ALLIED RACING STABLE RUNNERS COMPLETE WEEKEND STAKES SWEEP
OPELOUSAS, LA –Deshawn Parker capped off a big weekend stakes sweep with a victory aboard Who Took the Money in the $60,000 EVD Classic at Evangeline Downs on Saturday night. The race for 4-year-old and up Louisiana-bred runners was contested at the distance of one mile over a track rated fast.
Father Goose and Maga Man both broke sharply and set off in a spirited duel into the clubhouse turn. Highland Creek and Drewhustle were on the chase, while Who Took the Money was allowed to relax near the back of the field. The opening quarter-mile was covered in a swift 23.36 seconds, and the early battle continued through a half-mile in 46.55 seconds. As the field moved through the far turn, Highland Creek, the other Allied Racing Stables, LLC (Chester Thomas) runner in the field, was in a striking position just behind the leaders, while Relentless Dancer ranged up with a wide bid. Deshawn Parker and Who Took the Money were just starting to begin their run but were still seventh as the field move past six furlongs in 1:12.00 seconds.
As the field moved to the top of the lane, Highland Creek surged to the lead, Venn was moving through some traffic, while Who Took the Money was gaining with a six-wide move. At the furlong marker Highland Creek was 1-1/2 lengths in front, but stablemate Who Took the Money was moving fastest in the center of the racetrack. The two Bret Calhoun trainees were well clear of the field in the final yards, with Who Took the Money rushing past for a ½-length victory. Runner-up Highland Creek was 3-1/2 lengths clear of the third-place finisher Venn. The final time for the mile was 1:37.90 seconds.
Who Took the Money earned $36,000 for the victory, his seventh from 11 career starts. The winning purse increased his lifetime earnings to $286,677.
The 4-year-old gelding was bred in Louisiana by Allied Racing Stable, LLC. Sired by Street Boss, the chestnut is out of the Speightstown mare Speights’ Colony.
Who Took the Money, sent off as the wagering favorite, rewarded backers with a $4.40 win price, $2.60 to place and $2.40 to show. Highland Creek paid $3.60 to place and $2.60 to show. Venn, the longest shot on the board at 41-1, paid $7.80 to show.
Live racing resumes on Wednesday with a 5:30pm first post. The Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred season runs on a Wednesday thru Saturday schedule until August 27.
BRET CALHOUN TRAINED RUNNERS FINISH FIRST AND SECOND
OPELOUSAS, LA –A derby weekend crowd was treated to a skillful ride by jockey Deshawn Parker aboard Winning Romance in the $60,000 EVD Distaff at Evangeline Downs on Saturday night. The race for Louisiana-bred older fillies and mares was contested at the distance of one mile over a track rated fast.
Winning Romance tossed her head slightly just as the gates opened and was away a step slower than her rivals but was able to make it to the lead heading into the clubhouse turn. She’s Gone d’Wild and Offspring were away quickest but settled into tracking positions behind the Bret Calhoun trainee. After making the lead, Winning Romance was able to set very moderate fractions early, with an opening quarter-mile in 25.72 seconds and a half-mile in a pedestrian 50.96 seconds. Offspring was tracking the leader from a half-length back, while She’s Gone d’Wild, Snowball and Net a Bear were closely grouped in the compact field.
The Allied Racing Stable, LLC (Chester Thomas) runner was traveling comfortably moving into the turn as She’s Gone d’Wild turned up the pressure with a bid along the rail. Snowball had maneuvered through some traffic and was angling for a three-wide bid as the leaders passed six furlongs in 1:15.53 seconds. As the field turned for home, Winning Romance maintained a slim advantage, and responded when called upon by Parker nearing the furlong marker. She was able to edge clear in the final yards, with the winning margin 1-3/4 lengths. She’s Gone d’Wild, also trained by Calhoun, was able to hold second 2-1/4 lengths clear of Snowball and Net a Bear, who finished in a dead-heat for third. The final running time for the mile was 1:39.65 seconds.
