Cox, Beschizza, Grady Secure Titles At Fair Grounds Meet

By Ryan Martin

For the third year in a row trainer Brad Cox is the winningest trainer at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Cox, 39, won a total of 53 races this season which replicated last year’s amount of trips to the winner’s circle for the Louisville, Ky. native. For the third straight year, Cox beat out trainer Joe Sharp who won 49 races this meet. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen was the third leading conditioner with 30 wins.

In addition to being the overall leading trainer, Cox was also the leading trainer in term of stakes wins having won six stakes races. He scored stakes caliber triumphs with Beau Recall (Ire.) (Blushing K.D. Stakes and New Orleans Ladies Stakes), Contributing (Pan Zareta Stakes), Harlan Punch (Louisiana Stakes), and Marquee Prince (Lloyd “Captain” Maestri Memorial Stakes and Black Gold Stakes).

“It’s a great battle between me and Joe (Sharp),” Cox said. “I think we make each other better. It’s been a very exciting meet. There are great purses and very competitive racing with the option of the turf or the dirt. It’s a great track to train on with great weather. Tis a great place to winter. I want to thank my help at New York, Fair Grounds Oaklawn. We always have a set up at Louisiana Downs or Evangeline Downs. It’s worked out rally well. All the assistants have done a great job of having the horses ready to run on race day.”

While Cox scored a training title for the third straight year, jockey Adam Beschizza was the meet’s leading rider for the first time in only his second full year of riding at Fair Grounds. Beschizza, 26, won 82 races at the New Orleans oval finishing six wins ahead of James Graham who won 76 was unable to make a race of it early on Closing Day when took off his remaining mounts due to a sickness. Florent Geroux finished third in the standings with 65 wins. A native of Great Britain, Beschizza was last year’s second leading rider finishing one win behind Shaun Bridgmohan.

Four of Beschizza’s wins were at stakes level when he guided Midnight Fantasy to dual wins in the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes as well as the fillies’ division of the Louisiana Futurity. He also rode In the Navy to a win in the Mr. Sulu Overnight Stakes and Pretty Lady in the Pago Hop Stakes.

“I’m overwhelmed, this last week I was holding my breath a little bit,” Beschizza said. “James had been a champion himself in the past. He’s a great competitor and he’s kept me honest right until the line. He can play with us young guns as well. There are a lot of people to thank and none of this would be possible without their help. My agent Liz Morris, she’s done a great job keeping myself in line and intact. A lot of credit goes to her. I really appreciate her as a person, we’ve became really close since I came to America.”

Many of Beschizza’s victories during the Fair Grounds meet came when riding horses for trainer Joe Sharp.

“A lot of thanks also goes to Joe Sharp,” Beschizza said “He’s just been the life and soul of my career since I started in America. He’s a huge supporter of mine, he believes in me and that goes a long way and a huge talent. I thank him very much.”

While Beschizza was the winningest jockey overall, jockey Corey Lanerie won more stakes than any other rider at Fair Grounds when scoring at said caliber a total of six times. Lanerie’s stakes wins took place aboard Buggin Out (Magic City Classic), Underpressure (Louisiana Champions Day Classic and Dixie Poker Ace Stakes), Givemeaminit (Louisiana Champions Day Sprint), Classy John (Louisiana Futurity – colts division) and Bell’s the One (Allen “Black Cat” LaCombe Memorial Stakes).

Owner Brad Grady earned yet another Fair Grounds title for leading owner during the meet with 17 wins over Maggi Moss’ 13. Grady and Moss tied for leading owner last season when both won 12 races.

Highlights of the memorable 2018-19 racing season at Fair Grounds include dual graded stakes wins from Gary Barber’s War of Will who was unanimously named Horse of the Meet as the only horse all season long to win multiple graded stakes races at the New Orleans oval. The talented 3-year-old son of War Front was conditioned by Mark Casse whose assistant David Carroll oversees his string of horses at Fair Grounds. He won the Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Grade II Risen Star Stakes and earned 60 points on the Road To The Kentucky Derby in doing so.

