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.”

Grande Basin Wins Star Guitar Stakes

Grande Basin_F_4-2-2017
Grande Basin, with Miguel Mena aboard, out runs Mageez in the 8th running of the Star Guitar Stakes at the Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

Star Guitar Stakes
Fair Grounds, 4-2-17, 8.5f (dirt)
4yo/up, Purse $60,000

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

Musket Man–Spaseeba, by Spectacular Bid
Owner: Double Dam Farm LLC
Breeder: James A. Mcgehee Jr.
Trainer: Delmar R. Caldwell
Jockey: Mitchell Murrill

Sir Genghis
Tale of the Cat–Staria, by Unbridled’s Song
Owner: Gillian and Kirk L. Harri
Breeder: Randel Stutes
Trainer: Kirk Harris
Jockey: Kerwin D. Clark

Plaisance, Cox, Geroux Secure Meet Titles; Honorable Duty Named Horse of the Meet

Owner Keith Plaisance, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux have secured championship titles at the 2016-17 Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots meet.

Fourteen victories propelled Keith Plaisance to his first meet title at the Fair Grounds, just nosing out defending champion Midwest Thoroughbreds by one victory. His pink and white silks struck at 26%, with 52% finishing in the top three and earning $330,590. Plaisance’s performance was well clear of his nine-win total last season and one better than his 13 victories two seasons ago. His top horses included Pacific Pink, Taleoftheprincess, Sunny Oak, Calamity Jane and My Pal Torres, while his horses were trained by Eddie Johnston and Michelle Lovell.

After finishing fourth last season with 28 wins, the Brad Cox barn went on a tear during the 2016-17 meet, winning 43 races and finishing eight clear of Joe Sharp, whose $1,525,360 was tops among conditioners. Winning his first Fair Grounds title, the Louisville native struck at a smart 28% and was 62% in the money, while his horses earned $1,284,270. Assisted locally by Ricky Giannini, the burgeoning barn won at nearly every level, highlighted three-time meet stakes winner Believe in Bertie, who broke two track records over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

Geroux won his second consecutive meet title at the New Orleans oval with 98 victories and $2,856,618 in earnings. He struck at a superbly impressive 29%, while hitting the board 63% of the time. The native of the Normandy region of France manhandled his opponents, finishing well clear of Robby Albarado in second with 61 wins, with Mitchell Murrill (60) and 2014-15 meet champ James Graham (57) rounding out the top four. His win total dwarfs his 87 from last season, when he struck at 25% with mounts gathering $3.3 million. Geroux shifts his tack to Kentucky, where he resides with wife Kasey and his two daughters.

David Ross’ DARRS Inc.’s Honorable Duty was named Horse of the Meet for the 145th Thoroughbred season. The 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor posted a perfect 3-for-3 record this winter, with all three scores coming in stakes company. Trainer Brendan Walsh gelded Honorable Duty prior to his tally in the Tenacious Stakes in December, and he followed that effort up with wins in the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap and the Grade II New Orleans Handicap. Horse of the Meet is determined by a vote conducted of Fair Grounds officials and select members of the media. Farrell, Girvin and Believe in Bertie also received votes.

Louisiana Breds Mr. Al’s Gal, True Emperor, Eden’s Grey Kitten Victorious on Louisiana Derby Undercard Stakes


Crescent City Oaks
Fair Grounds, 4-1-17, 1 Mile and 70 Yds (dirt)
Three Year Olds, Purse $75,000

Mr. Al's Gal_4-1-2017_UR

Mr. Al’s Gal
Salute The Sarge-Spanish Ice, by Spanish Steps
Owner: Brittleyn Stalbe, Inc.
Breeder: J. Adocok & Neal McFadden
Trainer: Justin Jeansonne
Jockey: E. Eramia

Rose Guitar
Star Guitar-Rose Hunter, by Jade Hunter
Owner: Royce G. Roberts
Breeder: Oak Leaf Farm TCLP
Trainer: Jose R. Mendez
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Wilburn–Midnight Delight, by Sea Hero
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds
Breeder: Allen Guillotte Jr.
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Brittlyn Stable’s Mr. Al’s Gal captured her fourth consecutive stakes race with a half-length win in the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds. Ridden again by Richard Eramia for trainer Ron Faucheux, the daughter of Salute the Sarge assumed command out of the gate and clocked splits of 23.57, 46.50 and 1:11.57 before repelling a late challenge from Royce G. Roberts’ Rose Guitar to complete the one mile and 70 yards trip on the main track in 1:43.06. Rose Guitar, under Diego Saenz for trainer Jose Mendez, was three-quarters of a length to the good of West Point Thoroughbreds’ Dallas-Stewart-trained Moonlightnmidnight, who rallied for third under Florent Geroux.

