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Evelyn Benoit’s Wild About Star Brings National Attention to the Louisiana Breeding Program

Star Guitar Filly Scores in the Very One Stakes on the Preakness Undercard

RACE 9 THE VERY ONE STAKES-97
Louisiana-bred Wild About Star wins The Very One Stakes at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. Steve Queen photo.

by Gary McMillen
Steve Queen photos

Close your eyes. Imagine Evelyn Benoit speechless.

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Evelyn Benoit, makes her way to the winners circle following the victory of her homebred Wild About Star in The Very One Stakes. Steve Queen photo.

Seldom at a loss for words—Benoit lost her voice for three days after Brittlyn Stable’s home-bred Wild About Star won the $100,000 The Very One stakes on May 14 at Pimlico Race Course on the undercard of the Preakness Stakes.  

Benoit was with her 5-year-old Star Guitar mare in the shed row at Delaware Park the night before the race. “I went straight from the airport to the barn,” Benoit recalls. “It was 10 o’clock at night and she was cleaning up a bucket of oats and molasses. Her color and attitude were great. She looked amazing. You could tell she was sitting on a big race.”

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Trained by Venezuelan-born Jose Camejo, Wild About Star shipped in to Pimlico on the morning of the race. From the first crop of Star Guitar, Wild About Star had previously done all of her racing in Louisiana. Going five furlongs on the turf and breaking from an outside post, Wild About Star made a statement for Louisiana-breds on the national scene. Three wide on the turn, Wild About Star chased the early pace before taking command at the 1/8th pole and drew off to win by daylight.

It may not have been good for her vocal cords, but for Benoit, winning a $100,000 stakes on the Preakness undercard was a dream come true. “From the time I landed at Delaware Park until we were in the winner’s circle I was treated like royalty,” Benoit recalls of the experience. “Every single person we met in Baltimore was kind and accommodating. Day or night the management and staff at Pimlico allowed us access to everything.” 

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“The atmosphere at the track was incredible. The place was packed,” Benoit continued. “The whole day was one big party just like the Kentucky Derby. The crowd was really into it. The enthusiasm was off the charts.”

In the party atmosphere and media attention, Benoit never made it back to her reserved seat in the clubhouse to watch the race. “People that I had never seen in my life came up and wanted to talk,” she explained. “When I walked out of the paddock I couldn’t find a place to stand.”

Benoit is no stranger to traveling to stakes venues and being on hand to root for her horses. “In forty years I don’t think there has been more than two occasions when I was not present,” she says. “It is very important to me. I just keep trying to promote horse racing in any way that I can. No matter what other business ventures I am involved with, horse racing has my maximum attention.”

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Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year four times, the top money earning Louisiana-bred in history and winner of 24 of 30 starts, Star Guitar is the glue that holds Benoit’s racing stable together. “From the very beginning I knew that Star Guitar was the best horse I ever bred,” Benoit says. “From the day he started racing my bond with him grew stronger and got me through some tough personal times.”

For Benoit, winning The Very One stakes on the Preakness undercard was exhilarating but she is not one to dwell in the past. “I can’t say enough about my trainer Jose Camejo and his racing team,” Benoit explains. “They are so thrilled and committed to the progeny of Star Guitar. I’m looking forward to finding more quality mares to breed to Star Guitar. Just wait until you see the next batch.” 

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SATURDAY NIGHT IS LOUISIANA LEGENDS NIGHT AT EVANGELINE DOWNS

EIGHT LOUISIANA-BRED STAKES RACES WITH PURSES TOTALLING $550,000

 

OPELOUSAS, LA – The best Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds will be in the spotlight at Evangeline Downs this Saturday night for Louisiana Legends Night. The annual celebration will be a 10-race program with the first post time set for 5:50 pm Central Time.

There will be eight stakes races on the card and Evangeline Downs bettors will surely be focused on the $50,000 All-Stakes Pick Four, which will cover races four through seven on the program. The races in the sequence will be the $75,000 Soiree for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the main track, the $50,000 Distaff Starter for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs on the main track, the $75,000 Cheval for 3-year-olds at one mile on the main track, and the $75,000 Turf Distaff for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at one mile on the turf.