Other notable moments include Allied Racing’s By My Standards taking the 106th Grade II Louisiana Derby on the penultimate day of the meet for trainer Bret Calhoun punching his ticket to the Grade I $3 million Kentucky Derby on May 4 having earned 100 qualifying points towards the First Saturday in May. Trainer Larry Jones won his fourth Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks Presented by with Street Band, who earned 100 points towards the Grade I $1.5 million Kentucky Oaks. Grade I Pegasus World Cup Turf winner Bricks and Mortar took an exciting edition of the Grade II Muniz Memorial Handicap when battling down a stubborn longshot in Markitoff to win by a slim margin. Joel Politi’s Serengeti Empress opened many eyes when running away to victory in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb 16 in the race before War of Will’s triumph in the Risen Star.

Other than War of Will, nine other horses won multiple stakes events this meet. Marquee Prince (Blushing K.D. Stakes and New Orleans Ladies Stakes), Bell’s the One (Letellier Memorial Stakes and Allen “Black Cat” LaCombe Memorial Stakes) and Beau Recall (Lloyd “Captain” Maestri Memorial Stakes and Black Gold Stakes) successfully defeated open company while Midnight Fantasy (Louisiana Champions Day Lassie and Louisiana Futurity – fillies division), Classy John (Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile and Louisiana Futurity – colts division), Remember Daisy(Tom Benson Memorial Overnight Stakes and Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf Stakes), Ours to Run (Happy Ticket Stakes and Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint) and Underpressure (Louisiana Champions Day Classic and Dixie Poker Ace) won multiple times against their Louisiana-bred counterpart in state-bred stakes. Wynn Time was the only horse this meet to win multiple stakes events when he took the Thanksgiving Handicap, Bonapaw Stakes and Duncan F. Kenner Stakes.

Obituary: Jan Murrell

54362914_2247823165239047_4944113141358264320_nJanine Gilman Murrell passed away on Friday, March 22, 2019 at her home in Folsom, LA. She was born on January 5, 1954 in Shreveport, LA to the late Stanley L. Gilman and Grace Elaine Johnson Gilman.

Jan was the beloved wife of Val Charles Murrell for 44 years. She was the loving mother of Michelle Murrell LaVoice (Trey) and Jerold Marcus Murrell, DVM (Kate). Adoring MeMe to Elizabeth Grace LaVoice. She was the devoted sister to Babette Gilman Lanius (Malcom) and beloved aunt to Nicole Lanius Hoffmann (Raymond), Bridget Lanius Braud (Thomas), and Jonathan Marshall Lanius (Jessica). Cherished great aunt to Emma Rae Hoffmann and Leah Grace Braud. She is also survived by numerous cousins whom she loved dearly. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Jan graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business. She worked as a dental hygienist through high school and college and then as the Office Manager for Clear Creek Stud Farm to present. She grew up riding and showing Quarter Horses in Dixie Garden in Shreveport, La. Jan treasured her church community and her many friends and family, and thoroughly enjoyed her precious time as a Grandmother to Elizabeth.

Relatives and friends are invited to the Memorial Service at First United Methodist Church of Covington, 203 N. Jefferson Ave., Covington, LA 70433 on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 3:00 PM with visitation from 2:00 PM until service time. Interment will take place on Friday, March 29, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Beech Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Beech Creek Church Rd., Olla, LA 71465. Visitation on Friday will be at Beech Creek Baptist Church beginning 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First United Methodist Church of Covington, Please Share a Memory on the Tribute Wall at

OBS Spring Sale Catalog Now Online

The catalog for the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2019 Spring Sale of Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training is now available via the OBS website at The online catalog’s main page contains a link to a sortable master index providing searchable pedigree and consignor information as well as access to pedigree updates occurring since the catalog was printed.

The sortable master index has been updated with advanced search and filter capability to allow shortlist creation. A link to instructions for using the new features can be found in the index header.

The iPad version of the catalog can be accessed via the equineline Sales Catalog App. The App allows users to download and view the catalog, receive updates and results, record notes and also provides innovative search, sort and rating capability. For more information and downloads go to:

A total of 1,221 juveniles have been cataloged for the four-day sale, set for Tuesday through Friday, April 23rd– 26th with all sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. Hips 1-304 will sell on Tuesday, Hips 305- 608 on Wednesday, Hips 609-912 will be offered Thursday and Hips 913-1221 on Friday.

