Young Tuscan First Winner for Louisiana Sire Sassicaia

Sassicaia was a $1.6 million purchase at auction that captured a grade 3 in 2016.

 

Young Tuscan  became the first winner for Louisiana stallion Sassicaia  Jan. 8 when the 3-year-old gelding took the first race, a maiden $12,500 claimer, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Young Tuscan shot to the lead under Charlie Marquez and after splits of :22.36 and :46.78, pulled away by 3 1/2 lengths at the finish, stopping the clock in 1:06.17 for 5 1/2 furlongs. The Elite Thoroughbred Racing-owned runner, trained by Lee Thomas, notched his first victory in seven starts and advanced his earnings to $10,140.

 

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CILLA DAZZLES WHILE CAPTURING THE $75,000 ORLEANS STAKES AT DELTA DOWNS

GRADED STAKES WINNER NOTCHES ANOTHER BIG WIN FOR OWNER P. DALE LADNER

 

Cilla wins the Orleans Stakes at Delta Downs. Coady Photography.

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $75,000 Orleans Stakes on Friday afternoon and the winner was a very popular choice of the fans as P. Dale Ladner’s 3-5 wagering favorite, Cilla, came home in front under jockey Thomas Pompell. The daughter of California Chrome got back to the winner’s circle for the first time since winning the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga Race Course back in September.

 

Breaking from post eight in a field of nine, Cilla stalked the early pace set by Icy Charlie, who carved out fractional times of 22.54 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 46.01 for the half. As they turned for home Cilla engaged Icy Charlie who didn’t give way easily in the stretch. The pair battled it out for a few strides before Cilla gained the upper-hand and went on to a 2-3/4 length victory over a game Icy Charlie while Onerollofthedice settled for third, another half length behind the runner-up.

 

Cilla covered the five-furlong distance of the Orleans in a rapid time of 58.40 seconds. Each race on the Friday program was contest of a fast track and under sunny skies.

 

The win by Cilla marked the sixth of her 13-race career. She earned $45,000 for the effort and now has a career bankroll of $416,000.

 

Bred in Louisiana by Ladner and her trainer Brett Brinkman, Cilla is a 4-year-old bay daughter of California Chrome, out of the Into Mischief mare Sittin At the Bar.

 

Fans who wagered on Cilla collected payoffs of $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place and $2.20 to show. Icy Charlie was worth $4.80 to place and $3.40 to show. Onerollofthedice returned $7 to show.

 

Delta Downs will close out its race week on Saturday afternoon with another nine-race program that kicks off at 12:55 pm. The headliner will be the $75,000 Sam’s Town Stakes for older horses sprinting five furlongs.

 

For more information about the current season visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about the track through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

 

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

Fan Favorite, Barn Favorite Monte Man Retires

Monte Man with Adam Beschizza aboard wins the 30th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

 

New Orleans (January 4, 2022) – Over the last four years, one horse has been at the center of Louisiana racing and fans of the local sport – Ivery Sisters Racing’s Monte Man. His trainer and Fair Grounds’ 2021 title-winner, Ron Faucheux has announced that it is time for this 9-year old gelding to step away from the race track and to spend his retirement at Clear Creek Stud, where his sire Custom for Carlos stands.

“Val Murrel who owns Clear Creek, he bred Monte Man and is happy to take him in,” Faucheux said. “Clear Creek is the nicest farm in Louisiana–at this point, being a 9-year old, he’s been so great to us, we’d rather see him have a happy life from this point forward.”

Know that Monte Man is doing fine, but he did not come back from his Friday workout as hoped, giving connections pause about pursuing the plan of running in the Costa Rising Stakes, a race Monte Man won twice and finished 2nd in by a nose.

“He’s sound as can be,” Faucheux said. “Looks great, walks great, legs look good. He just has something a little feint. Something that some trainers would push through, but I’m not going to take any chances.”

Claimed for $25,000 by Ivery Sisters Racing in October of 2017, in his first start for trainer Ron Faucheux Monte Man won a local optional-claimer that December, which was the start of a seven-race winning streak. Monte Man went out in stakes-winning fashion, scoring the ninth and final stakes win of his career in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint on December 11, 2021.

“I was looking at the win pictures last night,” Faucheux said. “He’s beaten some great horses. He hasn’t run worse than fourth since the end of his 4-year old career. Goes to show you how much heart that horse has. He might not run the best numbers as some of the Kentucky sprinters floating around the country, but he has been so consistent throughout the process. That’s all you can ask–they run to their ability.”

All told, Monte Man finishes his career 50-18-8-9 with earnings of $794,223.

“I feel honored to have trained him throughout that process,” Faucheux said. “He’s been a barn favorite, a fan favorite, a special horse–you could hear it in John Dooley’s emotional call of his last race.”

“Here comes the gladiator, Monte Man with that battler’s heart for Adam Beschizza. Monte Man now an 18-time winner–well done Monte Man!” — John G. Dooley, Fair Grounds Track Announcer

IZZY’S BABY BOY WINS THRILLING EDITION OF THE B CONNECTED STAKES AT DELTA DOWNS

SCOTT GELNER TRAINEE SNARES FIRST STAKES WIN

 

Izzy’s Baby Boy noses out Jax Man to win the 14th B-Connected Stakes at Delta Downs. Coady Photography

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $70,000 B Connected Stakes on Saturday afternoon and the fans on hand were treated to an incredible finish as Kendel Standlee’s Izzy’s Baby Boy just nosed out Jax Man for the win under jockey Thomas Pompell. The race was for older Louisiana-bred horses who had not won a stakes race competing at 7-1/2 furlongs.

 

The B Connected featured a full field of 10 runners and the early pace was set by Magawildtime, who carved out fractional times of 23.55 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 48.29 for the half. As the field turned for home Izzy’s Baby Boy drew alongside Magawildtime as the pair clocked three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.44. At the head of the lane Magawildtime time fought back at the rail and took the lead again before Izzy’s Baby Boy and late runner Jax Man went by late and finished only a nose apart.

 

After the photograph was examined it was Izzy’s Baby Boy who got the decision over Jax Man, while Magawildtime settled for third, another half length behind the top pair. The final time for the winner was 1:35.47 while racing over a fast track.