Winning Romance earned $36,000 for the victory, her fifth from 15 career starts. The winner’s share of the purse increased her lifetime earnings to $253,446.
The 4-year-old filly was bred in Louisiana by Allied Racing Stable, LLC. Sired by First Samurai, the chestnut is out of the Flatter mare Lipstick Junky.
Winning Romance, sent off as the wagering favorite, returned $3.60 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. She’s Gone d’Wild paid $5 to place and $2.40 to show. Snowball and Net a Bear each paid $2.10 to show.
Evelyn Benoit & trainer Jose Camejo win two stakes on closing day
(New Orleans, Louisiana – Sunday, March 27, 2022) – In a banner season that saw her top the owner’s standings with 22 wins, eight more than her closest pursuer Allied Racing Stables, Evelyn Benoit’s Brittlyn Stables won a pair of $75,000 stakes on closing day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. She took the Page Cortez Memorial with Ova Charged, and fittingly, the Star Guitar with a son of that stallion, Behemah Star. Both horses are trained by Jose Camejo.
All 22 of Benoit’s meet wins were by horses sired by Star Guitar, whom she stands at Clear Creek Stud in Louisiana for $7,500 per live foal. With 27 wins from 100 starts, Camejo finished seventh in the trainer’s standings.
In the Page Cortez, which is named for the longtime Louisiana senator, the .60-1 favorite Ova Charged, dominated from start to finish. In what was her turf debut and first start since her Louisiana Champions Day victory in the Ladies Sprint on December 11, the 4-year-old daughter of Star Guitar was pressed early by Offspring through early fractions of 22.47 and 46.46. She put that foe away at the top of the stretch and was not menaced thereafter, stopping the timer in 1:04.44 for 5 ½ furlongs on firm turf with the rails down, even jumping a shadow in the stretch along the way. Defeated by seven lengths, Offspring held off Snowball by a nose for second.
It was the third consecutive win and fifth in six starts for Ova Charged, with her only defeat coming behind Super Sensational in the Victory Ride (G3) last summer at Belmont. The career bankroll now stands a $219,600.
One race later, Behemah Star scored a mild upset at 9.30-1 in the Star Guitar for Brittlyn Stables and Camejo, defeating a pair of Allied Racing Stable runners in Highland Creek and .90-1 favorite Who Took the Money. Earlier in the day, Chester Thomas (Allied Racing Stable) scored a stakes win of his own with trainer Bret Calhoun, taking the $75,000 Shantel Lanerie Memorial with his homebred Winning Romance.
The 42nd edition of the $60,000 Edward J. Johnston Memorial Stakes, running under its current title for the first time on Saturday at Fair Grounds, attracted a large field of LA-bred 3-year-olds and up. Everything from first-time-turfers to multiple turf stake winners will compete on the lawn, but Allied Racing’s Who Took the Money stands out from the crowd.
Winning the Louisiana Champions Day Turf in just his second grass start, Bret Calhoun’s 4-year old is two for three on the lawn after beating a salty group of optional claimers last out, including Louisiana Champions Day Classic winner, Grand Luwegee. Flashing an impressive late turn of foot in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf, he rallied from 12 lengths back at the third call to win by 5 ¾ lengths over Treys Midnite Moon, Budro Talking, and Mangelsen – all of who will test him again in the Eddie Johnston. Deshawn Parker keeps the mount on the 4/5 morning line favorite and will begin his voyage from post six.
If anyone could steal it from Who Took the Money, Allen Cassedy’s front-runner Mangelsen seems like a logical choice. After speeding off in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf and tiring to finish fourth, Mangelsen’s form came into question next out when losing by 9 ½ lengths as the favorite in an optional claiming starter allowance, but trainer Ron Faucheux righted the ship with the next out effort, as the gelding led throughout to beat three of his Eddie Johnston foes. Jareth Loveberry will ride Mangelsen for the first time, sending from post seven (9-2 ML).
