Mobile Bay Repeats in Classic Thriller; LA-Breds Impress on Champions Day Card

Submitted by brian.spencer on December 9, 2017

Louisiana Champions Day Classic
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, 1 1/8 Miles
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $150,000

Mobile Bay_12-9-2017-F
Mobile Bay (orange silks) gets a head in front of Grande Basin to score back to back victories in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

MOBILE BAY
Lone Star Special-Tranquility Bay
Breeder: Tigertail Ranch
Owner: Tigertail Ranch
Trainer: Victor Arceneaux
Jockey: Diego Saenz

2nd
Grand Basin
Good and Tough–Silver Rail, by Dispersal
Breeder: Coteau Grove Farms
Owner: William J. Deckwa, Jr., and John Carbo
Trainer: Edward J. Johnston
Jockey: Miguel Mena

3rd
Underpressure
Birdstone–Charming Colleen, by Charismatic
Breeder: James McIngvale
Owner: Mallory Greiner
Trainer: Chris Richard
Jockey Corey J. Lanerie

A 10-month layoff appeared to be no issue for Tigertail Ranch’s Louisiana millionaire Mobile Bay as he successfully defended his title in an epic renewal of the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic when the gutsy iron horse with nine stakes victories outnodded challenger Grande Basin.

Piloted by Diego Saenz and trained by Victor Arceneaux, the 5-year-old son of Lone Star Special broke right on top and separated himself from the remainder of the field throwing down fractions of 24.51, 48.58 and 1:14.24. As the field approached the far turn, Mobile Bay’s leading margins began to slim down as Grande Basin and Underpressure started to inch their way closer to the leader. At the top of the stretch, Saenz called on Mobile Bay for everything he had while jockey Miguel Mena did the same aboard Grande Basin to his inside. Underpressure kept close company but could not quite get involved with the two fighters up front. While it looked like Grande Basin may have gotten the better of his rival, the defending champion would not be denied. Both horses laid their noses right on the wire together resulting in a photo finish that would go to Mobile Bay, who finished the nine furlong trip in a time of 1:51.95.

“I was on the lead and he didn’t want to come back to me,” Saenz said. “I was afraid I was going to get beat because he was a little fresh off the layoff. That was close.”

Mena had no excuses aboard Grande Basin.

Beautiful trip,” Mena said. “I rode him the way I think he likes, but it was just a very tough beat. We lost to one of the best Louisiana-breds out there.”

Mobile Bay brought his lifetime earnings all the way up to $1,096,440 after his second straight Louisiana Champions Day Classic win. Other stakes victories of his include a win in the Grade II Super Derby in 2015 as well as triumphs against open company in the Zia Park Derby and Sunland Park Handicaps at their namesake courses. He returned $3.20, $2.60 and $2.10 while Grande Basin and Underpressure returned $5.40, $3 and $2.20, respectively.

Mobile Bay joins Blissful Union (1991-92), Magnify (1997-98), Costa Rising (2006-07), Star Guitar (2009-11) and Sunbean (2013-14) as the only horses to score multiple victories in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

Mageez and One King’s Man completed the running order.

 

Louisiana Champions Day Sprint
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, 6 furlongs
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $100,000

Stand Him Up_12-9-2017-ur
Hay Hollow Stables’s Stand Him Up captures the Louisiana Champions day Sprint at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

STAND HIM UP
Time Bandit–Taffy Davenport, by Miswaki
Breeder: Hay Hollow Racing Stable LLC
Owner: Hay Hollow Racing Stable LLC
Trainer: Howard Alonzo
Jockey: Gabriel Saez

2nd
Just Kissing Back
Limehouse–Just Kissing, by Kissin Kris
Breeder: Forrest Lanning, Kelly Turner & Tresa Snow
Owner:  Kim C. White
Trainer: Dale White, Sr.
Jockey: Diego Saenz

3rd
Hunker Down
Musket Man–My Friend Bele, by My Friend Max
Breeder: Jo Ann Thompson
Owner: Double Dam Farm LLC
Trainer: Delmar R. Caldwell
Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

Hay Hollow Racing Stables’ Stand Him Up ($5.20, $3.60, $3.40) pulled off a hat trick when winning the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint by 1¼ lengths in a final time of 1:11.03. Ridden by Gabriel Saez and trained by Howard Alonzo, the son of Time Bandit came into the race off of a victory against allowance company at Evangeline Downs in August and a win on Opening Day in the Heitai Stakes.

Breaking from the gate, Stand Him Up sat just a half-length off the pace controlled by Jockamo’s Song who set fractions of 22.76, 46.73. Approaching the top of the stretch, Stand Him Up took command, headed and passed the leader and held off 24-1 longshot Just Kissing Buck ($17 and $10.80) while Hunker Down ($11.40) took the show spot, another three-quarters of a length back.

“He’s an awesome horse,” Saez said. “Every time I get on him he gives me 100%, and I was glad that a couple horses went to the front end. When it was time to come around and make our move, he finished up running.”