The Turf Distaff features 3-1 morning-line favorite, Special Blessing, who has already scored a stakes victory this season in the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Distaff on April 26. Special Blessing is not the only previous stakes winner this season returning for Legends Night. Fortune Got Even won the $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks on May 3 and is 7-2 in the Soiree and Power Jet took the $75,000 Equine Sales Derby on May 4 and is 9-2 in the Cheval.

In addition to the exciting racing action, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will be awarding two $1,000 scholarships to eligible registered college students following the fifth race on Saturday night. Students must be present to win and have their college identification and photo identification with them, be enrolled in college full-time for Fall 2019, and be in good standing with their college or university. For more information on the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, visit www.louisianabred.com.

Here are the eight stakes races that comprise Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs:

 

Race 2- $75,000 Mademoiselle- 3-year-olds and up Fillies & Mares- 5 ½ Furlongs

Race 4- $75,000 Soiree- 3-year-old Fillies- 1 Mile

Race 5- $50,000 Distaff Starter- 3-year-olds and up Fillies & Mares- 7 Furlongs

Race 6- $75,000 Cheval- 3-year-olds- 1 Mile

Race 7- $75,000 Turf Distaff- 3-year-olds and up Fillies & Mares- 1 Mile (TURF)

Race 8- $75,000 Sprint- 3-year-olds and up- 5 ½ Furlongs

Race 9- $75,000 Turf- 3-year-olds and up- 1 1/16 Miles (TURF)

Race 10- $50,000 Starter- 3-year-olds and up- 1 1/16 Miles

 

Evangeline Downs is currently conducting the 2019 Thoroughbred season with racing on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule through Saturday, August 24. Post time each live racing night is 5:50 pm Central Time.

 

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

 

 

About Evangeline Downs

Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Boyd Gaming press releases are available at www.prnewswire.com.  Additional news and information can be found at www.boydgaming.com, or www.evangelinedowns.com.

 

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Louisiana-bred Star Guitar racemare, Wild About Star, Scores Open Stakes Win on the Pimlico Undercard

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Louisiana-bred Wild About Star wins The Very One Stakes at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. Steve Queen photo.

Brittlyn Stable’s Wild About Star, racing for the first time outside of her native Louisiana, came with a sweeping move on the outside and stormed down the center of the track to pass favored Jo Jo Air to win Saturday’s $100,000 The Very One at Pimlico Race Course.

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Evelyn Benoit, makes her way to the winners circle following the victory of her homebred Wild About Star in The Very One Stakes. Steve Queen photo.

“I am wild about Star!” said winning owner Evelyn Benoit. “It took me about 40 years to get a stallion. Star Guitar is the Louisiana stallion of the year, and I own the mare and we have a lot of babies.  This is what I’ve been trying to do, not only promote Louisiana racing but horse racing for everyone, to show that Louisiana and women and women in my position can do this. It was very difficult. I never had a horse super enough to be a stallion. Gosh, it’s just a dream. To win an open stakes here in this beautiful state of Maryland, it means everything to me. I’m so thrilled, couldn’t be any happier if I won the Preakness. You have no idea, this is like the biggest dream in my life come true.”

The 20th running of the five-furlong The Very One for fillies and mares on the grass was among nine stakes, five graded, worth $2.8 million on a 14-race program highlighted by the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Ridden by Daniel Centeno, Wild About Star ($13) won in 56.93 seconds over a firm turf course.

It was the first career stakes win for Louisiana-bred Wild About Star, a 5-year-old Star Guitar mare making her first start for trainer Jose Camejo. Wild About Star chased even-money favorite Jo Jo Air through a quarter-mile in 22.88 seconds before forging a short lead on the turn and pulling away to a 1 ¾-length triumph. Jo Jo Air stayed up for second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Misericordia. Eye On Berlin finished fourth.

Wild About Star has six wins from 15 career starts and is 5-for-11 lifetime going five furlongs on grass.

