La-bred Chimney Rock Digs In for Churchill Allowance Score

 

Three Diamonds Farm’s Chimney Rock, fourth in his season debut, rebounded with a fighting effort to eke out a narrow win May 17 in a turf sprint allowance for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

The 5 1/2-furlong dash was Chimney Rock’s first race back against Four Wheel Drive, who went 3-for-3 as a juvenile and defeated Chimney Rock by three-quarters of a length in the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2T). While Four Wheel Drive was away slow from the rail as the 3-5 favorite, Chimney Rock stalked the pacesetter and fought for a head victory. Four Wheel Drive finished seventh. Jack and Noah, who showed the way through fractions of :22.85 and :46.20, proved to be a challenger to Chimney Rock but had to settle for second. Guildsman rallied from 10th to finish third, 3 1/4 lengths behind Jack and Noah.

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No Parole Returns to Sprinting in Oaklawn Allowance

Violence colt last finished off the board in the Rebel Stakes (G2).

Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin took a gamble with their talented Louisiana-bred sprinter No Parole in March when they entered him in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park. Described as an “experiment” by trainer Tom Amoss, the move was designed to give the 3-year-old Violence  colt, who had already proved himself as a more-than-competent sprinter, a shot at the Triple Crown trail.

But an off-the-board finish in the March 14 Rebel told the team all they needed to know. With six furlongs comfortably in No Parole’s sweet spot, the colt will return to Oaklawn for an allowance optional claiming race April 24 at his preferred distance.

No Parole was unbeaten in three starts upon entering the Rebel, his longest win coming at a mile in the Feb. 8 LA Bred Premier Night Prince Stakes at Delta Downs. Though the colt broke sharply in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, he managed only a brief duel with winner Nadal before fading at the six-furlong mark to finish eighth.

 

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LTBA Announces 2019 Champions; Names Chimney Rock 2019 Louisiana Horse of the Year


Chimney Rock pictured winning the 2019 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile. Hodges Photo.
LTBA Announces 2019 Champions; Names Chimney Rock 2019 Louisiana Horse of the Year

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is pleased to announce the selection of Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint [G2] contender, Chimney Rock as 2019 Louisiana Horse of the Year.
A two-year-old of 2019, Chimney Rock (Artie Schiller – What’s Your Point) won a Maiden Special Weight race at Saratoga on September 1st  and ran second by a head just six days later in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf. In his next start, Chimney Rock was a half-length from victory in the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland. November 1st, he came close to winning the $1,000,000 G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, crossing the finish line just three-quarters of a length behind Four Wheel Drive. Making the switch to a dirt track for the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds, Chimney Rock gained his first stakes win. From seven 2019 starts, he had two firsts, three seconds and a third. His year end earnings of $369,025 were the highest of any Louisiana Bred runner last year.

Along with overall Louisiana Horse of the Year, the following have been named 2019 Louisiana champions :

2019 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly
Our Lost Love
Half Ours-Lost Love Baby
Breeder/Owner: Tri Star Racing (Richard Robertson, Alan Dean and Mike Nash)
Trainer: Joey Foster
2019 Two-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding
Chimney Rock
Artie Schiller-What’s Your Point
Breeder: Stargazers LLC & Clear Creek Stud LLC
Owner: Three Diamonds Farm
Trainer: Michael Maker
2019 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly
Net A Bear
Awesome Bet-Edacious Reality
Breeder: Lora Pitre & Elaine Carroll
Owner: Maximo Lamarche & Federico Deltoro
Trainer: Allen Landry

 

2019 Three-Year-Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colt or Gelding
Shang    
Shanghai Bobby-Humble Janet
Breeder: Cloyce C. Clark Jr.
Owner: William & Corrine Heiligbrodt
Trainer: Steve Asmussen

 

2019 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Filly or Mare
Minit To Stardom 
Star Guitar-Wild About Marie
Breeder/Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc.
Trainer: Jose Camejo

 

2019 Four-Year-Old and up Accredited Louisiana Bred Male
Laughingsaintssong 
Songandaprayer-Laughing Saint
Breeder: J.E. & Bunny Jumonville
Owner: Rodney J. Verret
Trainer: Allen Landry

 

2019 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year
Wild About Marie
Wildcat Heir-Joyful Wager by Valid Wager
Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc.