Stand Him Up collected $60,000 from his Sprint victory, which brought his career earnings up to $208,460 in his seventh career win in 14 lifetime starts.

Jockamo’s Song, Nubin Ridge, My Friend Flavin, Double Barrel Man, Philly and Outofthisgalaxycompleted the order of finish.

 

Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, 6 furlongs
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Fillies and Mares, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $100,000

My Miss Chiff_12-9-2017-F
My Miss Chiff with Mitchell Murrill aboard wins the LA Champions Day Ladies Sprint at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

MY MISS CHIFF
Into Mischief–Carl’s Frosty Girl, by Pulling Punches
Breeder: Steve E. Holliday
Owner: Town and Country Racing, LLC
Trainer: Albert M. Stall, Jr.
Jockey: Mitchell Murrill

 2nd
Look Into My Eyes
City Zip–Burnished Miss, by Wild Again
Breeder: Robert McDowell & Bethe Deal
Owner: Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti
Trainer: Efren Loza, Jr.
Jockey: Robby Albarado
3rd
Wheatfield
Lone Star Special–Thistle Bear, by Gators N Bears
Breeder: Tigertail Ranch
Owner: Tigertail Ranch
Trainer: Danny Pish
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Town and Country LLC’s My Miss Chiff ($4.40, $3 and $2.10) kept an undefeated streak over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track alive when she won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, her fourth victory in as many starts over the New Orleans oval.

Ridden by Mitchell Murrill and trained by Al Stall, Jr., the daughter of Into Mischief’s wins at the Fair Grounds include a maiden win in January and a March allowance victory, both against statebreds, as well as her triumph last out in the Happy Ticket Stakes on Opening Day.

Breaking from the gate, Murrill took My Miss Chiff back to third as Elektracutioner dictated the pace up front through fractions of 21.86 and 45.56. Approaching the top of the stretch, My Miss Chiff began to gain on the tiring pacesetter and took command to win the race by three-quarters of a length over Look Into My Eyes ($5.80 and $3.20), who was  3½ lengths clear of Wheatfield ($2.10) in third.

“We got the trip we wanted,” Murrill said. “We sat outside. She does her own thing and then just takes me right back to the wire.”

My Miss Chiff scored her fourth victory in six lifetime starts and boosted her earnings to $159,660.

Play Unified, Dr Liz, Bitsy’s C C, Discreetly Grand, Elektracutioner, Sunny Oak and Fairwell Tax Breakcompleted the order of finish.

 

Louisiana Champions Day Lassie
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, 6 furlongs
Two-Year-Old Fillies, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $100,000

Minit To Stardom_12-8-2017-F
Minit to Stardom with Colby Hernandez aboard wins thd 27th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

MINIT TO STARDOM
Star Guitar–Wild About Marie, by Wildcat Heir
Breeder: Brittlyn Stables, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Albert M. Stall, Jr.
Jockey: Colby J.Hernandez

2nd
Sarah’s Holy Belle
El Corredor–My Holy Belle, by Holy Bull
Breeder: Perform Stables Inc.
Owner: Perform Stables Inc.
Trainer: Ricky Courville
Jockey: Chantal Sutherland

3rd:
Girls Life
Colonel John–Saucey Officer, by Officer
Breeder: Georgia Farms Inc
Owner: Brad Raney
Trainer: Karl Broberg
Jockey: Ashley Broussard

Brittlyn Stable’s Minit To Stardom ($3, $2.60 and $2.10) proved herself to be a worthy 1-2 favorite in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie, winning the six-furlong event by an emphatic 7¼ lengths. Guided to victory by Colby Hernandez and trained by Al Stall, Jr., the daughter of Louisiana living legend Star Guitar broke sharply and sat just to the outside of pacesetters Tigertail Ranch’s Cool Spring and stablemate Andthebandplayedon who set opening fractions of 22.10 and 46.38 Around the far turn, Minit To Stardom cruised to the front without being asked and began to open up on the field. Hernandez shook the reins a few times in the stretch as the filly completed the trip in 1:12.18.

Perform Stables Inc.’s Sarah’s Holy Belle ($9.80 and $6) closed to get second, 1¼ lengths ahead of Brad Raney’s Girls Life ($6.80) in third.

“She’s a really nice filly,” Hernandez said. “She’ll do anything you ask her to, but I didn’t have to ask her to do much.”

The Louisiana Champions Day Lassie was Minit To Stardom’s first stakes victory in only her second career start. She made her career debut a winning one by 5¼ lengths on Opening Day in a state-bred maiden special weight. The victory elevated her lifetime earnings to $84,600.

Yes Gorgeous, Cool Spring, Andthebandplayedon, She’screative and Just A Bandit completed the order of finish.  