The Under Tack Show will span six days, beginning Monday, April 15th and continuing through Saturday, April 20th. Hips 1-203 will breeze Monday, Hips 204-406 go on Tuesday, Hips 407-608 on Wednesday, Hips 609-813 go Thursday, Hips 814-1017 on Friday and Hips 1018-1221 go on Saturday. All six sessions will begin at 8:00 a.m. The Under Tack Show and Sale will be streamed live via the OBS website as well as the DRF, TDN and Blood-Horse websites.


MAKE YOUR PLANS! LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, Sunday, March 31

Louisiana Bred Thoroughbreds

at the
LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet
Sunday, March 31st

Dear LTBA Member:

You are cordially invited to attend our 2019 Annual Membership Meeting, at Equine Sales Company of Louisiana, in Opelousas, LA on Sunday March 31, 2019. Doors will open at 2:30 pm.

Awards will be presented to the breeders and owners of the outstanding accredited Louisiana Bred Horses of 2018 as well as the overall Horse of the Year. From 3:00 pm till 7:00pm  Equine Sales Company Sale Arena will be the site as awards will be presented to the owner of the leading Stallion, the owner of the Broodmare of the Year, the Leading Breeder of 2018, as well as the High Percentage Breeder of the Year. See the attached sheet of this year’s champions.

As a special treat, this year we will have someone from The Jockey Club on hand to explain and to answer the many questions on the “Paperless” registration process. This is a big change for everyone, so expect to learn something.

Our program will also include live entertainment. As we combine the 2yo in training sale with our awards banquet we expect a large crowd as well as fun for everyone.

Roger A. Heitzmann III
Secretary / Treasurer


What:       LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet
When:      Sunday, March 31st, 3:00 p.m.
Where:     Equine Sales Facility,
372 Harry Guilbeau Road   Opelousas, Louisiana  70570


Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association

504-947-4676, 800-772-1195

WinStar Farm stallion Pioneerof the Nile dies at 13

WinStar Farm stallion Pioneerof the Nile died suddenly today, the farm announced. The 13-year-old son of Empire Maker—Star of Goshen, by Lord at War (ARG), bred a mare this morning and started acting uncomfortable once he was back in his stall. He was en route to the clinic when he died.

“We are all extremely saddened by the loss of Pioneerof the Nile,” said WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden. “He was a superior physical specimen, a Triple Crown Sire, and a unique personality. All of us at WinStar are heartbroken.”

A multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire on the racetrack, Pioneerof the Nile is the sire of two 2-year-old male Eclipse Award winners and two Breeders’ Cup winners from his first four crops to race—Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Classic Empire.

Pioneerof the Nile was a leading sire of his generation for the past three years, including No. 1 sixth-crop cumulative sire in every category: Grade 1 winners, G1 horses, graded stakes winners, black type winners, earnings, etc.

Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Moved to April 10

The Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, originally scheduled for April 9, has been moved to Wednesday, April 10, at 12 noon. The undertack show will be held on the originally scheduled date of Sunday, April 7, at 10 a.m. Both the auction and undertack show will be held at Lone Star Park, which co-sponsors the sale with the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

            “After talking with some of our major buyers, and confirming that our consignors were in support of the change, we decided to move the date back a day,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “We think this new date on April 10 will allow as many buyers as possible to attend in person, and as always we will accept phone bids from those who cannot.”

            For more information about the sale, including replays after the undertack show and live video of the auction, go to

Gross Up, Average And Median Down At OBS March Sale

| 03.13.2019 | 9:44pm

Hip 302, a filly by The Big Beast, after selling for $850,000 at the OBS March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

The 2019 edition of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale saw unprecedented bounty at the very top of the market, but mid-level trade took a step back in the juvenile auction season’s first event.

The two-day auction saw 309 horses sold for revenues of $44,422,500, up 5 percent from last year’s final gross, when 257 horses brought $42,275,000.

Read Paulick Report Article Here


As expected, one of Oaklawn’s signature races for 3-year-olds was divided into two divisions after 19 horses were entered Wednesday morning for Saturday’s Rebel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13. The split means the Rebel, originally a $1 million race, will be worth $1.5 million overall, with each division offering $750,000 and 63.75 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby to the top four finishers (37.5, 15, 7.5 and 3.75).