“(Benoit) wanted to promote the stallion all over the place, so she decided to run (Wild About Star) here after she worked,” said Camejo. “She was feeling really good. She was ready for this race.”

Benoit said the mare’s success is a big boost for Star Guitar, who stands at Clear Creek Stud in Louisiana, where his 2019 fee was $7,500.

“She’s out of his first crop, and I’ve wanted to have this opportunity in front of a large crowd to show that in Louisiana we can breed nice horses,” the owner/breeder said.

 

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Two Scholarships to be Awarded at Louisiana Legends Night

OPELOUSAS, La. – Louisiana Legends Night will take place on Saturday, May 25, at Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel in Opelousas, La. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award a total of two scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Fall 2019.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must be present to win at the Winner’s Circle when the announcement is made.
  • Must have college ID and government-issued ID.
For Louisiana Legends Night:
  • Registration: 4:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m. at the designated booth
  • Races begin: 5:50 p.m.
  • Drawing Time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race. The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
“The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association continues to make an investment in the future of our state by investing in our students and the education process,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “This type of investment is for our future, the state, as well as the organization. Our hope is that these scholarships get the younger generations invested in LTBA so that our organization stays the top breeding incentive program in the United States.”
Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages the best incentive program for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generates over $1 billion and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.
For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit louisianabred.com or call (504) 947-4676.
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POWER JET TAKES THE EQUINE SALES DERBY AT EVANGELINE DOWNS

CHRIS ROSIER ABOARD FOR THE VICTORY IN FIRST RIDE EVER ON COLT

POWER JET - Equine Sales Derby - 05-04-19 - R08 - EVD - Finish
Power Jet wins the 2019 Equine Sales Derby. Coady Photography.

 

Equine Sales Derby
Evangeline Downs, 5-4-19, 1 mile
Three-Year-Olds, $75,000

POWER JET
Power Broker–Zada Rae
Breeder: Joseph Adcock
Owner: William T. Reed
Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun
Jockey: Chris R. Rosier

2nd
Paynt Battle
Paynter–Ziptomylu
Breeder: Fred W. Hertrich III (KY)
Owner: Norman Stables, LLC
Trainer: Lonnie Briley
Jockey: Kerwin D. Clark

3rd
Fat Clemenza
Closing Argument–Bronze Abe
Breeder: Chrislin LLC (LA)
Owner: Darrah Wentworth
Trainer: Harvey Lourd, III
Jockey: Ashley Broussard

OPELOUSAS, LA – The $75,000 Equine Sales Derby at Evangeline Downs on Saturday night featured an intense speed duel between the 4-5 favorite, Fat Clemenza, and the 2-1 second choice, Boston Repo. All that did was set things up for a closer and the one that closed the best was Power Jet, who rallied from last in the field of 10 to finish first in a final time of 1:38.96 for the mile over the fast track.

Fat Clemenza and Boston Repo were one-two through the strong early fractions of 23.25 seconds for the quarter-mile and 47.20 for the half. A pair of longshots then made aggressive bids as the field moved on the far turn. Power Jet, sent off at 10-1, and Paynt Battle, sent off at 40-1, attacked the two leaders and as the horses entered the stretch, they had Fat Clemenza surrounded. Power Jet had rallied in the clear four-wide and surged away from Paynt Battle, who encountered slightly more traffic, to record a 2-1/4 length victory.

Power Jet returned $23.20 to win, $11.20 to place and $4.80 to show. Paynt Battle paid $29.60 to place and $9.60 to show, while Fat Clemenza paid $2.60 to show.

Power Jet was bred in Louisiana by Joseph Adcock. He is owned by William T. Reed, trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden to victory by Chris Rosier. Power Jet is a 3-year-old colt by Power Broker and is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare, Zada Rae. He has won twice in nine lifetime starts and the $45,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $99,210.

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

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FORTUNE GOT EVEN WINS THE EQUINE SALES OAKS AT EVANGELINE DOWNS

FILLY SCORES HER FIRST CAREER STAKES VICTORY

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Fortune Got Even wins the 2019 Equine Sales Oaks. Coady Photography.