 

Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, 6 furlongs
Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $100,000

Greeley Went West_12-9-2017-ho.jpg

GREELEY WENT WEST
El Corredor–So Well Read, by Read the Footnotes
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson
Owner: Phyllis J. Hodges and Randy Schiender
Trainer: James E. Hodges
Jockey: James Graham

2nd
Divine Bean
Star Guitar–Good Human Bean, by Langfuhr
Breeder: Brittlyn, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Albert M. Stall, Jr.
Jockey: Colby J. Hernandez

3rd
Cajun Creed
Jimmy Creed–Surprise Squall, by Stephen Got Even
Breeder: Danny M. Brown & Donna B. Brown
Owner: Horseplayers Racing Club LLC
Trainer: Danny Pish
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Phyllis J. Hodges and Randy Schiender’s Greeley Went West ($15, $7 and $4.20) out-dueled Brittlyn Stable’s stubborn Divine Bean ($3.60, $2.80) in the stretch to take the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes by a length in a time of 1:11.76.

Trained by James Hodges and ridden to victory by James Graham, the son of El Corredor remained undefeated in two starts, the first of which was a win against state-bred maidens at Louisiana Downs in September. Graham kept Greeley Went West off the pace commanded by Divine Bean who set opening fractions of 21.96, 46.07 and 58.60 before unsuccessfully fighting off a challenge from the eventual winner. Horseplayer Racing Club’s Cajun Creed ($3) took the show spot another length back.

“He broke sharp and I put him in a good spot,” Graham said. “When I picked him up he sprinted home. He went after them a little sooner than I wanted to, but halfway around the turn I said, ‘Man, I’ve got a little bit of pony.’”

The first time gelding enhanced his career earnings to $73,200.

Ready Prospector, Pound For Pound, Prayer Boy, Exigent and Uncle Herbie completed the order of finish.

 

 

Louisiana Champions Day Ladies 
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, @ 1 1/16 miles, turf
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Fillies and Mares, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $100,000

Inveniam Viam_12-9-2017
Inveniam Viam with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboar captures the 27th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

INVENIAM VIAM
Half Ours–Haliburton Honey, by Regal Classic
Breeder: Paul E Mullen
Owner: Allied Racing Stable, LLC
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan

2nd
Pacific Pink
Private Vow–Truly Romantic, by Robyn Dancer
Breeder: Brandon Adcock
Owner: Keith Plaisance
Trainer: Edward J. Johnston
Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

3rd
Mr. Al’s Gal
Salute the Sarge–Spanish Ice, by Spanish Steps
Breeder: J. Adcock & Neal McFadden
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Justin Jeansonne
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Louisiana Champions Day Turf 
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, @ 1 1/16 miles, turf
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $100,000
Extra Credit_12-9-2017-A-SM
Extra Credit (lime green silks) wins the Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir
EXTRA CREDIT
Proud Citizen–Sunny Isles, by Stormy Atlantic
Breeder: Richard Klein & Bertram Klein
Owner: Klein Racing
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan

2nd
Fort Pulaski
Any Given Saturday–Jazznwithcandy, by Jambalaya Jazz
Breeder: Tigertail Ranch
Owner: Tigertail Ranch
Trainer: Danny Pish
Jockey: Jose Valdivia, Jr.
3rd
Trust Factor
Paddy O’Prado–Mainsail, byMizzen Mast
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Scrivener Stables
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Jockey: Robby Albarado
Louisiana Champions Day Starter Handicap
Fair Grounds, 12-9-17, @ 1  miles, turf
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Breds
Purse: $50,000
Well's Gold_12-8-2017
Well’s Gold with Miguel Mena aboard wins the La Champions Day Starter Handicap Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir
WELL’S GOLD
Gold Tribute-Lucky Buck’s Baby, by Spend A Buck
Breeder: J. Weldon Granger
Owner: James DeSoto
Trainer: F. Dewaine Loy
Jockey: Miguel Mena
2nd
Southern Mister
Yonaguska-Vicki’s Valentine, by Mi Selecto
Breeder: Mark W. Necaise
Owner: Darque Horse Racing LLC
Trainer: Eduardo Ramirez
Jockey: Kerwin Clark
3rd
Thunderberg
Teuflesberg-LIttle Rainmaker, by Thunder Gulch
Breeder: P & D Racing Stables
Owner: P & D Racing Stables
Trainer: Dana Whited
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Mobile Bay Back to Defend LA Champions Day Classic

Louisiana Champions Day features seven stakes races worth total of $750,000.

 

If Mobile Bay can race well off an extended layoff, the grade 2 winner looks well-positioned to register a second straight Louisiana Champions Day Classic Stakes win Dec. 9 at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots.

The $150,000 Classic is the most lucrative race on a card that features six other black-type stakes for Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds. Those seven stakes will offer total purses of $750,000.

Tigertail Ranch homebred Mobile Bay closed out his 2016 season with a 4 3/4-length romp in last year’s Louisiana Champions Day Classic then opened 2017 with a clear victory in the LA Bred Premier Night Championship Stakes Feb. 11. at Delta Downs. But the son of Lone Star Special has not raced since picking up the eighth stakes win of his career in that February test.