 

The win by Izzy’s Baby Boy was the fifth of his 31-race career and his first in stakes company. He earned $42,000 for the effort and now has a career bankroll of $208,235.

 

Bred in Louisiana by his owner, Izzy’s Baby Boy is a 6-year-old chestnut gelding by Shackleford, out of the Yankee Victor mare Lady Carmen.

 

Izzy’s Baby Boy was sent to the gate at odds of 7-1 and paid $16.20 to win, $8.60 to place and $5 to show. Jax Man was worth $9.20 to place and $7.40 to show. Magawildtime returned $19.40 to show.

 

For more information about the current season visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about the track through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

 

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

Bron and Brow, Free Like a Girl Win Respective Divisions of 2021 Louisiana Futurity

How High Can He Fly? Bron and Brow Shows Offensive Power Breaking His Maiden Against Stakes Company

Bron And Brow with Adam Beschizza aboard wins the 58th running of the Louisiana Futurity – Colts and Gelding Division at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

Charco leads The Louisiana Futurity early, but proves 2nd best

New Orleans (December 31, 2021) – On the last day of his 2-year old campaign, Bron and Brow proves he has the makings of a horse on the rise. Twenty days after assistant trainer David Carroll said “He won’t be a maiden for long,” Gary Barber’s colt’s maiden win comes against stakes company in the $107,000 Louisiana Futurity over 6 furlongs on the dirt.

Second favorite 2.30-1 Charco was sent to the lead by jockey James Graham and he blitzed the opening fractions in 22.09 and 45.59 before tightly-pressing .90-1 favorite Bron and Brow drove by hitting the top of the paint in 57.77 and kept on for the score while drifting out to beat the buzzer in 1:10.85. Third favorite 2.50-1 Big Scully ran third throughout but never threatened, finishing 9 ¼ lengths back.

“He broke out a little right to be fair,” winning jockey Adam Beschizza said. “This horse is super talented and I know David [Carroll] and Mark [Casse] have believed in him since day one. We just had to overcome a little adversity there with the inquiry. He’s got a lot to learn, but he seemed to come out of that race very unexhausted so that just tells me he has a lot left in the locker there.”

Bred in Louisiana by J. Addock & Hume Wornall, after taking three shots Bron and Brow is 3-1-1-1 earning $91,820. After a third in November at Del Mar, this colt by Gormley was transferred from Peter Miller’s barn to the care of Mark Casse. Bron and Brow finished a troubled trip ½ length 2nd in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Sprint. Like his namesakes, LA Lakers power-duo Lebron James and Anthony Davis, Bron and Brow has loads of talent–unlike them, he is still proving green in his races. After breaking out from the gate and bumping his neighbor, the stewards called for an inquiry, which was not acted on. Passing Charco and finishing in the stretch, he ran erratically in the stretch.

“We got the win in the end, ” assistant trainer David Carroll said. “A little worrisome there but he’s a very talented colt. I’m very happy for Mr. Barber, a great way to end the year. This horse has got a lot of talent–very unlucky in his last race when he got the bad trip but he went very fast as well. Today was a much different race. Adam rode a great race, very aware of the horse he rode last time for Mr. Asmussen [Charco] and he kept him on his target.”

Again, similar to his namesakes: he’s won his first, but can he hang another stakes banner?

“We feel there is more to come from this horse,” Carroll said. “Mark [Casse] and Mr. Barber will talk about two turns, but there is a race early next month if they wish to take advantage of it, going a mile, so maybe that will be his next race, but that’s something they will talk about–we’ll enjoy this race for now.”

The connections believe Bron and Brow can fly higher as he turns the page to his 3-year-old campaign. – Kilroy

 

 

Girls Futurity Winner Home “Free” Down the Stretch

Free Like A Girl with Chasey Deville Ponier aboard wins the 55th running of the Louisiana Futurity – Filly Division at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Jan Brubaker

 

Free Like a Girl wins her fourth stake of the season in runaway fashion

 

Making amends for her narrow defeat as the favorite in the Louisiana Lassie on Champions Day, Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl Deville and Chasey Pomier’s (trainer) Free Like a Girl left no doubt as to who was best in the $109,600 Louisiana Futurity for the 2-year-old fillies.

Away alertly as the 1.30-1 favorite, the daughter of El Deal stalked the early pace of Serape (11.70-1) though fractions of 22.33 and 46.29. Cut loose by regular rider Pedro Cotto, Jr. at the top of the stretch, she quickly took command, extending her margin of victory to 6 ¼ lengths under the wire in a final time of 1:11.11 for six furlongs. Wholelottamo (14.20-1) outkicked Serape for the place spot. Half Page was scratched at the gate.

“We stuck with the plan to get her close to the pace,” Cotto, Jr. said. “When I got a chance, I put her in the clear, and she just did her thing today. I don’t think she’s even as good as she can get right now. That’s one thing that has impressed me about her. I think she’s just going to get better when she gets older.”

Sent off as the 2-1 favorite on Champions Day, Free Like a Girl was stuck in tight between horses while stalking from mid-pack. She fought on gamely to the wire, only to get swooped by a deep closing 93-1 longshot in Buckley Bunny late. On Friday, she left no doubt who was best in front of her many supporters.

“We are very grateful to have her,” trainer Chasey Deville Pomier said. “She’s been amazing for us. The breeders, all of the connections. We’ve had a great year with her for sure. My dad owns a part, my daughter is in on it, me, the other owner used to be dad’s assistant when I was young, we’ve known the breeders for a while, so yeah, it’s just a whole big ‘ole thing.”

The winner of the D. S. Shine Young Futurity at Evangeline and the Louisiana Jewel and the open company My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs in advance of the Lassie, Free Like a Girl has now won five times from 10 starts since debuting on May 8 at Lone Star. Bred by Kim Renee Stover & Lisa Osborne and purchased for just $5,500 as a yearling, she has now banked $281,473. She’s run a lot and accomplished quite a bit in less than eight months, but shows no signs of slowing down.

