By Meredith Daugherty
With storm clouds looming over Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Dec. 8, a sloppy track and the threat of continued rain did nothing to deter Underpres- sure, who claimed his first stakes win since 2017 in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic Stakes.
Sent out from post 2 in the headlining race on the Champions Day card, Underpressure broke well under jockey Corey Lanerie and settled back on the rail off the pace in fourth.
First to the front from the break, Ready Prospector maintained a comfortable 1 1/2-length lead and set fractions of :23.83, :47.98, and 1:13.34 for the first
six furlongs. Zenucci tracked the pace in the three path on the outside, a slim head in front of Autumn Warrior in third.
Still well back by 3 1/2 lengths as the six-horse field entered the final turn, Underpressure ignored the onslaught of mud kicked back from his competition and angled out four wide to make his bid for the lead. Taking command in the stretch, the 4-year-old colt drifted toward the rail and wobbled as Grande Basin moved up to his
outside to issue a late challenge.
Coming under the left-hand whip, Underpressure dug in and turned back Grande Basin to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Final time in the 1 1/8-mile test for Louisiana- breds was 1:52.82.
Grande Basin took second, followed by Mageez another five lengths back in third. It was another four lengths back to Autumn Warrior in fourth, a neck ahead of Ready Prospector in fifth. Zenucci rounded out the order of finish, more than 19 lengths behind the winner.
It was the third win of the year for Underpressure,
a three-time stakes winner owned by Mallory Greiner and trained by Chris Richard. The son of Birdstone took a pair of allowance races at Canterbury Park over the summer. Underpressure finished third in last year’s Classic behind Mobile Bay and Grand Basin.
Bred in Louisiana by James McIngvale out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen, Underpressure is a half brother to the stakes-winning filly Goodprofit. He improved his record to 8-6-6 from 25 starts, with earnings of $468,132.
The 13-race Champions Day card awarded a total seven Thoroughbred stakes winners Saturday. The 2-year-old filly Midnight Fantasy took the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes in Race 5 for trainer Joe Sharp to remain unbeaten in two starts. Valene Farms’ Classy John ran away with the Juvenile Stakes two races later by 4 1/4 lengths. His victory was followed by that of Magic Vow in the Turf Stakes.
Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Remember Daisy followed Underpressure’s runaway success with her own impressive triumph in the Ladies Stakes. It was the third consecutive victory for the 3-year- old daughter of Misremembered, who entered the race off a win in the Nov. 15 Tom Benson Memorial Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Givemeaminit and Ours to Run closed out the day with wins in the Sprint Stakes and Ladies Sprint Stakes. BH