 

Equine Sales Oaks
Evangeline Downs, 5-3-19, 1 mile
3-Year-Old Fillies, $75,000

FORTUNE GOT EVEN
Stephen Got Even – Fortune in Gold
Breeder: Wendell A. Templet
Owner: Ricky Courville
Trainer: Ricky Courville
Jockey: Ashley Broussard

2nd
Snowball
Apriority–Inner Peace
Breeder: 4M Ranch
Owner: Tin Roof Farms LLC
Trainer: Samuel Breaux
Jockey: Diego Saenz

3rd
Flat Out Flirty
Flat Out–Flirty Fitz, by Seattle Fitz (ARG)
Breeder: Darlene Wahman & Jeff Wahman (KY)
Owner: DW2 Equine, LLC
Trainer: Ronnie P. Ward
Jockey: Alexander Castillo

OPELOUSAS, LA – The $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks at Evangeline Downs was won by Fortune Got Even, which continued a steady streak of strong performances for her when Ashley Broussard is given the riding assignment. When Broussard is aboard the 3-year-old filly, she has now recorded two wins and two seconds. This victory came by just a neck over Snowball, who challenged her all the way through the stretch. The final time was 1:40.31 for a mile over the fast track.

The early fractions were set by Cohenscollegefund, who took the lead out of the gate and held control through a quarter-mile of 24.22 seconds and a half of 48.77. Meanwhile, Fortune Got Even was sitting in sixth and it was once the field reached the far turn and Broussard swung her four-wide that she made an aggressive run to the lead. She held on through the lane, repelling Snowball to win by a neck. It was 7-3/4 lengths back to a photo for third, which Flat Out Flirty won over Sweet Amelia.

Fortune Got Even was sent off at 5-2 by the betting public and returned $7 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show. Snowball paid $5.20 to place and $3.40 to show, while Flat Out Flirty returned $5 to show.

Fortune Got Even was bred in Louisiana by Wendell A. Templet. She is owned and trained by Ricky Courville. Fortune Got Even is by Stephen Got Even and is out of the Secret Romeo mare, Fortune In Gold. She has won three of nine lifetime starts and the $45,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $110,965.

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website atwww.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

 

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UNDERPRESSURE RALLIES TO TAKE THE EVANGELINE DOWNS CLASSIC

HORSE GETS THIRD STAKES WIN IN THE LAST FIVE STARTS

 

UNDERPRESSURE - The Evangeline Downs Classic - 04-27-19 - R08 - EVD - Finish
Underpressure wins the 2019 Evangeline Downs Classic. Coady Photography

Evangeline Downs Classic Stakes
Evangeline Downs, 4-27-19, 8 furlongs
4-Year-Olds and Upwards, $75,000

UNDERPRESSURE
Birdstone–Charming Colleen
Breeder: James McIngvale
Owner: Mallory Greiner
Trainer: Chris Richard
Jockey: Gerard Melancon

Just Stormin
Freud–Crypto Cream
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson
Owner: Craig Drago
Trainer: Allen Landry
Jockey: Kerwin D. Clark

Mageez
Musket Man–Spaseeba
Breeder: James A. Mcgehee Jr.
Owner: Double Dam Farm LLC
Trainer: Delmar R. Caldwell
Jockey: Roberto Morales

OPELOUSAS, LA – It wasn’t the easiest of victories in the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Classic for Underpressure on Saturday night. He had to survive both a stewards’ inquiry and a rider’s objection for possible interference in deep stretch, but once both claims were disallowed, then the pressure was truly off. The 5-year-old horse had rallied to pass a game pacesetter in Just Stormin and score a victory by 1-1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:38.39 for one mile over the fast track.

Just Stormin was hustled to the lead off the break and maintained that advantage through moderate early fractions of 24.77 seconds for the quarter-mile and 49.40 for the half. Underpressure was languishing in mid-pack until the field entered the far turn and made an aggressive run into contention that had him on even terms with Just Stormin until taking the lead around the eighth pole. Underpressure then moved down toward the rail, causing Just Stormin to steady in deep stretch, but this action was considered inconsequential to the outcome and the result was allowed to stand.