“Every day she trains great, we go day-to-day with her, as long as she’s training good, we keep going,” Pomier said. – Kristufek

 

STRUMMER ROLLS TO VICTORY IN THE LOOKOUT STAKES AT DELTA DOWNS

SCOTT GELNER TRAINEE WINS STAKES DEBUT UNDER JOCKEY GERARD MELANCON

 

Strummer wins the Lookout Stakes at Delta Downs. Coady Photography

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $70,000 Lookout Stakes on Friday afternoon as part of a nine-race New Year’s Eve program. The 7 1/2-furlong test for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares who had yet to win a stakes race was won by Oak Tree Stables, LLC’s Strummer under jockey Gerard Melancon.

 

The win by Strummer did not come easily as the 3-year-old filly had to survive a jockey’s objection after the race when rider Ashley Broussard, who was aboard Schiff’s Corner, claimed foul on the winner for interference around the first turn. After several minutes of looking at the video, the stewards determined that Strummer was clear of her rival when crossing over to the rail and the claim of foul was disallowed.

 

Strummer, who is conditioned by Scott Gelner, led nearly all the way in the Lookout after Schiff’s Corner opened the race with a quarter-mile time of 24.32 seconds.  Strummer then took over, covering the half-mile in 50.21 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:16.05 before finishing up with a final time of 1:35.97. Each race on Friday was contested over a fast track.

 

Jet Sweep, who was reserved at the back of the field early in the Lookout, rallied late to grab the place spot behind Strummer, beaten three lengths. Suzie’s Dream, a 15-1 longshot, would up third, another length behind the runner-up.

The win by Strummer was the fourth of her nine-race career. She earned $42,000 for the effort and now owns a career bankroll of $146,620.

 

Bred in Louisiana by Brittlyn, Inc, Strummer is by Star Guitar, out of the Langfuhr mare Good Human Bean.

 

Sent to the gate at odds of 3-1, Strummer paid $8 to place, $3.40 to place and $3.40 to show. Jet Sweet returned $4 to place and $3.40 to show. Suzies Dream was worth $6.60 to show.

 

For more information about the current season visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about the track through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

 

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

 

Lauri’s Wish is Catalina Red’s First Winner

The Louisiana-bred won Dec. 23 at Delta Downs by 8 1/4 lengths.

 

Elite Thoroughbreds’ graded stakes winner and freshman sire Catalina Red  sired his first winner when his son Lauri’s Wish  won a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight Dec. 23 at Delta Downs by 8 1/4 lengths.

A Louisiana homebred for Tony Lenci and Chad Stewart, Lauri’s Wish won his second career start gate to wire in 1:36.54. He was ridden by Thomas Pompell and is trained by Lee Thomas.

The colt is the first and only foal out of the Archarcharch daughter Laurigolightly, who is out of graded-placed stakes winner Tiger Belle (Tiger Ridge ). Stewart trained Laurigolightly for owner/breeder Robert Roffey Jr. The mare was bred to Catalina Red this year.

Lenci raced Catalina Red, whom he bought at the 2014 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale for $71,000 from de Meric Sales. The son of Munnings   became a stakes winner at 2 in the Inaugural Stakes and Pasco Stakes, both at Tampa Bay Downs, won the Jackson Bend Stakes at Gulfstream Park at 3, and at 4 won the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) and Hilton Garden Inn/Hampton Inn and Suites Sprint Stakes in addition to placing third in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1). He retired with a 5-1-3 record from 13 starts and earned $549,885. Stewart trained Catalina Red for his first nine starts.

Catalina Red stands at Elite Thoroughbreds near Folsom, La., for $2,000 in 2022.

Star Guitar’s Siredom Reigns with Jose Camejo at the Helm

 

 

 

 

Barn tour: Ova Charged, her full sister, and the Star Guitar clan moving forward

 

New Orleans, LA (December 17, 2021) – When the music comes on over the barn speakers, 3-year old gelding Behemah Star sticks his head out of his stall and begins to nod in rhythm. A first-level allowance winner last out in his fourth start, he has reason to be feeling good. As do his Star Guitar-sired stablemates. Off to a red-hot start and the leading trainer through the first three weeks of the meet, all eight victories are with Star Guitar’s band, including Ova Charged’s memorable victory in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint. There’s something about these Star Guitars. There’s something about Jose Camejo.

With the love Evelyn Benoit of Brittlyn Stables has for her sire Star Guitar and her drive to prove his worth, she wouldn’t have it any other way. And there is an underdog’s story to both sire and trainer. Winner of 24 out of 30 starts with earnings of $1,749,862 with a storied career that began in 2007, Star Guitar’s two starts outside of Louisiana were loses in graded stakes races: the Alysheba (G3) at Churchill Downs and the Texas Mile (G3) at Lone Star. Never once the runner-up in any of his races, breeders often pass on Star Guitar’s $7,500 stud fee, which only fuels Benoit’s drive for success.

“Star Guitar is a gift from heaven,” Benoit said. “I’ve had so much faith in this stallion, I don’t want to breed to anyone else. I’ve had the best, including three American Pharoah’s, and they can’t beat my Star Guitar’s.”

Originally from Venezuela, Jose Camejo did not originally chart a course to being one of Fair Grounds’ most successful trainers. A multiple stakes winning jockey, between 2003 and 2012, Jose Camejo won 130 races with lifetime earnings $1,849,882. After a spill at Evangeline Downs where he broke his neck, at age 33 Camejo decided to become a trainer. Since 2013 he has won at a rate of 21%: 1,261 starts 262 wins with a total earnings of $6,480,971.

On a daily basis at Fair Grounds, Camejo is competing against some of our sport’s best in Brad Cox, Steve Asmussen, Al Stall, Tom Amoss, Bret Calhoun and Mike Stidham. His success includes the tutelage of Minit to Stardom–Star Guitar’s leading progeny in terms of earnings of $536,180, winning 9 times out of 14 starts–another bred by Benoit.

“I know she is a very competitive woman, me as well,” Camejo said. “Being from another country and being competitive with bigger trainers, some of the best trainers in the country–you can’t know how much this (her faith) means to me.”

Often found in the best jockeys, his confidence and connection to horses carries over into his presence, approach, and care for his animals. His horses look beautiful in the stalls, the paddock, and kicking home in the stretch. Take positivity, confidence and couple that with Jose Camejo and team’s focus around the barn and you can’t help but wonder what’s next for these runners.