 

2019 Andrew L. “Red” Erwin Stallion of the Year
Star Guitar
Quiet American-Minit Towinit by Malagra
Owner: Brittlyn Stable Inc

 

2019 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Breeders Awards
Brittlyn Stable Inc.

 

2019 Louisiana Leading Breeder by Percentage of Stakes Winners
James McIngvale

 

Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred runners as well as Broodmare of the Year were selected by LTBA memberships votes. Louisiana Horse of the Year is selected by the LTBA Board of Directors. Statistics were used to determine all remaining category winners.

 

Originally, winners were to be announced at the LTBA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet planned for Louisiana Derby weekend at Fair Grounds Racetrack and Slots in New Orleans. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the LTBA Board of Directors made the decision to forgo the event this year.

 

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Vacherie Girl Back to Winning Ways in Crescent City Oaks

Crescent City Oaks
Fair Grounds, 3-21-20, 8.32 furlongs
Three Year Old Fillies, Accredited Louisiana Bred, $75,000

Vacherie Girl_3-21-2020-ho
Ricardo Santana, Jr. guides Vacherie Girl to victory in the 15th running of the Crescent City Oaks at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Jan Brubecker

VACHERIE GIRL
Tapiture–Saucey Officer
Breeder: Georgia Farms Inc
Owner: L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt
Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.

2nd
Quikfast N Ahurry
Closing Argument–Wynning Ride
Breeder: Carrol J. Castille
Owner: Whispering Oaks Farm LLC
Trainer: Steven B. Flint
Jockey: Florent Geroux

3rd
Saber Cut
Sabercat–Shes Dixies Eskimo
Breeder: John Luck
Owner: John Luck
Trainer: Samuel Breaux
Jockey: Diego Saenz

 

Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt’s Vacherie Girl returned to the form she flaunted in her first two career starts when she rallied between horses in the stretch and surged clear under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. to prevail by 3 ½ lengths in the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies.

In her first couple of appearances at Fair Grounds, Vacherie Girl touted her potential by breaking her maiden at first asking by 6 ½ lengths on Nov. 28, then following that up with a 1 ¼-length triumph in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes going six furlongs on Dec. 14.

After closing out her juvenile campaign with a third-place run in the Dec. 29 Louisiana Futurity, Vacherie Girl had her connections scratching their heads when she ran last of nine during her sophomore debut in the LA Bred Premier Night Starlet Stakes at Delta Downs on Feb. 8. The daughter of Tapiture more than made amends for that off day by putting herself in the mix early in the Crescent City Oaks and responding with authority when called upon for her best run.

With 43-1 shot Georgia Dawn leading Oh Toodles through the opening quarter-mile in :24.08, Vacherie Girl settled a few lengths behind in third with race favorite Steph’sfullasugar sitting off her flank in fourth. By the time Georgia Dawn reached the half-mile in :48.49, Vacherie Girl had dropped back to fourth as Steph’sfullofsugar began making her bid three-wide and threatening the top group with about three furlongs remaining.

Oh Toodles ultimately took command around the far turn and led the charge in early stretch only to have Vacherie come with her kick under Santana, who had maneuvered her down the middle. The Steve Asmussen-trained filly then put away Quikfast N Ahurry to her outside and finished up willingly, covering the 1 mile and 70 yards in 1:43.65 over a track rated fast.

Quikfast N Ahurry held for place honors with Saber Cut third and Oh Toodles fourth. Steph’sfullasugar, the 1-2 betting choice, faded to finish last in the field of seven.

Sebs Princess was a late scratch out of the Crescent City Oaks after rearing in the gate.

Sent off at 5-1 odds, Vacherie Girl was bred by Georgia Farms out of the Officer mare Saucey Officer and improves her record to three wins from five starts with a bankroll of $143,307.