“She broke really sharp,” Eramia said. “We went a little quick, but she did it by herself. I was waiting, and I was a little worried down the stretch. She backed up a little bit the last sixteenth but we still had the best horse.”

Mr. Al’s Gal earned $45,000 for the win and has now earned $250,280 in a six-race career that has included only one loss. She returned $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10 as the odds-on favorite, with Rose Guitar returning $6 and $4.40 and Moonlightnmidnight paying $4.40.

What’s the Point, Bermuda Star, My Gal Layla, Sashimi Blaster, Madame Begue, E Z’s All Attitude and Naughty Little Nun completed the order of finish. D’wild Muffin was scratched earlier in the day, and Our Millie was scratched just prior to the start.


Crescent City Derby
Fair Grounds, 4-1-17, 8.5 Furlongs
Three Year Olds, Purse $75,000

True Emperor_4-1-2017_HO

True Emperor
Yes It’s True–Queen Ofthe Empire, by Empire Maker
Owner: Casey, Dan and Elite Thoroughbred Racing LLC,
Breeder: Rebecca Farm LLC & T. J. Dickey (LA
Trainer: Lee Thomas
Jockey: Jose Riquelme

Birdstone–Charming Colleen, by Charismatic
Owner: Mallory Greiner,
Breeder: James McIngval
Trainer: Chris Richard
Jockey: Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.

Jack Snipe’s
Half Ours–Rhodelia, by Silver Deputy
Owners: Jeff Drown and Gary M. Scherer
Breeder: Clear Creek Stud Llc
Trainer: Gary M. Schere
Jockey: David Romero Flores

Two races later, the Louisiana-bred 3-year-old boys had their shot in the $75,000 Crescent City Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Dan Casey and Elite Thoroughbred Racing’s True Emperor took control out of the gate under Jose Riquelme and was never seriously challenged through splits of 24.16, 48.32 and 1:13.16 before coming home a 2ó-length longshot winner in a final time of 1:44.72.

Trained by Lee Thomas, the son of Yes It’s True easily held Mallory Greiner’s Chris Richard-trained favorite Underpressure, who was ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr. and finished a head in front of Jeff Drown and owner-trainer Gary Scherer’s Jack Snipe’s in third under David Flores.

True Emperor won for the second time in three career starts and earned $45,000 to boost his career bankroll to $74,330. He returned $60, $20 and $11.60, with Underpressure paying $4.80 and $3.20 and Jack Snipe’s returning $3.60.

Paddy O’Lionel, Tip Tap Tapizar, Set Hut, Imindycatbirdseat, Magic Vow, Rollwithit, Evan Lee G, Big Maurice, Ida’s Warrior and Amp’d Up completed the order of finish.


Costa Rising Stakes
Fair Grounds, 4-1-17, abt. 5.5 Furlongs (turf)
Four Year Olds and Upwards, Purse $60,000

Eden's Grey Kitten_4-1-2017_UR

Eden Grey’s Kitten
Kitten’s Joy–Steaming Home, by Salt Lake
Owner: Whispering Oaks Farm LLC
Breeder: Danny M. Brown & Donna B. Brown
Trainer: Steven B. Flint,
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Icy Gentleman
Yankee Gentleman–Icy Day, by Five Star Day
Owner: Ironwater Farms Joint Venture
Breeder: Ironwater Farms Joint Venture
Trainer: Henry B. Johnson, Jr.
Jockey: Jorge Guzman

Jockamo’s Song
Half Ours–Miss Clairnette, by Trophy Hunter
Owner: Dare to Dream Stable LLC
Breeder: Debbie Allen & David Allen
Trainer: Michael Stidham
Jockey: Mitchell Murrill

The final of eight stakes races on the 15-race card was won by Whispering Oaks Farm’s Eden Grey’s Kitten, who turned the tables on Dare to Dream Stable’s favored Jockamo’s Song when posting a halflength score in the $60,000 Costa Rising Stakes for Louisiana-breds at 5ó furlongs on the turf. Florent Geroux guided the winner from a perfect, pressing spot for trainer Steve Flint through splits of 22.19 and 45.15 before edging clear late to complete the trip in 1:03.13. Ironwater Farms Joint Venture’s Henry Johnson, Jr.-trained Icy Gentleman tracked the early splits under Jorge Guzman and was able to nose out the Mike Stidham-trained Jockamo’s Song for second, with the latter ridden by Mitchell Murrill.

The win was Eden Grey’s Kitten’s seventh from 21 career starts and earned him $36,000 to increase his career bankroll to $228,260. The son of Kitten’s Joy returned $9.60, $5.40 and $3.20, with Icy Gentleman paying $8.40 and $5.60 and Jockamo’s Song returning $2.80.

Hail to the Nile, Brilliant Interest, Rock N Sake, Nubin Ridge, Just Kissing Buck, My Friend Flavin,Jazzy Rebel and Hunker Down completed the runner order.