Multiple turf stakes winner, Hermilo Racing’s Budro Talking will make his first start in Hugo Rodriguez’s barn after being claimed out of the February optional claimer where he finished behind Mangelsen, Get Them Justin, and City Park. With a late-running style, Budro Talking will break from post eight under Mitchell Murrill looking for his 10th lifetime turf win (12-1 ML).
Snake Racing’s 7-year-old Treys Midnite Moon, a 15-time winner with a stakes victory on his resume, looks for his first win in 2022 after finishing on top five times in 2021. Third in his last three starts, including three back to Who Took the Money in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf, trainer “Bunky” Richards calls on James Graham to ride this late-kicker from post five (8-1 ML).
The remainder of the field with post position, jockey/trainer and morning line odds is as follows: Spartan Team investment’s Ballinonabudjet (post one, Colby Hernandez/Michelle Lovell, 15-1 ML) looks to make it three wins in a row while seeking the elusive first turf victory in his sixth attempt; meet-leading owner Brittlyn Stables’ Behemah Star (post two, Reylu Gutierrez/Jose Camejo, 12-1 ML) began his career sprinting and finishing 10th on the grass but has not tried since, though he exits an impressive third-level allowance dirt win at Fair Grounds in January; Autumn Hill Farms’ Get Them Justin (post three, Jose Riquelme/Sturgis Ducoing, 15-1 ML) finished second last out to Mangelsen, improving in his third turf start; Jeanne Dolan’s Changi (post four, Carlos Ulloa/Jeanne Dolan, 30-1 ML) has not won since July 2020 in 19 tries; Norman Stables’ Drewhustle (post nine, Aubrie Green/Lonnie Briley, 20-1 ML) exits a third-place allowance finish at Delta Downs but won the race prior on Fair Grounds’ dirt course; MAT Investments’ City Park (post ten, Pedro Cotto Jr./Eduardo Ramirez, 12-1 ML) is 6 for 7 on the grass, finishing third to Mangelsen and Get Them Justin last out, where he was claimed from Hugo Rodriguez; Glockenburg’s Mr. Universe (post eleven, Jose Vega/Gennadi Dorochenko, 20-1 ML) won against second-level allowance company last out, his second tally in seven turf tries.
Carded as race number eight, the last of three turf stakes races on the day, post time is scheduled for 5:36 pm CT.
CILLA BECOMES FIRST BLACK-TYPE WINNER FOR CALIFORNIA CHROME
OPELOUSAS, LA –Evangeline Downs hosted the annual celebration of the Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds with Louisiana Legends Night on Saturday. The exciting card featured six stakes races, each with a purse of $70,000 highlighted the card.
Persistent rains throughout the week forced all the races to be run on the main track. The Soiree was contested over a muddy track, but a downpour after that race left the card sloppy for the remaining races.
The $70,000 Mademoiselle featured what may have been the most impressive performance of the evening as Cilla powered away to victory. The 3-year-old Brett Brinkman trainee scratched out of the one-mile Soiree to face older fillies and mares in the Mademoiselle. That decision proved fruitful with the sensational turn of foot produced on the far turn. Traveling in mid-pack as Strong Beauty and Southern Beauty battled through fractions of 21.64 and 45.05, jockey Joel Dominguez sent Cilla up to challenge with a four-wide move at the top of the lane. While racing six wide, Cilla stormed away from her rivals to win by 4-1/4 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:03.74. Evangeline Downs Distaff winner Snowball rallied up the rail to finish second and Strong Beauty held on well for third.
Campaigned by P. Dale Ladner, and was bred by the partnership of Brinkman and Ladner. Sired by California Chrome, she is out of the Into Mischief mare Sittin at the Bar. The Mademoiselle victory was the second impressive win over a sloppy track, along with a win at Delaware Park last August.