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Sydster wires Crescent City Derby

Crescent City Derby
Fair Grounds, 3-21-20, 1 mile and 1 sixteenth
Three-Year-Olds, Accredited Louisiana Bred, $75,000

Sydster_3-21-2020-F
Sydster with jockey Florent Geroux aboard goes wire to wire to win the 48th running of the Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

SYDSTER
Power Broker–Tensas Salt
Breeder: J. Adcock & Montgomery Equine Center
Owner: Baronne Farms, LLC
Trainer: Edward J. Johnston
Jockey: Florent Geroux

2nd
Jax Man
Goldencents–Blondie Lox
Breeder: Earl Hernandez & Keith Hernandez
Owner: E. Hernandez, K. Hernandez and J. Duvieilh
Trainer: Sam B. David
Jockey: James Graham

3rd
Luckenbacher
Mr. Besilu–Cat’s Production
Breeder: John A Adams
Owner: John A Adams
Trainer: Beverly Burress
Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

 

Baronne Farms’ Sydster made the most of every inch he was given in his stakes debut as the son of Power Broker had things all his own his way en route to the victory in the $75,000 Crescent City Derby for Louisiana breds.

The Crescent City Derby was the first of eight stakes on Fair Grounds’ signature $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) lineup. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the track has been holding races without spectators and allowing only essential personnel on the grounds.

Sent off as 3-2 second choice in the field of eight, Sydster caused some drama before he ever got running when he became fractious in the gate, causing jockey Florent Geroux to temporarily dismount. Once settled and sprung free from post 1, the chestnut gelding was nothing short of professional as he shot to the front and loped along through fractions of :25.05 and :49.36 with 60-1 longshot Luckenbacher tracking him in second.

As Geroux set Sydster down for the stretch run, 4-5 race favorite Langs Day tipped out from his spot along the inside and tried to threaten. Those soft early fractions left Sydster with plenty in reserve, however, to hold off a late surge from Jax Man to the outside and prevail by 1 1/2 lengths in his fifth career start.

Jax Man was 1 ¼-lengths in front of third-place finisher Luckenbacher. City Park was fourth with Langs Day fading to fifth to suffer his first career loss.  The final time for the 1 1/16-miles was 1:45.59 over a track rated fast.

Trained by Edward Johnston, Sydster came into the Crescent City Derby off a second-place run in an allowance race at Fair Grounds on Feb. 17. All five of his starts have come over the New Orleans oval and he improved his record to three wins and one runner-up finish with $104,800 in earnings.

Sydster was bred by J. Adcock and Montgomery Equine Center out of the Salt Lake mare Tensas Salt.

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Monte Man Scores 14th Career Victory in Costa Rising

Costa Rising Stakes
Fair Grounds, 3-21-20, 5 1/2 furlongs, turf
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Bred, $75,000

 

Monte Man_3-21-2020-F
Adam Beschizza pilots Monte Man to victory in the 10th running of the Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography

MONTE MAN
Custom for Carlos–Sarah’s My Angel
Breeder: Val C. Murrell
Owner: Ivery Sisters Racing,
Trainer: Ron Faucheux
Jockey: Adam Beschizza

2nd
Grand Luwegee
El Corredor–Magical Mia
Breeder: Gerard Perron
Owner: Gerard Perron
Trainer: Gerard Perron
Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

3rd
Yankee Seven
Yankee Gentleman–Real Peace
Breeder: Steve Margolis, Wahl & Assoc., George Messina & Kerima Haddad
Owner: Margolis Racing, LLC and Columbus Circle Partners
Trainer: Steve Margolis
Jockey: Chantal Sutherland

 

(New Orleans – March 21, 2020) — Ivery Sisters Racing’s Monte Man, the beaten favorite by a neck in the $75,000 Costa Rising Stakes one year ago, reclaimed his title in the race he first captured in 2018 when he edged past stubborn pacesetter Letithappencarlos in midstretch to once again prove best in the 5 ½-furlong turf test for Louisiana breds.