Fields Set for Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds Oaks


Brad Grady’s lightly raced Girvin headlines the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) set for April 1 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, which drew their Louisiana Derby Day card March 25.

The Louisiana Derby is the final Fair Grounds prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and offers 170 qualifying points toward that May 6 event on a 100-40-20-10 basis. Girvin, who exits a facile two length win in last month’s Risen Star Stakes (G2), drew post 8 and will be ridden by regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr.

WINCZE HUGHES: Girvin Upsets Risen Star Stakes

Coffee Pot Stables’ hombred Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) winner Farrell highlights the $400,000 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), coming in on a three-race win streak for Wayne Catalano. Channing Hill has the return call from post 6 in a field of eight.

The undercard includes the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (G2) and the $300,000 Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2T).

Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2)

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, April 01, 2017, Race 11
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $1,000,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:21 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Patch (KY) Tyler Gaffalione 122 Todd A. Pletcher
2 Hollywood Handsome (KY) Francisco C. Torres 122 Dallas Stewart
3 Local Hero (KY) Florent Geroux 122 Steven M. Asmussen
4 Senior Investment (KY) Channing Hill 122 Kenneth G. McPeek
5 Monaco (KY) Rajiv Maragh 122 Todd A. Pletcher
6 Guest Suite (KY) Robby Albarado 122 Neil J. Howard
7 Sorry Erik (KY) Kent J. Desormeaux 122 J. Keith Desormeaux
8 Girvin (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 122 Joe Sharp
9 Hotfoot (KY) James Graham 122 Joe Sharp

Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2)

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, April 01, 2017, Race 10
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $400,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 4:41 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Majestic Quality (KY) Richard E. Eramia 122 J. Keith Desormeaux
2 Daria’s Angel (KY) Robby Albarado 122 W. Bret Calhoun
3 Wicked Lick (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 122 Brendan P. Walsh
4 Corporate Queen (KY) Florent Geroux 122 Mark E. Casse
5 Vexatious (KY) Kent J. Desormeaux 122 Neil D. Drysdale
6 Farrell (KY) Channing Hill 122 Wayne M. Catalano
7 Summer Luck (KY) Patrick Husbands 122 Mark E. Casse
8 Queen Bernardina (KY) Miguel Mena 122 W. Bret Calhoun

Muniz Memorial H. (G2T)

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, April 01, 2017, Race 9
  • About 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $300,000
  • 4 yo’s & up
  • 4:06 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Enterprising (FL) Tyler Gaffalione 119 Michael J. Maker
2 Blarp (KY) Miguel Mena 114 Thomas M. Amoss
3 Sky Flight (KY) Richard E. Eramia 114 Michelle Lovell
4 Roman Approval (KY) Rajiv Maragh 115 Michael J. Maker
5 One Mean Man (KY) James Graham 115 Bernard S. Flint
6 Granny’s Kitten (PA) Shaun Bridgmohan 119 Michael J. Maker
7 Pumpkin Rumble (PA) Mitchell Murrill 114 Gary M. Scherer
8 Kasaqui (ARG) Robby Albarado 118 Ignacio Correas, IV
9 Bullards Alley (KY) Marcelino Pedroza 116 Tim Glyshaw
10 Oscar Nominated (KY) Florent Geroux 119 Michael J. Maker
11 Special Ops (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 113 Brad H. Cox

New Orleans H. (G2)

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, April 01, 2017, Race 8
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $400,000
  • 4 yo’s & up
  • 3:39 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Breaking Lucky (ON) Luis Contreras 118 Reade Baker
2 Iron Fist (KY) David Romero Flores 116 Steven M. Asmussen
3 International Star (NY) Tyler Gaffalione 118 Michael J. Maker
4 Honorable Duty (KY) James Graham 119 Brendan P. Walsh
5 Aglimpseofgabby (KY) C.J. McMahon 112 Dallas E. Keen
6 Hawaakom (KY) Miguel Mena 118 Wesley E. Hawley
7 Roman Approval (KY) Rajiv Maragh 114 Michael J. Maker
8 Mo Tom (KY) Robby Albarado 115 Thomas M. Amoss
9 Noble Bird (KY) Florent Geroux 121 Mark E. Casse
10 Eagle (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 118 Neil J. Howard


The LTBA Announces Changes to Louisiana Champions Day

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Board of Directors and the Fair Grounds Racetrack and Slots have agreed to a couple of changes to the Louisiana Champions Day race card.

The Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Stakes will be moving from the dirt to the turf course. The distance will remain the same at a mile and one sixteenth.

The Louisiana Champions Day Handicap Stakes will now be open to starters that have run for a claiming price of $7,500 or less. Previously the Louisiana Champions Day Handicap Stakes was restricted to horses that have run for a claiming price of $12,500 or less. The distance has been changed to 1 mile on the turf course.