Oaklawn President Louis Cella said March 6 the track was prepared to split the Rebel to accommodate Southern California horsemen impacted by the move, The Rebel was originally scheduled to offer 85 points (50-20-10-5) to the top four finishers toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Derby.

Oaklawn hadn’t split one of its Kentucky Derby prep races since the Southwest Stakes (G3) in 2012. The 1 1/16-mile Southwest originally carried a purse of $250,000 that year, but it was split after 21 horses were entered. Each division was worth $250,000.

Churchill Downs has used a points system in designated races to help determine Kentucky Derby starting eligibility since 2013. Graded stakes earnings had previously been used.





VINTON, LA. –  It was a season of records at Delta Downs in 2018-19 as new heights were reached in each of three horsemen’s categories during the 84-day meeting that wrapped up on Tuesday. Leading rider Tim Thornton set a new record for mounts earnings in a single meeting while trainer Karl Broberg and owner End Zone Athletics, Inc. established new marks for wins as well as earnings.

Thornton rode 142 winners during the season to earn his first local riding title and his mounts earned $2,894,080. His win total did not match Gerard Melancon’s 2007-08 mark of 146, however his earnings total did establish a new record. It was also the second season in a row that Thornton won the leading rider title at a Boyd Gaming owned racetrack. During the 2018 meeting at Evangeline Downs he tallied 141 wins to lead all jockeys.

Following Thornton in the jockey standings were Diego Saenz (86 wins), Gerard Melancon (56), Thomas Pompell (46), Eguard Tejera (41), *Paulina Ramirez (31), Emanuel Nieves (28), Kevin Smith (28), Chris Rosier (28), and Kerwin Clark (27).

Broberg continued his dominance at Delta Downs in 2018-19 by sending out 107 winners and totaling $2,017,120 in earnings. Both numbers established single-season records. It was also the first time a trainer had won more than 100 races and gone over the $2 million mark in earnings. The accomplishment capped off a season that saw Broberg win his eighth straight training title at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

Rounding out the top 10 trainers for the 2018-19 season were Tom Amoss (32), Scott Gelner (30), Beverly Burress (27), Joel Berndt (24), Brett Brinkman (22), Robertino Diodoro (21), Sam Breaux (21), Dale White, Sr. (19), and Eduardo Ramirez (19).

And finally, records were also set in the category of leading owner this year as End Zone Athletics, Inc. saw 50 of their runners make it to the winner’s circle earning a total of $873,545. Both numbers established new single season records and it was the seventh time overall that End Zone Athletics, Inc. has won the leading owner title at Delta Downs. End Zone Athletics, Inc. is made up of trainer Karl Broberg and Matt Johansen.

Following End Zone Athletics in the owner standings this year were M and M Racing (Mike Sisk) (14), Brittlyn Stable Inc. (Evelyn Benoit) (14), Maggi Moss (11), Keene Thoroughbreds LLC (Danny Keene) (9), Giddy Up Racing, LLC (9), Beverly Burress (7), Dale White, Sr. (7), Wayne T. Davis (7), and Circle H Farms (Don Hargroder) (7).

Delta Downs now looks forward to its upcoming American Quarter Horse season which gets underway on April 19 and runs through July 6. The 46-day meeting will feature live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night beginning at 6:15 pm CST.

For more information about the Delta Downs go to the track’s website at Fans can also follow the track on Facebook and Twitter.


Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Calls for Affordable Data

Group said free, or reduced-price data would spur interest in ownership, wagering.


An industry group focused on improving horse racing, especially for gamblers and owners, is calling on the industry’s data collector, Equibase, to share more information for free or at greatly reduced prices. In a White Paper issued March 11, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation said Equibase should consider the collection and distribution of racing data as a marketing expense and distribute it for free, or as open as possible. The White Paper argues that this approach would attract and retain gamblers while empowering owners to make more educated decisions.

TIF board member Tom Reynolds, an active handicapping tournament player who has become a horse owner through Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners after spending more than three decades as a sales and marketing executive for Pepsi-Cola North America, believes such an approach to racing’s data would help increase interest in ownership and wagering.

Read BloodHorse Article Here