The 7-year-old Monte Man has been a thoroughly honest performer, finishing worse than third just twice in 14 subsequent starts since his initial triumph in the Costa Rising Stakes two years ago. The gelded son of Custom of Carlos was recognized for his consistency by the betting public, who made him the 5-2 favorite in the field of 12, and he rewarded that faith with a stalk-and-pounce run over a firm Fair Grounds course Saturday to win by a length and earn his 14th victory from 39 career starts.

When Letithappencarlos was sent to the front in the Costa Rising, Monte Man was kept close to pace by jockey Adam Beschizza who rated his mount to the outside in second through an opening quarter-mile in :21.76. Monte Man began advancing around the far and took dead aim in the stretch at Letithappencarlos, who was still game on the front end after posting a half-mile in :45.59.

Under right-handed urging, Monte Man took over just past the sixteenth and held off Grand Luwegee running on late to hit the wire in 1:03.49.

Yankee Seven got up for third with Letithappencarlos settling for fourth.

Trained by Ron Faucheux, Monte Man was bred by Val C. Murrell out of the Sutter’s Prospect mare Sarah’s My Angel and improved his career bankroll to $582,441.

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TRIO OF LOUISIANA-BRED STAKES SUPPORT SATURDAY’S LOUISIANA DERBY DAY PROGRAM

Crescent City Derby, Crescent City Oaks & Costa Rising on tap

 

(New Orleans – Wednesday, March 18, 2020) – With an early first post of 11 a.m CDT at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday’s 12-race Louisiana Derby Day card will feature eight stakes worth a total of $2.425 million. Four of those stakes are graded, including the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) and Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), 100-40-20-10 points races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, now re-scheduled for early September.

There will be no time wasted getting to the stakes action, as the 1 1/16th miles $75,000 Crescent City Derby for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds will be run as race one. In what will be his stakes debut, Baronne Farms LLC’s Sydster has been installed as Mike Diliberto’s lukewarm 3-1 morning line favorite over seven rivals.

              Bet down to 5-2 favoritism, but well beaten in his career debut while sprinting on dirt, the Eddie Johnston-trainee was stretched out to two turns on turf in his follow-up start and the son of Power Broker did not disappoint, wiring the field. He pulled a similar winning act against allowance foes back on dirt in his follow-up start, and in his most recent start, Sydster finished second behind a much more experienced elder in Musical Man. He will break from post one with jockey Florent Geroux aboard on Saturday.

              Perfect from two starts, with both wins coming in deep closing fashion over 6 ½ furlongs at Delta Downs, Keith Plaisance’s Langs Day invades Fair Grounds with hopes of keeping his undefeated record intact for trainer Lee Thomas. Breaking from post two with Ty Kennedy aboard as the 7-2 second choice, the son of New Year’s Day will stretch out to the 1 1/16th mile distance for the first time.

 

$75,000 Crescent City Derby, 1 1/16 miles, Louisiana-breds, 3-year-olds.

 

1. Sydster

Geroux/Johnston

3/1

2. Langs Day

Kennedy/Thomas

7/2

3. Atta Bouy

Murrill/David, Jr.

9/2

4. Kai Baby Kai

Hernandez/Stall, Jr.

10/1

5. City Park

Gaffalione/Gabriel, Jr.

5/1

6. Luckenbacher

Lanerie/Burress

12/1

7. Freedomfi

G. Melancon/G. Smith

8/1

8. Jax Man

Graham/David, Jr.

5/1

 

 

Crescent City Oaks

 

Carded as race three and the second of eight total stakes on the Louisiana Derby Day program, the Crescent City Oaks is scheduled to be run at one mile and seventy yards and is restricted to Louisiana bred 3-year-old fillies.

Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc’s Steph’sfullasugar has been nothing short of sensational in two career starts. Dismissed at odds of 7-1 in her debut on January 18 at Fair Grounds, she won in professional, stalk and pounce fashion. The daughter of Tapiture followed up with another score in the Premier Night Starlet Stakes at Delta Downs, as she settled in early before drawing away to score by 6 3/4thlengths. The Victor Arceneaux charge is listed as the 7-5 morning line favorite and will break from post eight with jockey Colby Hernandez aboard.