“Everybody is feeling good. I’m really happy with the barn right now,”Camejo said. “The team–everything. We came out with a different attitude, and we are focused on what we do. We are gonna have a good meet. I’m now in the barn everyday. I used to have an assistant, but I don’t have anybody right now. This is good because it keeps me more focused and on top of what we are doing here. I think this is one of the best teams I have ever had. Everybody is focused on what we are doing. We are in good shape, we really are.”

Let’s start at the top: Ova Charged. A winner by 9+ lengths against Louisiana-bred optional claiming rivals on November 28 at Fair Grounds, she proved up to the task against much better company less than two weeks later in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, defeating G2 winner Cilla in a race that lived up to its billing. A slow start put Ova Charged far behind and it took a fearless heart coming home to win in the final strides. Now 4 for 5, with her one loss a second behind the multiple graded stakes winning Souper Sensational  in the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont, the 3-year old by Star Guitar and out of dam Charged Cotton will take a break now and gear back up for the races in 2022.

“She is doing fantastic,” Camejo said. “We don’t have anything specific in mind. We’re not going to run her right now. We were asking for a lot. I’m glad everything worked out and now I will just wait for her to tell me when she is ready. She will take her time in the barn. We might bring her to my house for a week.”

But for fans who can’t wait for that classy bloodline to reemerge, do know that Ova Charged has a full sister: 2-year old filly Charged Temp. Winner of a maiden special weight at Monmouth Park in July with a 71 Bris speed figure, she has tried two stakes and two allowances since, only to come up short, so what’s the plan?

I walked with Jose, from stall to stall.

“I am gonna try something different this time,” Camejo said of Charged Temp. “I am going to try her on the turf. I don’t think she liked the dirt much. But I think she is going to be better on the turf. Ova Charged is one of a kind, she runs on everything. But this one is more for the turf.”

Camejo’s face lights up when he gets the chance to talk about his 2-year old filly Moment to Dream.

“She is gonna win next time,” Camejo said “She got tired last time (11-27) . She needed a race. Next time she is going to be tough to beat. She is one of my favorites.”

Speaking of the head-bobbing Behemah Star, Camejo said they’re going to stretch him out to a mile next time out.

“He came out great,” Camejo said. “I like this one a lot. This is one of the horses of my future. He’s still a little green, but every time he races he gets more mature, better and better.”

Then there is the 3-year old recent maiden winner (12-4), gelding Moment Of Stardom:

“He’s running amazing–he surprised me,” Camejo said. “I knew he was gonna run good but not that great. He really exploded in the last 1/16th, he exploded. He has found himself now. He has figured out how to run already. We are keeping him in great shape. He came back great. We are waiting for the next race and see how that goes.”

The Four 4-year old gelding Win Ya Win, winner of second-level allowance at Fair Grounds last out, appears to be headed in the right direction as well.

“Came out great and is ready for the next,” Camejo said.

The 3-year old filly Satisfy U, 2nd last out at Fair Grounds in her second maiden claiming try:

“Came back good, as well,” Camejo said “The horse has been running good, and she has improved a lot. We have been trying to be focused and will keep her at that level. She’s another one that is getting ready for the next race. I think she is gonna win next time.”

3-year old filly Rue La La, 2nd last out at Fair Grounds in a first-level allowance:

“She ran a hell of a race and she gives you everything on the track,” Camejo said. “She came back good. We are going to give her a little bit of time. And then bring her back 100% in good shape and she is another one I expect to win.”

After the fury of eight victories through the first three weekends, Camejo is the first to give credit to the owner of the majority of horses in his barn, Evelyn Benoit.

“She has given me one of the biggest opportunities in my life,” Camejo said. “I take it very seriously and feel very blessed. I’m glad that everything worked out good and the horses are running good. I make sure (when I enter them) that the horses are going to be right there.”

The respect is mutual.

“I can’t say enough about Jose Camejo and what he’s done for me,” Benoit said following Ova Charged’s signature win. “He’s put me on the map on the East Coast and nationally. Star Guitar babies have won in California, New York and Kentucky. We are just so pleased. It’s not easy to do this.”

His focus, his work ethic, and his hands-on approach are key factors to Camejo’s success as well.

“I might not win the standings (title), I might not have the material,” Camejo said. “But I can promise you right now we are going to fight and it will be a tough fight. I know every horse I bring to the race is going to be 1, 2, 3–right there. I am the first one in the barn in the morning and the last one to leave. I am on top of this.”

As I stood next to Ova Charged and company I couldn’t help but feel similar to Camejo: in the presence of greatness and somewhat as an outsider. As someone who knows little of horses beyond the PPs, I was hesitant to get close and give her a rub on the nose. What Camejo told me speaks to his approach and position in this sport, and no doubt extends from his days as a jockey.

“Same as when you are riding,” Camejo said. “Don’t show fear when you’re by them.”

 

 

Grade 1-Winning Sprinter No Parole Retired

Last year he won the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day.

Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin’s grade 1 winner No Parole has been retired after being eased and finishing last in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint Stakes Dec. 11 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The victory was the third consecutive distant finish for the 4-year-old Violence   colt. As a younger horse, the Tom Amoss trainee won five of his first six races, including the 2020 Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day. After that victory, he went 1-for-7, winning only the Louisiana Bred Premier Sprint Stakes at Delta Downs in February.

“No Parole has been a once in a lifetime horse,” Moss tweeted shortly after Saturday’s race. “He has trained super, sound, healthy—went into the race great—when a horse doesn’t want to do it anymore—we honor that and retire him 100% sound and happy.”

 

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Ova the Top! Ova Charged Leaves Backers Biting Nails to the End

Cilla Digs In but cannot hold off the focused Star Guitar filly

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – For some, the most anticipated and most hyped race on Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day card was over in the paddock. Prior to the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, one of ten stakes on the day, Ova Charged, the beautiful bay by Star Guitar, out of Cotton Charged, made her rounds – beaming, confident, focused. She has looked like a champion in her stall, in her workouts, beating optional claimers two weeks prior on November 28th, but what about up against the best filly and mare sprinters in Louisiana—did this lightly raced filly have enough to take on the class and grit of graded stakes winner Cilla?