Underpressure was sent off at 4-1 by the betting public and returned $10.40 to win, $5.40 to place and $3.60 to show. Just Stormin paid $10.80 to place and $7 to show, while Mageez returned $4.20 to show.

Underpressure was bred in Louisiana by James McIngvale. He is owned by Mallory Greiner, trained by Chris Richard and was ridden to victory by Gerard Melancon. Underpressure is by 2004 Belmont Stakes winner, Birdstone, and is out of the Charismatic mare, Charming Colleen. He has now won ten of 29 starts in his career and the $45,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $550,632.

Live racing at Evangeline Downs will resume on Wednesday night with a nine-race program. Post time on Wednesday will be 5:50 pm Central Time.

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website atwww.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

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SPECIAL BLESSING PREVAILS IN THE EVANGELINE DOWNS DISTAFF

FILLY WINS HER FIRST STAKES RACE SINCE THE 2018 EQUINE SALES OAKS AT EVANGELINE DOWNS

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Special Blessing wins the Evangeline Downs Distaff Stakes. Coady Photography

Evangeline Downs Distaff Stakes
Evangeline Downs, 4-26-19, 8 furlongs
Four Year Old and Upwards, Fillies and Mares, $75,000

SPECIAL BLESSING
Flat Out–Langsyne
Breeder: J. Adcock
Owner: Coteau Grove Farms LLCV
Trainer: W. Brett Calhoun
Jockey: Roberto Morales

2nd
Tap Dance Star
Star Guitar–Dance by Em
Breeder: Virginia Lazenby
Owner: Virginia Lazenby Racing Stable LLC
Trainer: Oscar Modica
Jockey: Gerard Melancon

3rd
Hyper Piper
Old Fashioned–Filaree
Breeder: Earl Hernandez, Keith Hernandez & John Duvieilh
Owner: Earl Hernandez, Keith Hernandez & John Duvieilh
Trainer: Sam B. David, Jr.
Jockey: Sam B. David, Jr.

 

OPELOUSAS, LA – The $75,000 Evangeline Downs Distaff on Friday night was expected to be a battle between Louisiana heavyweights and old rivals, Hyper Piper and Testing One Two. However, a filly that hadn’t won a stakes race in nearly a year had other plans, as Special Blessing went to the front shortly after the start and never looked back, coasting to a victory by 6-1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:37.58 for the one mile over the fast track.

Special Blessing was able to secure an inside position before the field entered the first turn and used that rail run to her advantage, carving out fractions of 24.06 seconds for the quarter-mile and 47.76 for the half. She really took off entering the far turn and the outcome was never in doubt as the field entered the stretch, as Special Blessing just kept increasing her lead with every stride. Tap Dance Star had been last in the field of six through the early stages, but closed well and beat out Hyper Piper for second. The even-money betting favorite, Testing One Two, was unable to fire after being near the pace early on and faded to finish fifth.

The win in the Evangeline Downs Distaff on Friday night was Special Blessing’s first stakes win since taking the $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks, also at Evangeline Downs on May 4, 2018.

Special Blessing was sent off by the betting public at odds of 9-1 and returned $20.80 to win, $8 to place and $4.60 to show. Tap Dance Star was also 9-1 in the wagering and paid $6.40 to place and $4 to show. Hyper Piper returned $3.40 to show.

Special Blessing was bred in Louisiana by J.Adcock. She is owned by Coteau Grove Farms, LLC, trained by Bret Calhoun and was ridden to victory by Roberto Morales. The 4-year-old filly is by Flat Out and is out of the Langfuhr mare, Langsyne. She has now won five of 12 starts in her career and the $45,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $209,030.

 

Live racing at Evangeline Downs will resume on Saturday night with a nine-race program. The featured event on the program will be the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Classic. Post time on Saturday will be 5:50 pm Central Time.

 

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website atwww.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

 

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Louisiana-Bred Among Quartet of Fillies Tied for Fastest Time at Texas 2YOs in Training Under Tack Show

Four fillies clocked an eighth-mile in :10 2/5 on Sunday at Lone Star Park during the under tack show for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. The auction, originally scheduled for Tuesday, will be held this Wednesday at noon. The sale is sponsored by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park.