Winner of the 2015 Super Derby (G2), Mobile Bay will carry high weight of 124 pounds in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile race. He enters the race off a strong work pattern for trainer Victor Arceneaux, including a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 1:00 1/5 Dec. 2 at Evangeline Downs.

In the six other stakes:

  • Juvenile fillies will get the day started in the $100,000 Lassie Stakes, where Brittlyn Stable homebred Minit to Stardom (Star Guitar ) will try to make the class jump from impressive debut maiden winner to stakes winner when she makes her second career start in the six-furlong test.
  • In the Ladies Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, Allied Racing Stable’s Invenian Viam (Half Ours ) will try for a second straight win on the course after taking the Si Cima overnight stakes Nov. 18.
  • In the 1 1/16-mile Turf, Scrivener Stables’ Trust Factor (Paddy O’Prado) will try for his second stakes win of the season. He enters with a win or runner-up finish in each of his past four starts.
  • In the six-furlong Juvenile, Brittlyn Stable again figures prominently with a Star Guitar 2-year-old entered off an impressive maiden debut win in Divine Bean.
  • In the Sprint, at six furlongs, Dare to Dream Stable’s Jockamo’s Song (Half Ours) will try to secure a third straight stakes victory.
  • Closing out the day will be the six-furlong Ladies Sprint where Town and Country Racing’s My Miss Chiff (Into Mischief ) enters off a clear victory in the Happy Ticket Stakes.

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY LASSIE S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 5

  • STK
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 3:05 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Cool Spring (LA) Florent Geroux 117 Danny Pish 8/1
2 2Girls Life (LA) Ashley Broussard 122 Karl Broberg 8/1
3 3Sarah’s Holy Belle (LA) Chantal Sutherland 117 Ricky Courville 8/1
4 4Andthebandplayedon (LA) Corey J. Lanerie 122 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 7/2
5 5Yes Gorgeous (LA) Jose Valdivia, Jr. 122 Scott Gelner 4/1
6 6Minit to Stardom (LA) Colby J. Hernandez 122 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 5/2
7 7Just a Bandit (LA) Kerwin D. Clark 122 Allen Landry 10/1
8 8She’screative (LA) Jansen Melancon 122 J. R. Caldwell 10/1

 

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY LADIES S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 6

  • STK
  • About 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 3:35 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Mr. Al’s Gal (LA) Diego Saenz 115 Justin Jeansonne 4/1
2 2Seaside Candy (LA) Colby J. Hernandez 118 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 8/1
3 3Pera (LA) Chantal Sutherland 118 Ricky Courville 15/1
4 4Safari Calamari (LA) Jose Valdivia, Jr. 118 Ron Faucheux 8/1
5 5Inveniam Viam (LA) Shaun Bridgmohan 122 Brad H. Cox 5/2
6 6Dontmesswithjoanne (LA) Florent Geroux 115 Brad H. Cox 3/1
7 7Tenpins Tempo (LA) Ashley Broussard 115 Lee Thomas 20/1
8 8Calamity Jane (LA) Miguel Mena 118 Edward J. Johnston 10/1
9 9Pacific Pink (LA) Corey J. Lanerie 118 Edward J. Johnston 10/1

 

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY TURF S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 8

  • STK
  • About 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up
  • 4:35 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Hail to the Nile (LA) Corey J. Lanerie 118 Sturges J. Ducoing 10/1
2 2Who Datawaki (LA) Chantal Sutherland 118 Lee Thomas 20/1
3 3Jack Snipe’s (LA) Florent Geroux 119 Gary M. Scherer 12/1
4 4Trust Factor (LA)Keeneland Sales Graduate Robby Albarado 122 Michael J. Maker 8/5
5 5Gentlmens Agrement (LA) Colby J. Hernandez 118 Leo G. Gabriel, Jr. 8/1
6 6Fort Pulaski (LA) Jose Valdivia, Jr. 122 Danny Pish 3/1
7 7Impressive Student (LA) Jamie Theriot 115 Joe O. Duhon 15/1
8 8Extra Credit (LA) Shaun Bridgmohan 118 Brad H. Cox 5/1
9 9Harbor Pilot (LA) Gerard Melancon 118 Scott Gelner 15/1

 

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY JUVENILE S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 9

  • STK
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 2 yo
  • 5:05 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Pound for Pound (LA) Eddie Martin, Jr. 122 Jose Grimaldo 8/1
2 2Prayer Boy (LA) Kerwin D. Clark 122 Allen Landry 20/1
3 3Ready Prospector (LA) Gerard Melancon 122 Oscar Modica 4/1
4 4Uncle Herbie (LA) Jamie Theriot 122 Tracy A. Norris 30/1
5 5Divine Bean (LA) Colby J. Hernandez 122 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 7/2
6 6Cajun Creed (LA)Keeneland Sales Graduate Florent Geroux 122 Danny Pish 9/2
7 7Greeley Went West (LA) James Graham 122 James E. Hodges 8/1
8 8Singing Deacon (LA) Aubrie Green 122 James E. Hodges 8/1
9 9Exigent (LA) Miguel Mena 122 W. Bret Calhoun 6/1
10 10Aceguitar (LA) Ted D. Gondron 122 Danny Pish 6/1