Cilla returned $19.60 as the winner, $6.20 to place and $4.20 to show. Snowball paid $4.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Strong Beauty paid $4.40 to show. With the $42,000 winner’s prize, Cilla pushed her career earnings to $143,500.
The $70,000 Soiree, for 3-year-old fillies, was contested by a field of just four runners over the one-mile distance. Winning Romance, trained by W. Bret Calhoun, broke alertly and traveled comfortably in tandem with Half Koo Koo for the first half-mile. Jockey Diego Saenz asked his runner for more on the far turn, and she quickly responded. Winning Romance’s lead widened throughout the lane with the winning margin an incredible 20-3/4 lengths. Inawic, who tracked the leaders down the backside, finished second and Tecate Time was along for third. The final time was a hand-timed 1:38.75.
Winning Romance, sired by First Samurai, and out of the Flatter mare Lipstick Junky, returned $2.60 to win and $2.10 to place. Inawic returned $4.00 to place. There was no show wagering in the short field. The Allied Racing Stables, LLC (Chester Thomas) runner pushed her career earnings to $135,441.
The $70,000 Cheval was contested in a torrential rainstorm that arrived shortly before post-time. Chu Chu’s Legacy was quickly away in the one-mile affair, and was never headed, scoring a front-running six-length victory. The winner owned and trained by Allen Landry is a son of Bind, out of the Johannesburg mare Bond’s Babe. Jockey Joe Stokes urged his runner along in splits of 23.59, 47.41 and 1:12.36, before stopping the timer in 1:39.18 for the eight furlongs.
Runner-up Wise Verdict made a move inside of rivals on the turn to get in position turning for home, while third-place finisher Beauregard was well placed throughout, but unable to threaten the leader.
The winner returned $10.60 to win, $6.40 to place and $4.80 to show. Wise Verdict rewarded backers with $9.60 to place and $6.00 to show. Longshot Beauregard paid $13.80 to show. Chu Chu’s Legacy ran his total earnings to $176,350 with the triumph.
The $70,000 Sprint, over a distance of 5-1/2 furlongs, was a family affair as half-siblings Bertie’s Galaxy and Wild Bert battled from the start and finished one-two. Both runners are out of the Wild Rush dam, Wild Bertie, with the winner being the younger brother and sired by Greeley’s Galaxy.
Wild Bert sped through early fractions of 21.86 and 45.04, with Bertie’s Galaxy in close attendance to the outside of the leader. Moving to challenge on the far turn, jockey Diego Saenz swept up with the Ron Faucheux runner to take the lead approaching the quarter pole. The pair steadily drew away through the lane to win by 3-1/4 lengths in a time of 1:03.53. Wild Bertie was well clear as the runner-up, with Laughingsaintssong another 3-1/2 lengths back in third.
Bertie’s Galaxy’s pushed his career earnings to $225,750. Owned by Allen Cassedy and trained by Ron Faucheux, Bertie’s Galaxy was sent off as the second choice at 2-1 and paid $6.00 to win, $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show. Wild Bert returned $7.20 to place and $4.60 to show. Laughingsaintssong returned $5.00 to show.
The $70,000 Turf Distaff was the second straight stakes victory for Offspring. The 5-year-old mare by Into Mischief, out of the Pioneering mare Pioneer Gal, had previously won a stakes at the Fair Grounds. Away in good order under jockey Roberto Morales, Offspring was allowed to settle off the moderate fractions being set by Distractor Factor, traveling just off the leader through splits of 25.06 and 49.68. Saber Cut was up to put pressure on Distractor Factor as Offspring moved alongside, while Quikfast N Ahurry ranged up four-wide past 6-furlongs in 1:14.55. As they straightened away, Offspring surged between rivals to poke her head in front at the top of the lane and fought off her rivals for a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:39.57. Quikfast N Ahurry battled on for second, 1-1/4 lengths in front of favored Net a Bear in third.