The answer is yes.

76.00-1 longshot Sumitup hustled through the mix of sharp breaks to get the lead and sped on setting the opening ¼ fraction of 21:89. Breaking inside the early leader, second choice 1.90-1 Cilla was close to the front but relaxed and shifted to one path outside to be joined by quickening 25.30-1 shot Sarah’s Passion, who pressed tightly and did not let up pressure. The pair moved through the turn behind the leader but took over the front at the half pole. And that’s when everyone wondered, where is .40-1 favorite Ova Charged?

Breaking slowest of the field, rider Reylu Gutierrez guided Ova Charged at the back of the pack going four-wide through the turn while targeting the main foe. As Cilla put away Sarah’s Passion, it looked like she could sustain. Drifting in, Ova Charged seemed to lose focus but Gutierrez came with the crop and Star Guitar’s talented 3-year-old showed more than talent, digging in with Cilla in her sights and the finishing line just beyond, Ova Charged showed the heart of a Louisiana-bred champion and won by ¾ length over Cilla who never gave up. Five starts, four wins and one graded stakes second totaling $174,600 lifetime earnings. The connections were in attendance and they were proud.

“It’s an honor to ride for Jose’s stable, to ride Ova Charged,” jockey Reylu Gutierrez said. “What a smart, talented, strong, physically and mentally imposing filly. I am really delighted I can ride her. Two champion fillies neither of them deserved to lose.”

Cilla’s trainer Brett Brinkman had indicated before the race that the goal was to keep teaching Cilla to relax, but when you get drawn the 3 post, inside a filly like Ova Charged, it forced their hand when it came time to run.

“The post position dictated what we had to do,” Brinkman said. “The only two disappointing finishes I’ve had with her lately have been in the lane and we’ve been the target. When we are fixed on a target, we are much better off. I think that’s the same way with his filly [Ova Charged]. She’s a fighter, those are two good mares right there. She had the benefit of a recent race, which is no excuse. My filly fights, she’s good. I’d like to turn the tables and have the outside the other way and force his hand. That’s just the competitor in me.”

After the slow start, Ova Charged’s connections didn’t know this race could unfold in their favor.

“I was worried at the beginning because she didn’t break sharp,” Fair Grounds co-leading trainer Jose Camjo said. “When she was coming home I knew she had a lot of horse left, but I knew she still had to pass the three [Cilla]. She got it done and we are so proud of what she did.”

The other co-leading trainer, Ron Faucheux, sent out 15.30 – 1 Strong Beauty who finished well for third place. An impressive turning out by her and the other sharp fillies in this race. 25.30 – 1 Sarah’s Passion holding on for fourth. 14 – 1 Snowball finished fifth. Then 116.70 – 1 Sienna Breeze finished ahead of the tiring early speed Sumitup.

On a day dedicated to Louisiana’s best horses and horsemen, Ova Charged owner’s said it best:

“Louisiana I love you,” said Eveyln Benoit of Brittlyn Stables. “And I love Star Guitar.”

As for Cilla’s next steps, her trainer has a solid plan.

“I am shooting for a summer career with her,” Brinkman said. “We weren’t pointing to this race but it was a race I wanted to hit. We’ll look to hit a race in February, then we are going back up the country.”

Grand Luwegee Doesn’t Quit, Winning
Second Classic in Front Running Fashion

Favored Highland Creek leads catch the two-time winner

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Inquiring horses want to know: What’s the secret to running faster, looking fitter, and being flush with cash? Get a trainer like Gerard Perron to keep tabs on you, and a rider like Colby Hernandez to guide you across the finish line. Easy as cannoli. Or at least that’s how Grand Luwegee makes it look. But winning again in gate to wire fashion began in the mornings. The result – a successful repeat in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

“We trained him hard,” Gerard Perron said of Grand Luwegee, who won last year’s edition at 52-1. “He ran faster than the last time he won [The LA Champ Classic], so we are really happy with him. We thought he was carrying a little too much weight, and we trained him extra hard. He lost a little bit of weight and he picked up some speed on him.”

With the rail draw, 3.00-1 third choice Grand Luwegee cleared the field and rounded the opening turn two wide setting early fractions of 23.54, 47.70, then relaxing and widening his advantage through 1:12.81, 1:37.89 and coming home in 1:51.00. Not much movement behind him as 2019 Classic Champion 1.80-1 Pound for Pound, piloted by Aubrie Green stalked in second through the first turn to move in tighter through the final bend, but when the writing was on the wall, he began to lose interest and shift lanes to hold on for third. Marginally favored by the betting public, 1.40-1 Highland Creek had been cross-entered in theTurf but trainer Bret Calhoun opted to run eventual winner Who Took the Money in that spot instead. Breaking from the outside position, rider Adam Beschizza guided him to the rail to lead the second group 3 to 4 lengths behind Grand Luwegee.

When it came time, he could only chase the winner and finished three lengths back.

“They were honest fractions, 23, 47,” Beschizza said. “My horse has similar tactics. He was sitting on second here and he made a good move like he did last year. He’s got a good explosive kick, but I just got out-kicked and I couldn’t pull him back. The horse ran with his heart on his sleeve and that’s what you want.”

A career record of 30 – 8 – 6 – 4 and lifetime earnings of $491,150, Grand Luwegee’s two Classic scores have come with Colby Hernandez on board.

“Coming out of the one hole we were definitely going to run just like last time. Gerrad (trainer Perron) and his staff did a great job of getting this horse to the race and he ran a very hard race,” Hernandez said. “Turning for home, when I slapped her more on the shoulder, she kicked on.”

Fort Polk Nets Her Foe, Plants Flag in Fair Grounds Dirt

A sharp effort from Calhoun’s Winning Romance falls two lengths short

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Everyone knows the secret to winning begins with getting your opponent on your court, not theirs. For Fort Polk, the 3.10 third choice in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Distaff, home court advantage is the Fair Grounds main track. It may have been just what this improving 6-year old needed to beat the one horse who almost always has gotten the best of her, the 2.20-1 second choice Net a Bear. The much-loved previous Louisiana Champion could only muster finishing third of five.