 

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY CLASSIC S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 10

  • STK
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo’s & up
  • 5:35 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1One King’s Man (LA) Gerard Melancon 118 F. Dewaine Loy 20/1
2 2Mageez (LA) Mitchell Murrill 118 Delmar R. Caldwell 5/1
3 3Mobile Bay (LA) Diego Saenz 124 Victor Arceneaux 5/2
4 4Classy Bird (LA) Eddie Martin, Jr. 118 Lonnie Briley 12/1
5 5Seaside Candy (LA) Colby J. Hernandez 115 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 6/1
6 6Grande Basin (LA) Miguel Mena 118 Edward J. Johnston 5/1
7 7Underpressure (LA) Corey J. Lanerie 121 Chris Richard 4/1
8 8Extra Credit (LA) Shaun Bridgmohan 118 Brad H. Cox 5/1

 

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY SPRINT S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 11

  • STK
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up
  • 6:05 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Hunker Down (LA) Corey J. Lanerie 118 Delmar R. Caldwell 12/1
2 2Philly (LA) Colby J. Hernandez 118 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 12/1
3 3Stand Him Up (LA) Gabriel Saez 120 Howard Alonzo 7/2
4 4Jockamo’s Song (LA) Gerard Melancon 120 Michael Stidham 5/2
5 5Just Kissing Buck (LA) Diego Saenz 118 Dale White, Sr. 8/1
6 6Nubin Ridge (LA) Ashley Broussard 118 Alan Klanfer 4/1
7 7Biblical Strength (LA) Mitchell Murrill 118 Jason H. Meaux 20/1
8 8My Friend Flavin (LA) Robby Albarado 118 Leo G. Gabriel, Jr. 8/1
9 9Outofthisgalaxy (LA) Kerwin D. Clark 120 John Rannie Ladner 15/1
10 10Double Barrel Man (LA) Shaun Bridgmohan 118 Lee Thomas 12/1

 

ENTRIES: LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY LADIES SPRINT S.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, December 09, 2017, Race 12

  • STK
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 6:35 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Sunny Oak (LA) Corey J. Lanerie 118 Edward J. Johnston 9/2
2 2Dr Liz (LA) Chantal Sutherland 116 Ricky Courville 50/1
3 3Discreetly Grand (LA) James Graham 118 Morris G. Nicks 20/1
4 4My Miss Chiff (LA) Mitchell Murrill 116 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 9/5
5 5Play Unified (LA)Keeneland Sales Graduate Miguel Mena 118 W. Bret Calhoun 20/1
6 6Bitsy’s C C (LA) Ashley Broussard 116 Sam B. David, Jr. 15/1
7 7Elektracutioner (LA) Jose Valdivia, Jr. 116 Ray Sibille 12/1
8 8Wheatfield (LA) Florent Geroux 118 Danny Pish 2/1
9 9Fairwell Tax Break (LA) Gabriel Saez 118 Howard Alonzo 20/1
10 10Look Into My Eyes (LA)Keeneland Sales Graduate Robby Albarado 118 Efren Loza, Jr. 6/1

