Free Drop Maddy’s Ferguson Win Sets the Stage for the Rest of her Fair Grounds Campaign

Jockey Reylu Gutierrez pilots Free Drop Maddy to victory in the inaugural running of the Donovan L. Ferguson Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Mansfield Racing’s Free Drop Maddy set the record straight on who is the 2-year-old filly to fear in Louisiana, winning the 1st running of the 5 1/2 furlong $75,00 Donovan L. Ferguson Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths. After two lackluster races at Delta Downs, the talent she displayed breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs could be questioned on paper, but trainer Bret Calhoun knew better.

“She’d been training great,” Calhoun said after the race. “I’m not sure Delta was her best surface. We were pretty confident today, and we had really targeted her for a campaign here this winter.”

Under James Graham, Cced for Steph broke out to the front and took the advantage through the first call in 22.59. Positioned to her immediate outside by jockey Rey Gutierrez, 1.40-1 betting favorite Free Drop Maddy didn’t waste any time taking over after that. She completed the second call in front in 46.51. 29.70-1 longshot Addi Bug made her big move late, flying past runners in the turn but Free Drop Maddy was long gone and had plenty left as she crossed the wire in 1:05.29. Don’tcallmepatsy kept it close early and managed to hang on for third after running in that position the entire race.

Rey Gutierrez piloted three winners on the day.

With 5 races under her belt, Free Drop Maddy racked up win number 2 to go with her 1 second and 2 thirds. That makes an impressive $165,800 earned for this juvenile by Free Drop Billy.