Corinne and William Heiligbrodt’s Vacherie Girl will look to get back on track after finishing a well-beaten ninth behind Steph’sfullasugar as the 8-5 favorite in the Premier Night Starlet. Also a daughter of Tapiture, Vacherie Girl kicked off her career with a debut win at Fair Grounds before taking the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie in her follow-up run. Hammered down to 1-2 in the Louisiana Futurity just 15 days later, she finished a disappointing third. Vacherie Girl will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. and is listed as the 4-1 second choice on the morning line.

 

1. Georgia Dawn

Lanerie/Forster

20/1

2. Quikfast N Ahurry

Geroux/S. Flint

6/1

3. Oh Toodles

Graham/Lara

6/1

4. Sebs Princess

Hernandez, Jr./Duke

5/1

5. Saber Cut

Saenz/Breaux

8/1       

6. Vacherie Girl

Santana, Jr./Asmussen

4/1

7. Jet Sweep

K. Smith/Dore

20/1

 

 

Costa Rising Stakes

 

              A 13-time winner overall, but with only one of those victories coming on turf, Ivory Sisters Racing LLC’s Monte Man is scheduled to line up as the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite over 11 older Louisiana-bred sprinters in Saturday’s $75,000 Costa Rising Stakes over 5 ½ furlongs of green.

In what was his only career turf win from seven tries, the 7-year-old son of Custom For Carlos captured the 2018 edition of the Costa Rising, and he finished second, beaten only a neck by Win Lion Win, in last year’s renewal.  The leading earner in the field with $537,441 in the bank, Monte Man was last seen finishing third as the 4-5 favorite in a restricted, off the turf optional claimer for trainer Ron Faucheux. He will break from post seven with Adam Beschizza astride.

Winless from eight starts since last year’s Costa Rising, Farm dAllie Racing Stables’ 9-year-old gelding Win Lion Win will look to back on track on Saturday. The second leading earner in the field with just over $400K in the bank, the 6-1 co-second choice will leave from post two with James Graham aboard.

Also installed at 6-1 in the morning line is Margolis Racing LLC and Columbus Circle Partners’Yankee Seven. The winner of consecutive restricted allowance sprints in the slop, prior to a recent third on a fast track, the son of Yankee Gentleman is one of only two 4-year-olds in the body of the Costa Rising. From post nine with Chantal Sutherland aboard, he’s set to test the turf for just the second time in his career on Saturday.

 

$75,000 Costa Rising, 5 ½ furlongs turf, 3 yo’s & up, Louisiana-breds.

 

1. Treys Midnite Moon

Bridgmohan/Richards

10/1     

2. Win Lion Win

Graham/Ramsay-Banks

6/1       

3. Fame Feather

Doyle/Faucheux

8/1       

4. Future Ruler

Geroux/Thomas

10/1     

5. Mr. Priority

Kennedy/Thomas

20/1     

6. Afleet Ascent

Saenz/Devereux, Jr.

8/1       

7. Monte Man

Beschizza/Faucheux

7/2       

8. A Song for Arch

Pompell/Brinkman

10/1     

9. Yankee Seven

Sutherland/Margolis

6/1       

10. Grand Luwegee

Lanerie/Perron

20/1     

11. In the Navy

Albarado/Gelner

8/1       

12. Eden Grey’s Kitten

Santana, Jr./S. Flint

10/1     

13. Laughingsaintssong

Hernandez/Landry

6/1       

14. Letithappencarlos

Murrill/Zeringue, Jr.

6/1       

15. Inspector Eddie

Mena/Johnston

8/1       

16. Bertie’s Galaxy

Geroux/Faucheux       

6/1

 

Fair Grounds Racing to be simulcast NBCSN

 

The last several races on Saturday’s Fair Grounds’ card, including the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2), will now be broadcast on NBCSN’s simulcast of TVG’s Trackside Live, which will air from 3-7 p.m. CDT (4-8 p.m. EDT) with Britney Eurton as the host.

Coverage of the Louisiana Derby will also be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.