Two Scholarships Will Be Awarded At Louisiana Champions Day

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Louisiana Champions Day will take place on Saturday, December 9, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, La. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award a total of two scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Spring 2018.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must be present to win at the Winner’s Circle when the announcement is made.
  • Must have college ID and government issued ID.
For Louisiana Champions Day:
  • Registration: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the designated booth.
  • Races begin: 12:30 p.m.
  • Drawing time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race.The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
Louisiana Champions Day is Louisiana’s rendering of the Breeders’ Cup, the Louisiana Champions Day brings together the top Thoroughbreds to compete in the stakes that carry a total purse of $1.1 million. Three Quarter Horse and eight Thoroughbred races will lead up to the day’s highlight – the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic. Post time is at 12:30 pm.
Louisiana Champions Day Stakes Races (Louisiana Bred)
  • $50,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY HANDICAP STAKES 3YOIUP 1 MILE* (T)
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY QH JUVENILE STAKES- GRADE II 2YO 3 50 YARDS
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY QH DERBY- GRADE Ill 3YO 400 YARDS
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY QH CLASSIC -GRADE II 4YO/UP 440 YARDS $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY LADIES TURF 3YO/UP FILLIES & MARES 1 1/16 MILES* (T)
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY JUVENILE 2YO 6 FURLONGS
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY SPRINT 3YOIUP 6 FURLONGS
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY LADIES SPRINT 3YO/UP FILLIES & MARES 6 FURLONGS
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY LASSIE 2YO FILLIES 6 FURLONGS
  • $150,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY CLASSIC 3YOIUP 1 1/8 MILES
  • $100,000 LA CHAMPIONS DAY TURF 3YO/UP 1 1/16MILES* (T)
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots is the third oldest race track in North America, and has been hosting horse racing events since 1872. Located in the mid-city area of New Orleans, it is warmly referred to as New Orleans Fair Grounds. The race track is conveniently situated about 10 minutes from the Central Business District and French Quarter and 20 minutes from New Orleans International Airport.
In true Louisiana racing tradition, the track offers not only first-class thoroughbred stakes, such as the Louisiana Derby, but also slot betting, making it a winner’s paradise. The track features a dirt oval track with a total circumference of one mile, as well as a seven-furlong turf course. One mile races start and finish at the sixteenth pole to prevent a short run towards the first turn. The distance from the last turn to the finish line measures 1.346 feet.
History of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
  • Founded in 1852 as the Union Race Course, the race track was forced to shut after just five years, due to stiff competition from the Metairie Course.
  • In 1859 the track reopened, this time as the ‘Creole Race Course’.
  • It became officially known as Fair Grounds in 1863, with the first race taking place in 1872.
  • Under the gambling regulation of New Orleans, the track was forced to terminate horse racing from 1908 to 1915.
  • Later on, in 1919, disaster struck the race track when a fire destroyed the grandstand.
  • By 1971, Fair Grounds had experienced enough track highlights to open its own ‘Hall of Fame’. William Lee Shoemaker, Marion H. Van Berg and John Letellier were some of the first jockeys and prominent names in horse racing to be inducted alongside thoroughbred champions Tenacious, Tippity Witchet and Monarchist.
  • In 2004,Churchill Downs Incorporated took on ownership of the track and providing new investment for development.
  • Following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a new grandstand and clubhouse were opened in 1997.
For more information, please call 1-800-772-1195 or visit louisianabred.com.

Fair Grounds Wooden Jockey Project

December 1, 2017

Dear Horsemen,

We are very excited to have everyone back at Fair Grounds. We will once again be selling the rights to have your silks painted on our wooden jockeys for the 2017-2018 Thoroughbred Race Meet. All proceeds will benefit our backside as we are working very hard to improve the life of our backside workers. This is a fun way to showcase your silks and to give back to the racing community. However, due to limited quantity this will be first come first served. Each wooden jockey is $350. Please email or call if you are interested.

Thank you,

Paige Albarado

Paige Albarado | Horsemen’s Relations

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots |  A Churchill Downs Company

E:  Paige.Albarado@fgno.com  |  P:  504.948.1150  |  M:  504.875.6058

1751 Gentilly Blvd.  New Orleans, LA 70119

Geroux ‘Ready For A Big Season,’ Preparing For Title Defense At Fair Grounds

by | 11.18.2017 | 5:06pm
Florent Geroux on Gun Runner

Two-time defending Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots champion jockey Florent Geroux is ready for an attempt at the hat trick and is stacked with seven rides on the 10-race opening day card. The native of Normandy, France, is fresh off the biggest win in his career when guiding Fair Grounds-based 2016 Louisiana Derby winner Gun Runner to victory in the Grade I $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Said victory made the Three Chimneys Farm and Winchell Thoroughbreds-owned and Steve Asmussen-trained son of Candy Ride the likely Horse of the Year for 2017. 

“I’m ready for a big season, hopefully, and I feel good,” Geroux said. “The Classic was an amazing experience, but that is the past and now I look forward to the next race, not only with Gun Runner, but with every horse. Every race is important and I’m ready to ride hard no matter where I’m riding.

“I think I come in with the same confidence as the last few years,” Geroux continued. “When you ride the right horses in a good spot, you’re in good shape and hopefully that happens. Today I’m pretty confident. There are a few horses I have never ridden, but I have been on Wheatfield and Don’tmesswithjoanne and they both are good fillies. I also think Trust Factor will be tough. All of my horses have good chances and I look forward to today and the rest of the meet.”

Going into Saturday’s card, Geroux has 159 victories in 2017, has struck at 18% and garnered purses just under $13.5 million. In the last category, he is ranked seventh in the nation in purses, with only Jose Ortiz, Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz Jr., Mike Smith, John Velazquez and Joel Rosario ahead of him.

Last season, Geroux earned 98 victories, demolishing his competition by a 37-win gap back to Robby Albarado. The year prior, 2015-16, it was a 21-win gap back to Mitchell Murrill when earning 87 victories.

Opening Day Card At Fair Grounds Features Four Louisiana-Bred Stakes

Saturday’s Opening Day card at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots includes four overnight stakes restricted to Louisiana-breds that will serve as preps for Louisiana Champions Day presented by Acadian Ambulance Service on Dec. 9. First post on Opening Day is 3 p.m.

