Prelude Winner Scored by Three Lengths in the Meet’s Richest Race
Bossier City, LA – Flurry Racing Stable LLC’s Mr. Misunderstood returned to the winner’s circle this afternoon at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, scoring a definitive victory in the season’s marquee race, the $200,000 Super Derby.
The stakes for 3-year-olds was run this year on the Franks Turf Course at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth. Trained by Brad Cox, the gelded son of Archarcharch, shipped here last month undefeated on the turf, and punched his ticket to the Super Derby with a win in the $60,000 Prelude.
Jockey Chris Rosier has the return call, and faced several new faces in today’s feature, including
Sonneteer and Phat Man. The two set early fractions of :25.32 for the first-quarter and :50.66 for the half-mile. Rosier guided his mount to the outside, passed both came home a three-length winner. His final time, over the firm turf course, was :1:42.91.
“I have watched the Super Derby since I was a kid, so winning this, even though it is a turf stakes for the first time, means the world to me,” said Rosier. “It’s still the Super Derby. Crossing the finish line was just sheer love and passion. My dad was here and I am so happy for Staton; we are good friends and he gave me the chance to ride this amazing horse. Brad and Ricky have done a great job with him.”
Staton Flurry was on hand to accept the trophy for the $130,000 purchase at the Ocala Sale, and reflected on the fifth and biggest turf victory of Mr. Misunderstood.
“We gave the horse a little break after the Illinois Derby; and thought the Prelude would be an easier spot that Kentucky,” said Flurry. “He ran superb in the Prelude, and he came out of the race very well. I was surprised Sonneteer went early, but Chris knew he had a lot of horse; he said he felt like he exploded like a stick of dynamite.”
Ricky Giannini saddled the dark brown gelding for Cox and had a little fun discussing the one sub-par performance of Mr. Misunderstood, who ran seventh in the Illinois Derby.
“We keep trying to make a dirt horse out of him, but obviously know that’s not the case,” stated Giannini. “He showed he could handle this surface and had a race going into this. I told Chris I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone going into this stakes. Brad and I will talk about next steps. We don’t want to rush him, but figure he likes Fair Grounds, so that is a possibility.”
Brad and Misty Grady’s Phat Mat, trained by Joe Sharp, held for second under Roberto Morales. Sonneteer. Bred and owned by Calumet Farms, the son of Midnight Lute who competed in both Grade 1, Arkansas Derby and Grade 1, Kentucky Derby, was third. Gerard Melancon rode for trainer J. Keith Desormeaux. Flying Honeypot with Carlos L. Marquez was fourth and Gorgeous Kitten was scratched from the race.
Sadly, Fast Talkin Man, a Texas-bred son of Oratory, trained by Danny Pish, who ran second to Mr. Misunderstood in the Prelude under rider Luis Quinonez, suffered a catastrophic injury at the top of the lane and was euthanized.
Sent off as the favorite, Mr. Misunderstood returned $3.40, picking up the winner’s check of $120,000. He boosted his career bankroll to $243,796 and will return to Cox’s base in Kentucky with a record of six wins from 10 starts.
Quinta Verde All Class in the $60,000 River Cities
The stakes action gets underway in the second race of the card, with a field of five fillies and mares in the $60,000 River Cities.
Trainer Brad Cox scratched Sister Blues, but won the race with his other entrant Quinta Verde (IRE) ($3.60), a 5-year-old mare owned by Swift Thoroughbred Inc. Diego Saenz rode the winner, who began her career in Europe and picked up her first stakes today.
“It’s been a little bit of an uphill battle with this mare; we had to manage some issues,” said Giannini. “Diego gave her a good ride and she put it all together today and got the win.”
Saenz dueled with Illusionofreality through the first half-mile, but surged ahead at the eighth-pole, drawing off by 3 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:43.32. Smiley Briley under Aubrie Green was second and Pera completed the trifecta.
Eden Grey’s Kitten Scores in the $50,000 Need for Speed
The $50,000 Need for Speed, at a distance of five furlongs on the turf, was run as the fourth race of the afternoon. Stakes winner Eden Grey’s Kitten, owned byWhispering Oaks Farm, LLC, added another trophy to the case with a gritty effort under jockey Gerard Melancon. The 5-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy picked up his ninth race from 25 lifetime starts for trainer Steve Flint, with a much better effort today than in last month’s turf performance.