Owned by Oak Tree Stable (Bennett E. Powel) and trained by Edward J. Johnston, Offspring rewarded backers with a win price of $7.80, $4.80 to place and $2.60 to show. Quikfast N Ahurry paid $5.60 to place and $3.20 to show, with Net a Bear at $2.40 to show. The career bankroll increased to $219,478 with the winning share of the purse.
The $70,000 Turf was the final stakes race of the night and was won in wire-to-wire fashion by Maga Man. A quick start from the inside post allowed Maga Man, with jockey Kevin Smith, to set reasonable fractions of 48.17 for a half-mile and 1:12.74 for the six-furlong split. With Grand Luwegee in close attendance throughout, Maga Man repelled that challenge at the top of the lane and held sway in the final yards to hold off a late rally up the rail from Jax Man in a time of 1:38.36. The rider of Jax Man, Casey Fusilier, lodged an objection and the stewards also posted the inquiry sign regarding the final yards of the one-mile race. After reviewing the videotapes, the stewards found there was insufficient evidence to change the order of finish.
The 6-year-old son of Musket Man, and out of the Pulling Punches mare Lew’s Gray, runs for the Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC of Carrol Castille. Trained by Steven B. Flint, the winner returned $11.80 to win, $5.20 to place and $3.20 to show. Runner-up Jax Man paid $6.20 to place and $2.80 to show. Grand Luwegee paid $3.20 to show. With the victory, Maga Man increased his career bankroll to $233,960.
For more information on racing at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website atwww.evdracing.com and on Twitter @evdracing. Racing continues on a Wednesday thru Saturday schedule until the end of the meet on September 18.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.
State-bred Star Gets Loose Pre-Race, Still Holds Off Stablemate
To say trainer Bret Calhoun had some anxious moments prior to the $100,000 Crescent City Derby would be like saying Saints fans won’t miss Drew Brees.
Allied Racing Stable’s homebred Who Took the Money, the overwhelming .40-1 favorite, decided to give his 11 3-year-old rivals a fighting chance when he flipped over in the post parade, tossed jockey Gabe Saez, and briefly ran off. Once corralled and deemed fit to run by a state veterinarian, he was all business, rallying along the rail and holding off his game stablemate Highland Creek by a nose.
“He’s a big strong horse and he’s still learning is lessons,” Calhoun said. “Both the horse and jockey were very game in their performances.”
Who Took the Money settled in sixth early on behind longshot leaders Wise Verdict and Wrongwayhighway, while Highland Creek settled in third. The field bunched entering the far turn when Adam Beschizza and Highland Creek opted to tip out wide, while Saez and Who Took the Money held the rail, and scooted through the large opening inside when the leaders fanned off the turn. Who Took the Money kicked clear but Highland Creek was resolute, though he ultimate came up short, with the winner traveling the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.73. It was a length back to Unanimously in third.
Saez was been aboard Who Took the Money in both of his prior two starts and chalked up the pre-race incident to bad luck. But once the gates opened, it was business as usual.
“It was just one of those things that happens every so often,” Saez said. “I was able to save ground on the inside and got through and he kicked on from there.”
Who Took the Money has come a long way in a short period of time for Calhoun, as he was an unraced maiden on the morning of February 5 and is now 3-for-3 and a stakes winner. Wild and hard to handle early on, Calhoun opted to geld the son of Street Boss prior to his career debut and Who Took the Money won by 4 ½ lengths. He entered off another easy win in a March 6 two-turn state-bred allowance, and is now 3-for-3.
Calhoun and Allied’s owner Chester Thomas teamed to win the Louisiana Derby (G2) in 2019 with By My Standards, and while Who Took the Money isn’t in that class, the latter still had plenty of reason to celebrate.
“We’re having a lot of fun with these Louisiana breds,” Thomas said. “You’ve got to give it to Gabe, what a heart, he rode a wonderful race. What can you say, Bret and everyone has done a great job.”