Scrivener Stables’ Trust Factor heads a field of ten in the $50,000 Mr. Sulu Overnight after capturing an easy win at Keeneland against open first-level allowance company on Oct. 14. The 4-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado landed a stakes event at Louisiana Downs in July for trainer Mike Maker and will be piloted by last season’s leading rider Florent Geroux from post three. Valene Farms’ 2016 Louisiana Champions Day Turf winner Hail to the Nile will use the Mr. Sulu to prep in advance of that race when he breaks from post 10 under Francisco Torres. The 6-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile returns for his first start since April for trainer Sturges Ducoing.

Fort Pulaski (Jose Valdivia, Jr., rail), Extra Credit (Shaun Bridgmohan, post two), Mageez (Mitchell Murrill, post four), Gallery (Edwin Gonzalez, post five), Culp’s Hill (Gabriel Saez, post six), Thunderberg (Chantal Sutherland, post seven), Fee Do (James Graham, post eight) and Jack Snipe’s (Miguel Mena, post nine) complete the Mr. Sulu field.

One race later, Keith Plaisance will seek a big Opening Day victory when his Sunny Oak leads the charge in the $50,000 Happy Ticket Overnight. Eddie Johnston trains the 4-year-old daughter of Giant Oak who has not been seen since Aug. 5 when easily handling stakes company at Louisiana Downs. Miguel Mena will ride from post four as the filly looks to eclipse the $300,000 mark in career earnings, entering the race just $120 shy of that milestone. Her main threat may come in the form of Tigertail Ranch’s Danny Pish-trained Wheatfield. A 5-year-old daughter of Lone Star Special, Wheatfield has been a constant presence in stakes company and has tried graded stakes spots five times since finishing second in the Mardi Gras Stakes here on Feb. 28. Florent Geroux has the call from post two.

Fairwell Tax Break (Francisco Torres, rail), Ramona’s Wildcat (Jack Gilligan, post three), Naughty Little Nun (Marcelino Pedroza, post five), Million Dollar Day (Colby Hernandez, post six), Half a Go Go (Chantal Sutherland, post seven), Look Into My Eyes (Jesus Rios, post eight), My Miss Chiff (Mitchell Murrill, post nine), Play Unified (Gabriel Saez, post 10), Jo Jo’s Wine (Jose Valdivia, Jr., post 11) and Lady Lutie (Jose Guerrero, post 12) complete the field.

Trainer Brad Cox will hold an impressive hand in the $50,000 Si Cima Overnight when he sends out two of the likely favorites in Zayat Stables’ Dontmesswithjoanne and Allied Racing Stable’s Inveniam Viam. The former, a sophomore daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, cleared her open first-level allowance condition by a nose in her most recent start, and prior to that had finished fast to cross the wire sixth, beaten just 3¾ lengths, in the Grade III Pucker Up at Arlington. Florent Geroux, aboard for her win last out, will retain the mount from post 11. The latter, a 5-year-old Half Ours mare, rattled off four wins in a row after being claimed for $20,000 locally in January, including a minor stakes event at Ellis Park and will look to bounce back off a flat showing at Keeneland. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride from post three.

Wind Chill Factor (Mitchell Murrill, rail), Pera (Chantal Sutherland, post two), Vivacious V. V. (Gabriel Saez, post four), Pacific Pink (Colby Hernandez, post five), Big Game Baby (Gerardo Mora, post six), Safari Calamari (Jose Valdivia, Jr., post seven), Temple Shadow (Sophie Doyle, post eight), Bermuda Star (Diego Saenz, post nine), Smiley Briley (Jamie Theriot, post 10), Calamity Jane (Miguel Mena, post 12), Reine des Animaux (Francisco Torres, post 13) and Discreetly Grand (James Graham, post 14) round out the field.

In the day’s final stakes event, Whispering Oaks Farm’s Eden Grey’s Kitten will look to transfer his reliable turf form over to the main track in the $50,000 Heitai Overnight. The 5-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy is a multiple stakes winner on the grass for trainer Steve Flint, but has only started once in his career on the main track – a fourth-place finish going a mile on the main track in February 2015. Florent Geroux will ride from post six.

King Bandit (James Graham, rail), Icy Gentleman (Francisco Torres, post two), Wonder Run (Steve Bourque, post three), John’s Luck (Mitchell Murrill, post four), Philly (Colby Hernandez, post five), Stand Him Up (Gabriel Saez, post seven), Grande Basin (Miguel Mena, post eight), Sir Genghis (Shaun Bridgmohan, post nine), Made to Fit (Jose Valdivia, Jr., post 10) and Biblical Strength (Gerardo Mora, post 11) complete the field.

Two Scholarships Will Be Awarded At Louisiana Champions Day

Two Scholarships Will Be Awarded At Louisiana Champions Day
(New Orleans, La.) – Louisiana Champions Day will take place on Saturday, December 9, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, La. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award a total of two scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
·      Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Spring 2018.
·      Must be in good standing with the college or university.
·      Must be present to win at the Winner’s Circle when the announcement is made.
·      Must have college ID and government issued ID.
Louisiana Champions Day Scholarship Registration Schedule:
Registration: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the designated booth.
Races begin: 12:30 p.m.
Drawing time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race.
The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
For more information, please call 1-800-772-1195 or visit louisianabred.com.