“It was a little hot here on Louisiana Cup Day,” said Flint. “He was in good form today and the race set up well for him.”
The winner, sent off as the third-betting choice in the nine-horse field, paid $10.00. Wings Locked Up ran second with Glen Corbett in the irons, followed by Sir Genghis and Icy Gentleman.
Budro Talking Rises to the Occasion in the $60,000 Sunday Silence
The 14th running of the $60,000 Sunday Silence produced an exciting finish with Jerry Durant’s Budro Talking winning the first stakes of his career.
The Louisiana-bred son of Tale of the Cat broke his maiden on July 27 at Evangeline Downs, sprinting on the main track. Pish felt that he could be versatile and compete well on turf, and he was certainly correct. With Diego Saenz in the irons, the bay colt sat off the early fractions of :24.17 and :48.71, drawing clear and crossing the one mile finish line in 1:37.78.
“He’s getting better and better,” said Saenz. “He relaxed for me and that’s what it takes stretching out.”
Pish has several talented 2-year-olds winning stakes this year, and was pleased with the victory.
“Very nice colt,” said Pish. “He learns quickly. “We thought he had some talent and the work last Saturday shaped him up nicely for today.”
Budro Talking rewarded his supporters with a win payout of $15.80, and earned $36,000 for the victory. High Providence edged out post-time favorite Sitting Bullfor second and Drewcitable completed the superfecta.
Huge Finish for Justa Lady in the $50,000 Tellike Stakes
Curtis C. Green’s homebred Justa Lady won her stakes debut with a huge late run in the $50,000 Tellike Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and mares. With confident handling from rider Diego Saenz, the 4-year-old filly by More Than Ready caught longshot Our Valor at the wire, clocking five furlongs in :56.13 seconds.
“I was very happy to win a stakes race for Curtis Green,” said Asmussen, who was reached by phone for his assessment. “She’s a nice homebred and ran a very good race.”
Justa Lady ($4.80) picked up her fourth career win and first stake. With the winner’s share of $30,000, the Kentucky-bred eclipsed the $200,000 earnings mark. Trainer Karl Broberg ran second with Our Valor and third with Boom Bam Bing.
Lady O’Toole Outfinishes Her Rivals in the $60,000 Happy Ticket
It was another stakes win for trainer Brad Cox in the $60,000 Happy Ticket with Lady O’Toole, owned by Steve Landers Racing. The filly by Colonel John broke her maiden at Churchill Downs and shipped to Louisiana Downs off an allowance win at Indiana Grand on July 26. Jockey Colby Hernandez piloted the winner, who had no difficulty stretching out to a mile for the first time. She took control at the top of the stretch, drawing off to victory in 1.37.03, by a margin of 3 ½ lengths over longshot Caroline the Great and rider Aubrie Green.
“She did a great job,” said Hernandez. “I let her settle and she was running nice and easy. She turned for home on the lead and just went on her way.”
Rosie O’Prado was third and Taylor’s Princess completed the superfecta. This was the third win from four starts for the Florida-bred filly.
Net Gain Upsets Big Changes in the $60,000 Unbridled
The biggest upset of the afternoon was a win by Net Gain in the $60,000 Unbridled. The Iowa-bred 3-year-old made a sweeping move on the far turn under rider Glen Corbett to score the victory in the mile and one-sixteenth stakes in 1:41.76.
Big Changes who won the $50,000 John Henry here last month was sent off as the favorite and finished second under Diego Saenz, who lodged an objection against Corbett. The stewards took no action.
“I rode him aggressively on the far turn, but I know we were clear,” said Corbett. “He ran a big race today.”
Trainer Clinton Stuart wanted to get his charge back on the turf.
“Rider Terry Thompson told me he did not like getting dirt in his face in his last main track races at Prairie Meadows,” he said.
Net Gain paid $23.60, the biggest mutual of the Super Derby card. Fort Pulaski finished third and Lawless West ran fourth.
Live racing continues on Monday, September 11. The 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet continues through Wednesday, September 27. The final two stakes of the season, the $75,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin and the $75,000 Elge Rasberry, will be run on Saturday, September 23.
About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.