It was a valiant effort by the bettor’s 1.30-1 favorite Winning Romance to set the early fractions of 24.63 and 48.85 and hold on for second. But jockey Jorge Guzman and Fort Polk took it to her coming into the turn, accelerating three wide, passing at the ¾ pole and keeping to business in the homestretch to win by two lengths. Make it $226,650 in lifetime earnings and a 30-7-4-8 record for this daughter by Behindatthebar that has been with trainer Patrick Mouton’s barn from day one.
“She’s always been a good horse,” Mouton said. “Actually, I think she is getting better with age. She is going to be 6 pretty soon. She ran super all summer. We got beat only once when we ran on turf and she doesn’t really care for the turf.”

Fort Polk has won four out of the last five since adding blinkers. The one loss coming on turf – to Net A Bear. Jockey Jorge Guzman had a ton of horse that day but went wide in traffic and had to pump the breaks often when Fort Polk got in too tight and Net a Bear left her in the clippings. Tables turned in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Distaff and Fort Polk gave her five lengths of dirt to chew on until they meet again.

“She was a little flat,” Net a Bear’s regular rider Timothy Thornton said. “We know she is better on the grass, but you know we were hoping it would set up good for her. She ran her race, she was just a little bit flat. She is a much better grass horse than on the dirt. She is a nice filly. I was tracking the winner the whole way around there and when he went at the 3/8ths pole, I tried going with him, but she just didn’t have enough.”

The pace unfolded as expected as Winning Romance took the lead, Elieen Alexandra pressed, Quikfast n Ahurry sat the pocket trip and Net a Bear followed Fort Polk through two turns. Winning Romance ran well enough but early company made it hard to battle and sustain.

“We got pressured from the 5 [Eileen Alexandra] down the back stretch,” Winning romance’s rider Deshawn Parker said, “but she gave her all to the finish.”

Louisiana Champions Day is like the Breeders Cup for local connections. They target these races and put their hearts into reaching the winner’s circle. Once there, Patrick Mouton took it all in and expressed his satisfaction.

“Listen, I don’t travel, I stay here in the state,” Mouton said. “I stay in Louisiana 99 and 9/10% of the time,” Mouton said. “Winning this kind of race is a big deal, it’s the epitome.”

Who Took the Money Gets the Dough on the Turf

Last year on dirt, this year on grass, Allied Racing Stable
homebred wins on Champions Day for the second consecutive year

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – The Allied Racing Stable homebred has been a challenge in many ways, but in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf, he may have found his niche.

Off slowly in the field of 11, the 3-year-old gelded son of Street Boss, was far off the early pace set by 1.30-1 favorite Mangelsen through honest early fractions of 23.81, 48.97 and 1:14.15 with the rail 20 feet out on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, but once jockey Deshawn Parker found clear sailing to the outside, the horse did the rest.

“We wanted to get a little better break, but he didn’t break too sharp today,” Parker said. “He was so relaxed on the backside. When I called on him, he gave me an explosion. He gobbled them up so fast. As soon as I got to them, he just rolled by.”

Sent off as the third choice at 3.40-1, Who Took the Money stopped the timer in 1:45.93 for the 1 1/16 miles distance on grass, besting fellow deep closers Budro Talking (13.40-1), also trained by Calhoun) and Treys Midnight Moon by 5 ¾ and 7 ¾ lengths respectively, while the pacesetting Mangelsen faded to third.

Who Took the Money was cross entered in the Classic, but trainer Bret Calhoun opted to run eventual runner-up Highland Creek there instead.

“We tried him (Who Took the Money) on turf once before and he ran alright,” Calhoun said. “We had two horses that could have gone either way so I had to make a tough decision. Knowing his pedigree, I just thought he would be the right one for the grass. He really showed the kind of turn of foot today that we were wanting to see. We were disappointed a little early on because of the break and we were kind of buried behind traffic. I wasn’t optimistic early in the race, but when he (rider Parker) kicked him out. The horse exploded.”

Last year as a 3-year-old, Who Took the Money flipped in the post parade prior to the running of the Crescent City Derby, but won the race anyway as the .50-1 favorite. His behavior hasn’t improved all that much since.

“He’s not as difficult to train as he is to run,” Calhoun explained. “The antics in the paddock and going to the gate, he’ll test you. He’s got quite a bit of ability, but he’s got some (mental) issues.”
With the win, Who Took the Money boosted his record to 8-5-0-1 with earnings of $217,627.
“At the top of the stretch I was looking at Bret and I didn’t think we had a shot, and then boom,” Thomas said. “We really didn’t know what to expect. We thought he’d be alright on the turf. Bret made a good call (to run him in this race). Deshawn rode a great race. We’re delighted.”

Additional quote:

Emmanuel Nieves (rode Budro Talking, who finished second)

“I’ve got patience,” Emmanuel Nieves said. “When I feel comfortable, I love running from behind. Today I had the perfect trip and everything. I thought I was home free but the other horse flew by me. For the team, for both Brett’s [Calhoun] horses, I am happy we ran first and second.”

Buckley Bunny Bounds Home in Lassie

Whispering Oaks homebred lights up the toteboard at 93-1

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – In what was easily the biggest upset of Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day card, the Whispering Oaks Farm homebred Buckley Bunny rallied from far off the pace to take down the $100,000 Lassie

Ninth early behind contested fractions of 21.98 and 45.86, the sophomore daughter of Iron Fist picked off a couple of horses on the turn under jockey Kevin Smith before uncorking the winning, five-wide rally in the stretch.

“The plan was just letting her settle herself in and make one run with her. Mr. Steve (trainer Flint) said don’t rush her. I took her back, waited until the 3/8ths pole and let her run. I did what he told me to do. When I let her go, she fought.”

Basalt Street (6.00-1) and Beleout (37.10) battled early, with 2.00-1 favorite Free Like a Girl, the winner of three consecutive stakes coming in, tucked in fifth. She tipped out three-wide and made a solid bid in the stretch, but was simply outkicked by the longshot winner, losing by ¾ of a length over six furlongs run in 1:11.76. It was just another neck back to the late closing Medley (3.80-1) in third.