Fair Grounds to Host 57 Stakes Worth $6.69 Million in 146th Thoroughbred Season

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has announced a comprehensive stakes schedule with 57 stakes worth more than $6.69 million for the 146th Thoroughbred racing season at the New Orleans oval. Opening Day is slated for Saturday, Nov. 18 and will include four overnight stakes.

The stakes schedule will mirror several past seasons with a major focus on big event days, including the meet’s centerpiece, Louisiana Derby Day, which will again include eight stakes worth $2.36 million, highlighted by the 105thrunning of the Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 24. The Grade II $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks, the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap and the Grade II $300,000 Muniz Memorial will also be run the same day along with four additional undercard stakes.

Leading into the Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds will also host a pair of major stakes days designed as part of The Road to the Kentucky Derby, beginning with Road to the Derby Kickoff Day presented by Hotel Monteleone on Jan. 13. The Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes will be the first race on the Fair Grounds stakes schedule to offer qualifying points for the Grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. The Grade III $125,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap and the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes will complement the afternoon’s action alongside three other undercard stakes.

Five weeks later on Feb. 17, the track will host Louisiana Derby Preview Day presented by Lamarque Ford Lincoln. The day’s highlight will be the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes that will offer qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby and will also include the Grade II $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, the Grade III $150,000 Mineshaft Handicap and the Grade III $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap.

Another mainstay on the Fair Grounds Stakes Schedule, Louisiana Champions Day presented by Acadian Ambulance Service, will be held for the 27th time on Dec. 9. The day will feature 11 stakes races across varying divisions restricted to Louisiana-breds worth a total of $1.1 million.

Two new overnight stakes races will be held in honor of local mainstays who passed away in 2017. The $50,000 Richard R. Scherer Memorial Overnight Stakes will be held Dec. 2 for fillies and mares at 5½ furlongs on the turf, and the Nelson J. Menard Memorial Overnight Stakes will be run at the same distance for older fillies and mares on March 10.

The complete 2017-2018 stakes schedule can be found at: https://www.fairgroundsracecourse.com/racing-wagering/stakes.

Grade 1 Winner Bonapaw Euthanized

Grade 1 Winner Bonapaw Euthanized
Photo: Rick Capone

Bonapaw at Old Friends

Grade 1-winning sprinter Bonapaw was euthanized July 7 at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Ky., due to complications caused by the equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. He was 21.

Bonapaw (Sabona—Pawlova, Nijinsky II) was nothing short of a Cinderella horse for his owners, Louisiana-based twin brothers Dennis and James Richard, who purchased the bay gelding as a yearling for $6,500 at the 1997 Keeneland September sale. Bonapaw took his owners far and wide. He captured 18 of 49 starts and earned more than $1.1 million.

He broke his maiden as a 2-year old at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and over the years became the pride of the track, where he won five stakes.

Bonapaw’s first graded stakes victory came in 2001 at Oaklawn Park, where he won the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3). In 2002, at the age of 6, he journeyed to the United Arab Emirates for a chance at the group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, where he ran sixth. He then captured the Hanshin Cup Handicap (G3) at Arlington International Race Course before he won the grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park.

His Vosburg win encouraged the Richard brothers to invest a $90,000 supplemental fee to enter Bonapaw in the NAPA Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Arlington, but he finished 10th in a field that included Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and winner Orientate  .

Retired from racing in 2005, he was donated to Old Friends in 2009 by James Richard Jr.

“We are so grateful to have had these years with Bonapaw,” said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. “He was a great racehorse, and he meant so much to his owners, as well as all of his many fans. Jamie (Richard) even donated Bonapaw’s Vosburgh trophy to us, and we will cherish it always.”

Shaun Bridgmohan Lands Career Win 3,000

Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan joined an elite group on Saturday, April 1st, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The 37-year-old Spanish Town, Jamaica, native earned his 3,000th victory when   guiding Allied Racing Stable’s Brad Cox-trained Inveniam Viam to victory in the day’s first race.

Bridgmohan earned his first win in August of 1997 at Calder Race Course and has ridden the likes of Grade I horses PyroNoble BirdRoom ServiceJ. B.’s ThunderMajesticperfectionKodiak KowboyPeeping TomBrutally FrankEvening AttireAlexander TangoVolponiMidnight LuteGiant Oak,Appealing Zophieand Student Council. Bridgmohan has won 93 graded stakes, including 16 at the Grade I level

In 1998, Bridgmohan won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey and in 2014 was second in the Kentucky Derby with Commanding Curve, while also placing in Breeders’ Cup race four times. In his career he boasts just above a 15% strike rate, while finishing in the money 42% of the time, with career earnings approaching $126 million.

“This one feels really good,” Bridgmohan said. “Especially to do it for a trainer I’ve had a really great meet with. To get to that point means a lot. The day started off good and hopefully it carries through.”