The changes are effective starting with the 2017 running of Louisiana Champions Day to be run at Fair Ground Racetrack in New Orleans, on the second Saturday in December.


Believe In Bertie-F_3-11-2017-HO
Believe In Bertie with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboard wins the 41st running of the Red Camilia Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photographyy / Amanda Hodges Weir

Fair Grounds, 3-11-17, abt. 8 furlongs (turf)
Four Year Old and Upwards, Purse $60,000
Langfuhr–Saint Bertie, by Street Cry (IRE)
Breeder: Richard Klein & Bertram Klein
Owner: Richard Klein & Bertram Klein
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan

Safari Calamari
Half Ours–Zaafira, by A.P. Indy
Breeder: Brittlyn Stables, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stables, Inc.
Trainer: Ron Faucheux
Jockey: Marcelino Pedroza

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

Course: Firm, 1:38.53, Margins: 6 3/4, 2, head

Richard and Bertram Klein’s Brad Cox-trained Believe in Bertie ($2.20, $2.10 and $2.10) spread her gospel once again to the tune of an open-length, dominating performance on Saturday afternoon in the $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The 4-year-old broke well from post two in the six-filly and mare field and relaxed before opening up a pair of lengths down the backside through fractions of 25.30 and 50.30. The field drew within a length as she turned for home after six furlongs in 1:15.60, but the speed machine left little doubt for her following, as she waltzed home a 6¾-length winner under Shaun Bridgmohan in a final time of 1:38.53 for the mile. Brittlyn Stable’s Ron Faucheux-trained Safari Calamari ($10.40 and $5.60) rallied for the place two lengths to the good of Keith Plaisance’s Eddie Johnston-trained Pacific Pink ($2.80). Believe in Bertie earned her sixth victory from 11 starts, her fourth stakes tally and used the $36,000 winner’s portion to increase her career bankroll $334,882. She will likely now be pointed to graded stakes company, according to her conditioner.

“Brad Cox has done a great job with her and she’s blossomed into a wonderful filly,” Bridgmohan said. “I was able to rate her and I just tapped her on the shoulder turning for home. She makes my job look easy.”

Discreetly GrandFlowersforlady and Calamity Jane rounded out the field. Forest Lake, Gee Whiz Lil and Inveniam Viam scratched.

Let Us Be Glad All Smiles in Dixie Poker Ace

Let Us Be Glad, with Gabrtiel Saez aboard wins the Dixie Poker Ace Stakes at the Fair Ground Race Course. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

Dixie Poker Ace S.

Fair Grounds, 3-4-17,  a8f (turf)
Four Year Olds and Upwards, Purse $60,000,

Let Us Be Glad
Eskendereya–Matchoftheday (IRE), by Hawk Wing
Breeder: Coteau Grove Farms
Owner: Chris Aulds
Trainer: Jose G. Castanon
Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Trust Factor
Paddy O’Prado–Mainsail, by Mizzen Mast
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Scrivener Stables
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Jockey: Colby J. Hernandez

Leestown–Dynaspice, by Dynaformer
Breeder: E. O. Pickett
Owner: Royce G. Roberts,
Trainer:  Jose R. Mendez,
Jockey: Marcelino Pedroza

Course Firm,  1:37.42,  Margins: 2 1⁄2, 3⁄4, 1⁄2


Chris Auld’s Jose Castanon-trained Let Us Be Glad took advantage of a pace battle between favorites, pounced with aplomb under Gabriel Saez and ultimately proved victorious in the 37th running of the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes.

Over one mile on the Stall-Wilson turf course, the Louisiana-bred event for older horses saw Valene Farm’s defending champion Hail to the Nile set off quickly for the front under Francisco Torres and was chased by Scrivener Stables’ Trust Factor, the 6-5 favorite, who pressed him from the spring of the latch. The two set solid fractions of 23.91 seconds for a quarter-mile and 47.80 for a half before being collared by a rallying Let Us Be Glad and passing the three-quarters in 1:12.71. The son of Eskendereya would power on to a 2½-length victory over Trust Factor at the wire, finishing up in 1:37.42. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Royce G. Roberts’multiple stakes winner Benwill in third.

“He settled, and then when he came around I asked him to really get close up,” Saez said. “We got the job done.”

A $40,000 claim last May, the 5-year-old won for the fifth time in 20 starts and improved his career bankroll to $167,060 with the first-place purse of $36,000.

Let Us Be Glad returned $15.80, $5 and $3.80. Trust Factor returned $3.20 and $2.40, while Benwill rallied well from last to return $3 to show.

Hopeful Notion and Hail to the Nilecompleted the running order. Grit, Grande Basin and Fort Pulaski were scratched.