Fair Grounds Cancels Thursday Afternoon Card

 

With harsh winter weather and freezing temperatures hitting the New Orleans area, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots racing officials have officially called off Thursday afternoon’s nine-race program.

Temperatures in New Orleans went all the way down to the low 20’s on Wednesday morning which caused the track to freeze. According to the National Weather Service, said temperatures will likely carryover into Thursday with the low reaching 32 degrees.

Fair Grounds Senior Director of Racing Jason Boulet cited a number of reasons for cancelling Thursday’s card including track conditions, road closures, as well as numerous trainers already calling the racing office to pre-scratch horses entered for Thursday.

“With the freezing temperatures effecting both dirt and turf, the possibility of off turf would be pretty much certain,” Boulet said. “That being said, we would face huge numbers of scratches due to off turf, no shippers and some trainers not being comfortable of racing on a dirt surface that could still be impacted by freezing temperatures. The scratch situation will lead to us running two, three or four horse fields and is that really worth it at the end of the day? Medication issues with horsemen also play a factor. Horses start getting treated day before and morning of race so this is an expense that really frustrates the horsemen if we would wait and decide to cancel morning of races. Last but not least, we are at the jockey’s mercy if we decide to run and if they feel track is not safe or weather conditions are too harsh.

“Our ultimate goal is to get through these conditions through (Thursday) and focus on getting back on track for Friday training and night racing,” Boulet added. “(Track Superintendent) Pedro (Zavala) feels that by (Thursday) afternoon we can get back on schedule to get the track worked and thawed out in preparation for Friday.”

Live racing action at the Fair Grounds resumes with Starlight Racing on Friday, January 18 at 5 p.m. central time.

Interactif to Peach Lane Farms

Interactif, the third leading 2017 Louisiana third crop sire has moved to Lora Pitre’s Peach Lane Farms in Opelousas.

As a two-year-old, Interactif won the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland and the With Anticipation Stakes (defeating Paddy O’Prado) at Saratoga, both Grade 3 events before placing third in the G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. At three, he won the G2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga. From twelve starts, he had four wins, three of them in stakes, and ran second or third in another four stakes with earnings of $563,700.

A 2007 son of Broken Vow out of Broad Pennant, an unraced multiple stakes producing daughter of Broad Brush, Interactif entered stud in 2012. He has three stakes horses to date including 2016 D.S. Shine Young winner Actif Storm and 2017 mutliple stakes placed winner So Sorry Ruston.

Interactif’s 2018 fee is $2,000 live foal.

TESTING ONE TWO SCORES RESOUNDING VICTORY IN THE TAKE CHARGE BRANDI STAKES

Take Charge Brandi Stakes
Delta Downs, 1-12-18, 7 furlongs, $60,000
3YO fillies

TESTING ONE TWO
Star Guitar – Yes Sir
B- Brittlyn, Inc.
O- Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
T- Victor Arceneaux
J- D. Saenz

TESTING ONE TWO - The 6th Running of the Take Charge Brandi Stakes - 01-12-18 - R07 - DED-02

The $60,000 Take Charge Brandi Stakes was won impressively by Brittlyn Stable, Inc.’s Testing One Two under jockey Diego Saenz, Friday night at Delta Downs in Vinton, LA.

The Take Charge Brandi was a seven-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies and Testing One Two, who is trained by Victor Arceneaux, used a stalking style plus a strong finish in the stretch to win the event by a widening four lengths over Upset Brewing. Laudation finished another 1-1/2 lengths behind the top pair in third. The winner covered the distance over a fast track in 1:27.08.

The victory by Testing One Two marked her third win in a row and her second straight tally in stakes company. She also took the Louisiana Legacy at Delta Downs on November 17 by an astounding 16-1/2 lengths while making her stakes debut. Testing One Two earned $36,000 for her exploits in the Take Charge Brandi and now boasts a career bankroll of $150,135. 

Bred in Louisiana by her owner, Testing One Two is a bay filly by Star Guitar, out of the Scat Daddy mare Yes Sir.

Sent to the gate as the 6-5 wagering favorite, Testing One Two paid $4.40 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.20 to show. Upset Brewing was worth $3.20 to place and $2.10 to show. Laudation returned $3.20 to show.

MO TOM RETIRED TO STUD IN LOUISIANA

By Eric Mitchell

Tom and Gayle Benson’s grade 3 winner Mo Tom has been retired from racing and will enter stud this year at Jay Adcock’s Red River Farm near Coushatta, La. A stud fee has not been determined.

The 5-year-old son of Uncle Mo—Caroni, by Rubiano, was among the first yearlings the Bensons purchased for their GMB Racing operation in 2014, and one of two that found their way to the 2016 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) starting gate. The other runner was Tom’s Ready, who is also entering stud this year at Spendthrift Farm.

“Mo Tom has had a nice racing career. Even though he suffered through some tough trips and a few injuries, he was still able to make nearly $700,000 in earnings,” said Greg Bensel, who manages GMB Racing for the Bensons. “We tried to do a few things with him late in his racing career—like bringing him back quickly in the Clark Handicap (G1) and then trying him on the grass. We just did not want to give up on him; he is such a great-looking, sound horse and was working great in the mornings. None of those late experiments should take away from the career he had as a racehorse.”

A half brother to grade 1-placed stakes winner Beautician and listed stakes winner Bella Castani, Mo Tom won or placed 10 times out of 19 starts. He won twice and placed twice out of four starts at 2, which included winning the Street Sense Stakes and a third in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). He earned his stripes in a graded stakes in his first start at 3 when he won the Lecomte Stakes (G3). The colt went on to place in the Veterans Ford Risen Star Stakes (G2), finish eighth in the Kentucky Derby, and win the Ohio Derby.

“With our farm in Paris, Ky., and our sports teams in New Orleans we keep a very busy schedule, but when time allows we love going to the track to see our horses run. Our racing operation has had great success on the track and we could not be more proud of our team and our trainers Tom Amoss, Dallas Stewart, and Al Stall,” said Gayle Benson, whose husband owns New Orleans’ NFL Saints and NBA Pelican sports teams. “We are building our farm operation (Benson Farm at Greenwood Lodge) in Kentucky where we have a very nice broodmare band. We are loving the horse business.”

The Bensons sent Mo Tom to Red River Farm because they valued Adcock’s reputation as a successful breeder, and because they want to support the Louisiana- bred program.

“We are very excited to get this horse,” Adcock said. “He was a serious horse at 3 and a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender. He is a good-looking, accomplished horse with plenty of family. He’ll get every chance to be successful.”

“Having a nice son of Uncle Mo here should bring some attention to the attractive breeding programs we have here in Louisiana,” Bensel added.

The Bensons are retaining 20% ownership of Mo Tom.