Favored Who Took the Money scratched after flipping in the gate
New Orleans, LA (March 5, 2022) — All stakes victories are sweet, but this one touched trainer Ron Faucheux deeply. Though this is the 42nd running of the $60,000 Edward J. Johnston Memorial Stakes, 2022 is the first year it was run under its current title. Named for the recently departed, longtime beloved Louisiana horsemen, Eddie Johnston, a dear friend of and mentor to Faucheux, the race took on added significance.
You wouldn’t be the only one wondering if Johnston had a divine hand in setting the stage for Allen Cassedy’s Mangelsen to succeed as the race was over for the initial post-time favorite before it even began.
Loading into the gate, fans and connections alike had one question – could the chalk Who Took the Money run down the front-running Mangelsen before the wire and win his third race in a row? On this day, that question would not be answered.
The Bret Calhoun-trained colt, who was recently named 3-year-old colt of the year by the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, flipped, broke through the gate, and ran off before being caught and scratched. It was the perfect situation for Mangelsen to capitalize on, and following a slight delay, the betting public knew just that, with money shifting heavily to make Mangelsen the eventual .50-1 favorite.
“It was unfortunate the 6 horse (Who Took the Money) scratching,” jockey Jareth Loveberry said. “But our plan was still the same. Go to the front, get him to relax on his own, and carry him home.”
Relaxed and leading through all the 25.11, 49.44, and 1:27.52 calls by as many as four lengths, Mangelsen didn’t feel pressure until the homestretch when 4.00-1 closer Treys Midnite Moon made a move on the rail that put him in front in the deep stretch, but only for a handful of strides. After taking a bad step near the rail earlier on, jockey Jareth Loveberry made sure to finish down the center of the turf course which separated him from his rail-rallying pursuer, but that didn’t stop Mangelsen from seeing the threat, responding, and fighting forward to come home in 1:40.61 for the mile (about) over a firm course with the rail eight feet out.
In the winner’s circle, the emotions came through for Fair Grounds’ 2020-21 leading trainer Faucheux, who with this win regained a one-win lead on four-time Brad Cox for this meet’s crown.
“Today was all about Eddie Johnston and his family coming out,” Faucheux said. “Eddie was one of the greatest friends I have ever had. A true mentor, he taught me so much. I just can’t be happier to win this race. This goes down as maybe the best win of my life. That’s how much Eddie meant to me. This is definitely one I’ll never forget.”
One dimensional and one away from his tenth win, Mangelsen’s career record is now 28-9-4-2, sitting pretty with earnings of $194,800 and ready for his next front-running score.
You must be logged in to post a comment.