“We saw some great times considering the track was a bit heavy from some significant rain last night, and early on during the under tack there was a pretty stiff head wind,” said Tim Boyce, sales manager.

The first horse to clock the co-fastest time of the day was hip 35, a Kentucky-bred from the first crop of Florida Derby (G1) and Donn Handicap (G1) winner Constitution. Consigned by Diamond C Racing Stables, she is out of the winning Henny Hughes mare Lil Red Cozette, whose only starter is a stakes winner by Graydar.

Hip 58, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Flat Out from the consignment of Bryan Ford, agent, equaled the fastest clocking. The March 4 foal is the second out of the Dehere mare Preciouspurplerain.

From the consignment of Twin Oaks Training Center, agent, hip 72 also joined the fastest group. The Louisiana-bred is from the second crop of Grade 2 winner Guilt Trip out of the Known Fact mare Seda Fina, whose offspring include multiple stakes winner Su Casa G Casa.

The final horse to work :10 2/5 was hip 133, a Texas-bred daughter of Grade 1 winner Twirling Candy, also consigned by Twin Oaks Training Center, agent. She is the first foal out of the winning War Front mare Clara Kelly.

 Prior to Wednesday’s sale, a pre-sale brunch will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the sales pavilion with a complementary bloody marys and mimosas along with a selection of complimentary breakfast items and food for purchase.

Replays of the under tack show are available at www.ttasales.com.

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OURS TO RUN EXTENDS STREAK WITH MILD CAROUSEL UPSET

OURS TO RUN/Photo Credit: Coady Photography
OURS TO RUN/Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Colonel Thoroughbreds LLC.’s Ours to Run extended her win streak to five with a dominating performance in Saturday’s $150,000 Carousel Stakes before a crowd of 16,000 in attendance for the annual Boat & Truck Giveaway. It was the fifth straight stakes victory for the Louisiana-bred daughter of Half Ours and first against open company.

“She’s done really well,” trainer Larry Jones said. “There wasn’t anything else to do with her in Louisiana right at this moment. We had a little space and she was doing good. It was maybe the time to try it. They were predicting rain. She loves the off track, so that was not against us at all when this happened. I can’t say that we maybe won’t keep her with some open company because now Louisiana is penalizing her so much. She’s packing so much more weight than the other horses. Her last win, she was 9 pounds heavier than anybody. There comes a time when you’ve got to start taking that into consideration. She handled this so well, so we may go to the drawing board and try to see what else we can come up with.”

In the Carousel, Ours to Run patiently raced behind the early speed in fourth as Salt Brae led for a quarter mile in :21 4/5. Shanghai Tariff took over before a half mile in :45, but that was short lived as she was quickly headed by heavy favorite Mia Mischief and the eventual winner at the top of the stretch. As soon as jockey Terry Thompson asked, Ours to Run responded by drawing away from her competition and winning easily by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:10 4/5 for six furlongs over a sloppy track. Mia Mischief held second with Shanghai Tariff third.

“It was a short field with lots of speed on the inside,” Thompson said. “I had the perfect post position to see how the race set up. It worked out just like Larry and I thought. She engaged them at the top of the stretch and gave me all that she had. She dominated at the end.”

Ours to Run improved her record to 11-2-1 from 19 starts and has now earned $427,988. The 5-year-old mare returned $8.80, $3 and $2.20 as the 3-1 second choice in the field of five. Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Amy’s Challenge scratched from the race in favor of the Grade 1 Madison Stakes where she finished a narrow second.

The other big winner Saturday was Julie Erkel from Brentwood, TN, who won a new 2018 Ford F150 Supercab 4X2 courtesy of Crain Automotive Team and a 20ft Sylvan Mirage 820 CC Pontoon courtesy of Gregg Orr Marine. Erkel was one of 16 finalists selected by the winning jockey after each of the first eight races. Winning jockey Terry Thompson drew her name after winning the Carousel.

 

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