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ROOM TO FINISH INSTALLED AS SLIGHT FAVORITE IN RED CAMELIA STAKES

5-year-old mare is in form, looking for her first stakes win

 

New Orleans (March 11, 2020) – West Point Thoroughbreds, Forge Ahead Stables LLC, and Jerry Caroom’sRoom to Finish is a five-time winner, but on Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, she’ll aim for her first career stakes triumph as Mike Diliberto’s 7-2 morning line favorite in the $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes. Restricted to older Louisiana-bred fillies & mares, the Red Camelia is scheduled to be run over about one mile of turf. It is carded as race seven of ten with a scheduled post time of 3:24 p.m. CDT.

 

An impressive first-level allowance winner in late November, Room to Finish followed up with a game second in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf on December 15. Following a head-scratching fifth place finish in a second-level, open company allowance on the Fair Grounds’ turf on January 25, Room to Finish bounced back with a decisive victory last out, closing from just off the pace to win a conditioned state-bred allowance against many of same turf foes she will meet again on Saturday. 

 

“She’s a really honest mare,” trainer Wayne Catalano said. “She’s been in form lately and we’re really happy with how she’s doing.”

 

“She doesn’t want to be too close to the pace,” Catalano continued. “She just wants to be left alone and make her own run when she feels like it. She sometimes will get herself closer to the pace but that’s all on her own, she doesn’t like to be asked to do that early on. She didn’t run too well in that race two back where she finished fifth. She was kind of forced to be up there with the first flight and she didn’t like that. She doesn’t like to be rushed. There is some speed in the race (on Saturday) but we’re just going to let her put herself wherever she wants to be and hope she shows that closing kick.”

 

Colby Hernandez, who currently sits second in the Fair Grounds jockey standings, will be back aboard on Saturday, as the pair break from post nine.

 

Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro’s Net A Bear will look to score her third career stakes victory in the Red Camelia. Following a win in the Elge Rasberry Stakes at Louisiana Downs in early September, the 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet put in a solid third place finish in an allowance race at Delta Downs in October. She then shipped to Fair Grounds to score a 12-1 upset in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf, 1 1/4th lengths ahead of Room to Finish. Since then, Net A Bear has put in both a third and fourth place finish respectively in her last two starts.

 

Net A Bear will break from the rail with jockey Tim Thornton aboard, and is listed as the 5-1 second choice on the morning line.

 

Completing the field for the Red Camelia Stakes (with post, jockey/trainer and morning line odds) are: Mariah’s Galaxy (post two, K. Smith/Arceneaux at 8-1), Tenpins Tempo (post three, Broussard/L. Thomas at 12-1), Eskenformore (post four, Graham/Hodges at 6-1), Marywood (post five, G. Saez/L. Thomas at 20-1), Mi Copa Rebosa (post six, Albarado/ Gelner at 20-1), Tap Dance Star (post 7, Murrill/Modica at 12-1), Hyper Piper (post eight, B.J Hernandez, Jr./David, Jr. at 8-1), Thegrayspider (post ten, Taylor/Shamsie at 20-1), Is Too (post 11, Mena/Johnston at 6-1), and Bermuda Star (post 12, Beschizza/Camejo at 6-1).

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NINETY ONE ASSAULT POWERS HOME IN DIXIE POKER ACE STAKES

Dixie Poker Ace Stakes
Fair Grounds, 2-29-20, ant 1 mile, turf
Four-year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana-breds, $60,000

Ninety One Assault_F_2-29-2020
Ninety One Assault, with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, wins the 40th running of the Dixie Poker Ace Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

NINETY ONE ASSAULT
Artie Schiller-Lilly Ladue
Breeder: Richey & Strode Stables, LLC
Owner: Thomas Morley & Paul Braverman
Trainer: Thomas Morley
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan

2nd
Shang
Shanghai Bobby-Humble Janet
Breeder: Cloyce C. Clark Jr.
Owner: L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt
Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen
Jockey: Brian Joseph Hernandez

3rd
In The Navy
Midshipman-Southern Princess
Breeder: Ken Standlee
Owner: Kendel D. Standlee
Trainer: Scott Gelner
Jockey: Adam Beschizza

 

For the third consecutive time at Fair Grounds, Tom Morley and Paul Braverman’s Ninety One Assault put in his signature closing kick and spurted clear in the final 1/16th of a mile to score in the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes by two lengths as the 7-5 favorite. Swallowing up Shang late in the stretch, Ninety One Assault stopped the clock in 1:40.92 for the about one mile turf journey. It was ¼ lengths back to In the Navy in third.

