Undefeated Filly Shines in Trio of 100k State-Bred Undercard Stakes
New Orleans (March 20, 2021) – On a 14-race card that included eight stakes and culminated with Hot Rod Charlie’s win in the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2), Hubert Guy and Magnifico’s Australasia didn’t waste any time lighting the torch in the 11:20 a.m. CT opener. Undefeated in from three starts coming in, she remained that way with a workmanlike 2 ¾-length win over Winning Romance in the $100,000 Crescent City Oaks for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies.
Florent Geroux had Australasia ($2.20) in second and spying the early speed of Winning Romance, as the latter cut out fast fractions of 23.62 and 46.83 with the 1-9 favorite pressing her from the entire way. The pair came off the far turn together and began to draw away from the field, with Australasia asserting herself late and pulling clear for a popular win. Big Time, a two-time stakes state-bred stakes winner earlier in the meet, rallied for a non-threatening third.
Geroux, aboard Australasia for the first time, had as many anxious moments prior to the race as he did during it, as his filly reared up a bit, tossed her head, and crashed in to his mouth and cheek, causing a few scrapes.
“The bugler was playing the music (call to post) before the race and she got scared and backed into me but everything was good after that and I tried to keep her as quiet as I could in the post parade,” Geroux said. “She did the job again and proved she is a talented filly. We’ll see what she can do next time.”
Australasia, a daughter of Sky Kingdom, burst on to the scene here Opening Day, November 26, when she won on debut by 8 ¼ lengths at what looks like a now robust 7-2 for trainer Brad Cox. She backed that run up with similar dominant efforts at Delta Downs in the Louisiana Jewel in January and Premier Star February 10, winning by 6 lengths and 7 ¼ lengths, respectively. Australasia is obviously a queen in the state-bred ranks, which has Cox looking towards open waters.
“We may have taken some low-hanging fruit today but now she’s 4-for-4 and she deserves an opportunity against open company; we’ll do that next time but I’m not sure where,” Cox said. “I’m just proud of what she did today. They rode along pretty good up front and she finished up really well and did what she was supposed to do. Any time a horse is 4-for-4 they have to have ability and she stepped up and ran a good race today.”