– NO PAROLE TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD ON THE KENTUCKY DERBY TRAIL –
VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted its richest program of the season on Saturday night with another edition of Louisiana Premier Night. The 11-race card featured 10 stakes races for Louisiana-bred horses and nearly $1 million in total purse money up for grabs.
The featured event of the night was the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship for older horses competing at 1-1/16 miles and the event had a dramatic finish as Mallory Greiner’s Underpressure ran down a determined Pound for Pound in the stretch to get the victory under jockey Gerard Melancon.
The Championship began with the odds-on favorite Shang charging out to the early lead and carving out fractional times of 24.17 seconds for the opening quarter mile, 48.81 for the half, and 1:13.69 for three-quarters. When the field turned for home, Melancon let Underpressure loose after sitting several lengths off the early lead. The pair then reached the upper-stretch with their sights set on Pound for Pound, who had overtaken Shang and was looking make it home in front.
The stretch run of the Championship turned into a war of wills, as Underpressure slowly but surely cut into the lead of Pound for Pound before overtaking him in the final strides to win by a half-length. Star Fitzstall finished another five length behind in third.
Underpressure covered the distance of the Championship in a time of 1:45.51 while running on a fast track.
Trainer Chris Richard was very proud of his hard-knocking gelding after the race. “It was a very competitive race; he always shows up and gives us a big effort. I felt he was coming into the race as good as he ever has. Gerard did and excellent job! We’ll look at some Louisiana-bred stakes at Fair Grounds next.”
Underpressure has now won 12-of-35 career races and his $90,000 payday on Saturday pushed his lifetime bankroll up to $693,382.
Bred in Louisiana by James McIngvale, Underpressure is a 6-year-old gelding by Birdstone, out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen.
Sent to the gate at odds of 5-1, Underpressure paid $12.40 to win, $4.60 to place and $7.20 to show. Pound for Pound returned $4.40 to place and $8 to show. Star Fitzstall was worth $13.80 to show.
In other action on Louisiana Premier Night the $125,000 LAPN Distaff was won by Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte’s Mariah’s Galaxy, who scored her third stakes win of the season. Mariah’s Galaxy was ridden to victory by regular jockey Kevin Smith and is trained by Victor Arceneaux. Mariah’s Galaxy also took the Magnolia and Treasure Chest Stakes earlier in the meeting.
Maggi Moss’s 3-year-old superstar No Parole made quick work of his rivals in this year’s $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Prince as he led every step of the way under James Graham for trainer Tom Amoss. The win was his third in a row and none have been close. Saturday’s victory was by 6-1/2 lengths and now his connections look forward to a possible Kentucky Derby prep race for the son of Violence, out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Plus One.
Steph’sfullasugar won the $125,000 LAPN Starlet with jockey Colby Hernandez riding for trainer Victor Arceneaux. The winner is owned by Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc. The win came in Steph’sfullasugar’s stakes debut and her second career race overall.
This year’s $100,000 LAPN Matron was won impressively by Minit to Stardom under jockey Alex Citron. The property of Brittlyn Stable, Inc. (Evelyn Benoit) is conditioned by Jose Camejo. Minit to Stardom is a graded stakes winner who surpassed the half-million mark in career earnings with the win.
The $100,000 LAPN Sprint was taken in come-from-behind style by Double Barrel Man who was ridden to victory by jockey Paulina Ramirez, who had two wins on the program. Double Barrel Man is owned by GK Racing, LLC (Gary Knight) and is conditioned by leading trainer Karl Broberg.
The $60,000 LAPN Gentlemen Starter was annexed by Pinch Assault for owners John T. Easley and Brian A. Huval. Huval also trains and the winning ride went to Joel Dominguez. Pinch Assault is a 6-year-old who now has 10 wins from 37 career starts.
This year’s $60,000 LAPN Ladies Starter was won by Flying Start, LLC’s My Little Jen. The 4-year-old filly produced the first stakes win for both jockey Paulina Ramirez’s and trainer Judy Beavin. My Little Jen defeated the heavily favored Dale’s Lil Sis, who came into the race on a four-race winning streak.
The $50,000 LAPN Ragin Cajun Starter was taken by Big Em C with jockey C. J. McMahon in the saddle. The 5-year-old gelding has now won four races on the season for owner End Zone Athletics and leading trainer Karl Broberg.
Sarge’s Daughter dominated seven rivals to win the $50,000 LAPN Bon Temps Starter with jockey Eguard Tejera in the saddle for trainer Beverly Burress. The 8-year-old mare is owned by former jockey Juan Larrosa.
Delta Downs will embark on its 19th week of live racing Wednesday night with a nine-race program that kicks off at 4:55 pm. The current season runs through February 29.