I felt like I had it from the three-eighths pole because I was where I wanted, on the outside, and she finished strong.”

 A daughter of Star Guitar, Testing One Two is a homebred for Evelyn Benoit’s Brittlyn Stable.

 “I didn’t expect this filly to be better than Minit To Stardom, who is undefeated right now, we thought she would be the superhero,” Benoit said.  “I’ve been breeding horses for close to 40 years. Every year Star’s babies are looking great. We’ve had 19 born this so far this year and they look fabulous.”

 The connection between Arceneaux and Benoit dates back to Star Guitar.

 “He actually broke Star Guitar. He was my Kindergarten teacher, and now I gave him the opportunity to be the trainer,” Benoit said. “I have seven or eight trainers right now and I think I’m going add two more. We understand that a lot of people don’t want to come to Louisiana to breed to Star Guitar so we’re going to send them all over. That’s a great way for people to see them.”

 Arceneaux and Benoit noted after the race that Testing One Two be sent out of town in her next start.

 “We’re thinking about the (Gr. II $250,000) Black Eyed Susan (at Pimlico on May 18) next,” Benoit said.

 Rounding out the field are Special Blessing, Saint’s Girl, Tap Dance Star and Thegrayspider.