“I don’t think she had any pace to run into last time,” Flint explained. “It’s not like filly the filly wouldn’t appreciate a stretch like today. We had some pace. Kevin rode her to a tee. I told him, don’t move until you hit the 3/8ths pole, let her go, and let’s see what we got. She responded well. I got a little of that (93-1).”

A winner at first asking back in June, Buckley Bunny entered the Lassie on a four-race losing streak. She now sports a career record of 6-2-1-1 with earnings of $93.660.

Monte Man Does It Again

8-year-old veteran repeats in Sprint

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – At the age of eight, Ivery Sisters Racing’s Monte Man is the gift that keeps on giving. Claimed for $25,000 way back in October of 2017, the son of Custom for Carlos scored the ninth stakes win of his career on Saturday, repeating the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint.

Fourth behind hot and contested early fractions of 21.58 and 44.53 set by his stablemate Bertie’s Galaxy with pressure from Takes Two To Tango, Swot Analysis and the 1.4-1 favorite No Parole, the table was set, and Monte Man feasted in the stretch.

“Before the race, Ron (trainer Faucheux) and I could almost see it playing into his favor,” Beschizza said. “All the credit to the horse. He’s just an iron horse, really. A couple of years ago, they (the connections) could have just retired him and given him a nice second life, but he just seems to be so spontaneous in the mornings. Ron just tells me that, year after year. True to that word, he’s bounced back here and Ron had him in great shape. The team has been a huge supporter of mine and I can’t thank them enough.”

Bertie’s Galaxy (3.50-1) dug in gamely in the stretch, but he could not hold off Monte Man, who prevailed by ¾ of a length, stopping the timer in 1:09.91. It was 4 ½ lengths back to Sir Wellington (4.40-1 in third. No Parole, the former Grade I winner, pressed the pace briefly while four-wide, but he failed to make the course.

“He (No Parole) is fine, but since his layoff, he hasn’t shown that he wants to compete in the afternoons despite working well in the mornings,” trainer Tom Amoss said of No Parole. He is completely sound and Maggi (owner Moss) has decided to retire him.”

In his first start off the claim for trainer Ron Faucheux Monte Man won a local optional-claimer in December 2017, which was the start of a seven-race winning streak. After running third in the Sprint in 2018 and fourth in the 2019 renewal, Monte Man won the race last year, and he was up to the task once again.

“I think he’s just getting better, we’re just getting started with him, you know, we got a long way to go,” Faucheux said in jest. “He’s every trainer’s dream. He’s just so consistent. He gives it his all every race. To have an 8-year-old turning nine, stay sound throughout the whole process, and just continue to progress, it’s unbelievable. It’s real privilege to train him for Ivery Sister Racing. They let us place him appropriately, take our time between races, and that makes all the difference with this horse. We 100% will go for the three-peat as a 9-year-old.”

Monte Man boosted his career record to 50-18-8-9 with earnings of $794,223.

Additional quote:

Jareth Loveberry (rode Bertie’s Galaxy, who finished second)

“It was kinda tough down the backside” jockey Jareth Loveberry said. “I was in a tight spot and I had to keep him where he was so I didn’t get shuffled back. I had to use him just a little bit early maybe it cost me at the end. But he ran his heart out. He dug in and ran really good.”

Unified Report Passes Another Test in Lassie

Sophomore filly shows a new dimension to remain undefeated

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – On Monday, trainer Dallas Stewart welcomed his first grandchild into the world, and just a few short days later, Henry Lane Stewart and family watched from afar as Valene Farms’ Unified Report would score yet another Louisiana Champions Day win for grandpa.

Sent off as the .70-1 favorite in the $100,000 Juvenile, the sophomore son of Unified, tracked the pace set by the embattled Grunt and Charco through contested fractions of 21.76 and 45.63. Four-wide on the turn for home, he battled briefly with eventual third place finisher Charco mid-stretch before putting that rival away. Unified Report led into the deep stretch, and held safe of the late closing 1.80-1 second choice, the maiden Bron and Brow, stopping the timer in 1:10.55.

“Truly it all goes back to thanking Mr. Murray (owner Valene),” Hernandez said. “Year after year, he just keeps finding these really good Louisiana-breds. I think this is like the third or fourth year in a row we’ve won one of these 2-year-old (stakes) races. He (Unified Report) looked like he was the best horse in the race and I just did my job, give him the cleanest trip we could. He’s a young horse, but he was two for two (coming in) so he’s got a little experience behind him. There were for of them in front, so I just let him find his rhythm, I got him in the clear and off he went. What really impressed me today was the way he galloped out. He hit the wire and kind of stepped away from those horses again, so he kind of shows you that he wants to stretch out and go to two turns.”

With the win, Unified Report remained perfect from three starts, increasing his bankroll to $154,720 in the process.

Bron and Brow, who finished third at Del Mar in his career debut, added blinkers for the Juvenile, and after a difficult trip with some traffic trouble, he too stamped himself as a youngster to watch.

“It was a little troubled trip for me,” jockey Deshawn Parker admitted. “He was trying to run and had nowhere to go for a while. So once I came out of the turn, I tried to dig him out. But it was real trouble. Trouble. He’s a maiden but he won’t be a maiden much longer.”

“We had a horrible trip,” assistant trainer David Carroll added. “He was loaded the whole way, had to check hard off heels, then had to wait for room. He closed fast. To me, he was much the best horse in the race. He’s a talented colt and we look forward to running him back. That’s racing.”

A longtime supporter of Louisiana racing, Murray Valene was thrilled with his colt’s performance.

“We had an undefeated filly (Big Time) win for us on this day last year, and this year it was the colt (Unified Report),” Valene said. “I want to thank Dallas Stewart and his team for doing such a great job. This colt looks like he wants to go longer and he might have the talent to do it successfully.”

Quarter Horse stakes recaps provided by H. David Smith

Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic Ends In Thrilling Dead Heat

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Multiple stakes winners Eyeondaprize and Lifeinthefastlanes battled to a dead heat Saturday in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic(RG2) at Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans.

The pair of 4-year-old Louisiana-Bred fillies stopped the clock in :21.454 seconds for the 440 yards, equaling a 105 speed index with an 8 mph tailwind. Each filly earned $32,500 for her effort.
Coming off a win in the Opelousas Stakes on November 13th, Lifeinthefastlanes got her 11th win in 17 starts to bring her earnings total to $514,381. The daughter of multiple stakes sire Jess Louisiana Blue was making only her third career start for owner Paragon Farms LLC. Wade and Kay Loup, Jr. bred Lifeinthefastlanes from the Panther Mountain mare Pantherinthefastlane. David Alvarez had the riding call for champion trainer Kenny Roberts.

“The delay was difficult because she’s one of these fillies that gets nerved up,” Roberts said. “But she ran a real good race, and is one of the best I’ve had. I believe this will be her last race.”

Coming off a win in the French Quarter Stakes at Evangeline Downs October 30th, Eyeondaprize picked up her eighth career win in 19 starts to bring her earnings total to $142,660. Trainer Rosendo Valdez, Jr. conditions the daughter of multiple stakes sire Fast Prize Jordan for owner Rosendo Valdez.

Daniel Trahan bred the brown filly from the Game Patriot mare Good Game Meg. Noe Castaneda was up.

“She responded pretty good at the end,” Castaneda said following the winning ride. “I knew she had the talent to go far; I never gave up on her and she never gave up.”

Tuckers Prize finished 1-¼ lengths behind the leaders to earn $10,000 for third. Owned-and-trained by Preston Jourdan, the 5-year-old graded stakes winning son of multiple stakes sire Fast Prize Dash was ridden by Ubaldo Luna. Kirby and Phillip Bruchhaus bred the $206,375 earner from the Game Patriot mare Bb Secrets Game.

Maggies Runaway, Lightemupwithcharm, Heza Bell Perry Jr, Jrs Corona Toast and Hezjessmagic completed the field. Apollitical B Snow was scratched at the gate.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

Quid Pro Quo Surprises In Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Quid Pro Quo (15-1), a 2-year-old son of multiple stakes sire Five Bar Cartel, got his first career stakes win on Saturday when he soundly defeated Gamefaceprize by three-quarter’s in the restricted Grade 2 $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile at Fairgrounds Race Course.

Quid Pro Quo lugged out late under jockey Bobby Ransom while clocking :17.583 seconds for the 350 yards, a 99 speed index into a 12 mph crosswind. It was the fourth win in seven starts for the sorrel gelding.

The $45,000 Champions Juvenile’ winner’s purse doubled Quid Pro Quo’s earnings mark to $93,132 for the year. Trainer Josue Huitron sent out the sorrel gelding for owner Jeronimo Silva from Cullman, Alabama.

“With these young horses you never know, Huitron said after the race. “Today he ran big, and we were proud of him.”

The 2-year-old was also a finalist in the restricted Grade 1 Lee Berwick Futurity at Delta Downs last summer.

“This is my first stakes win,” Silva said after the race. “Maybe it’s beginners luck but will take it!”
Gerard Hebert bred Quid Pro Quo from Jess Tempting To Fly by Tempting Dash.

Quid Pro Quo rewarded backers with $31.40 to win, $16.40 to show and $8.40 to place.
Runner-up Gamefaceprize picked up $17,000 for his second-place effort. The Fast Prize Dash gelding bumped in at the start under jockey Ariel Rodriguez. Orlando Orozco trains the bay gelding for owner Miguel Hernandez.

Jack Willie bred Gamefaceprize from the Game Patriot mare Baby This Girls Game. A finalist in the Mardi Gras Futurity(RG2) in March, he has earned $70,097 in 10 starts this year.

Rosendo Valdez and Rosendo Valdez, Jr., winning owner and trainer of the Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic(RG2) in the opening race today, sent out post-time favorite Jess Sweet Enough to finish half-a-length back an earn $10,000 for third.

Everardo Rodriguez rode the One Sweet Jess gelding out of Devilwithabluedress by Corona Cartel. Jess Sweet Enough has banked $47,500 in eight starts.

Return The Queen, Kp Prospect Luna, Amazing Blood, Soft On The Freight, Tdz Royal Runaway, Jess Louisiana, Railroad Jimmy, Kk Sandra Patriot and Shesa Knockoutcartel completed the field.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

Post Time Favorite Dirtwater Dash Up Late To Win Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Post time favorite Dirtwater Dash, under jockey Everardo Rodriguez, got up late to defeat Ought To Go Tee by half-a-length in the $100,000 restricted Grade 2 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby Saturday afternoon at Fairgrounds Race Course.
Dirtwater Dash, a son of leading Louisiana sire Sir Runaway Dash, completed the 400 yards in :19.743 seconds, equaling a 107 speed index, into a 12 mph crosswind. It was the seventh career win in 14 starts for the 3-year-old.

“This horse is coming along and has done everything the right way,” assistant trainer Chris Valdez said following the win. “It’s all about the family with us; my dad and my brothers are home taking care of the horses every day and every night.”

It was big day at the Fair Grounds for the Valdez family who won the Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic (RG2), Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby(RG3) and took third in the Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile(RG2).

Third in the Firecracker Derby(G3), two races back, and winner of the Delta 550 Stakes last May, Dirtwater Dash has earned $124,038. Michael Carlton bred Dirtwater Dash from the Dashin Bye mare Dashin Kate Perry.

Winner of last year’s Louisiana Champions Derby Juvenile(RG2), runner-up Ought To Go Tee earned $17,000 for second today. The son of multiple stakes sire Tee Cos vied early under jockey Rolando Cabrera.

Fernando Lopez trains the $164,472 earner for owner Jose Oviedo. Ronald Gale bred Ought To Go Tee from the Bigtime Favorite mare Vf Ought To Go Max.

Get It Done Babe, a daughter of leading sire Heza Fast Dash, finished a nose back for owner Fausto Mendoza to earn $10,000 for third. Trainer Josue Huitron named Leonardo Rodriguez to ride the brown filly out of Mi Babe by Mr Jess Perry. Gerard Hebert bred the earner of $53,330.
Completing the field were Jettin Cartel, Apollitical Chais, Tee Zo, Bayou Kue, Cason, One Fast Cajun and Tee Britt.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.