Now a six-time winner over the Fair Grounds turf course, Ninety One Assault closed the door on his 6-year-old campaign with a win in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf in early December at Fair Grounds. Following the victory trainer Tom Morley spotted Ninety One Assault in an open company $80,000 optional claimer race in January, a race in which he blasted home at odds of 10-1 to score by ¾ of a length.

The now 7-year-old son of Artie Schiller has put together a career record of 31-7-3-6 with earnings of $344,683.

“He was just the best horse today” said jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who swept both stakes races on the Saturday card. “I like to get him covered up and breaking from post 11 today was a little tricky but I was able to get covered up for a bit down the backside and when I started to ask him around the 3/8th’s pole he was there for me.”

“The pace up front was slower today,” Bridgmohan continued. “This horse is so tactical and believe me if I wanted to be up on the lead at any point he would have responded and gone up there but that’s not his style and I tried to ride him the way he likes to run and not take him out of his game.

A multiple stakes winner on dirt, Shang moved to the turf course for the first time in his career and put in a valiant effort to run second with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard.

“He handled the grass great,” Hernandez Jr. said. “We got to go as easy as we wanted to and turning for home he switched leads right on que and was really running down the lane. The winner was just much the best today.”

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Midnight Fantasy Wins $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn Park

Spring Fever Stakes
Oaklawn Park, 2-29-20, 5.5 furlongs
Four-Year-Olds and Upwards, Fillies and Mares, $125,000

midnight_fantasy_-_spring_fever_-_32nd_running_-_02-29-20_-_r09_-_op_-_finish_02_big
Midnight Fantasy wins Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Coady Photography

MIDNIGHT FANTASY
Midnight Lute-St. Jean
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Carl R. Moore Management LLC
Trainer: Joe Sharp
Jockey: Martin Garcia

2nd
Amy’s Challenge
Artie Schiller-Jump Up
Breeder: Sierra Farm (KY)
Owner: Novogratz Racing Stable Inc.
Trainer: McLean Robertson
Jockey: Alex L. Canchari

3rd
What A Fox
Bernardini-Twisted Tale
Breeder: Gary & Mary West Stables Inc (KY)
Owner: Lawrence P. Roman
Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
Jockey: Orlando Mojica

 

Carl R. Moore Management LLC’s Midnight Fantasy gained the lead at the top of the stretch and had just enough left to hold off defending champion Amy’s Challenge by a neck in Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes before a crowd of 20,000.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Midnight Fantasy settled behind the early leaders in fourth as Mt. Brave held a narrow advantage through opening fractions of :21.43 and :45.10 for the first half mile. The winner began to make her move rounding the turn for home and was well clear of the field until Amy’s Challenge rallied late. She completed the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.61 over a fast track.

“She was doing really good,” Garcia said. “That was exactly where I wanted to be. I was able to stay on the outside and when I asked her to go, she just took off. It was really nice.”

What a Fox finished third and was followed by Mt. Brave, Artistic Diva and 4-5 favorite Break Even.

 

The victory was the second of the day for owner Carl Moore and trainer Joe Sharp and third for jockey Martin Garcia.

When asked if he expected to win two races Saturday, Moore replied, “No. I was just hoping to hit the board twice. It was a tough race. I mean that race right there, she beat some good horses. She ran huge. Joe (Sharp) and I, we talked about it (Spring Fever) and we saw it up here. The distance – she likes 5 1/2 (furlongs). I think she’ll stretch out and go farther, too. We’re trying to decide. She’s doing so good short.”

Midnight Fantasy, a 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly, improved her record to 5-3-0 in 12 career starts and has now earned $327,180. She returned $19.40, $6.60 and $3.80 at odds of 8-1.

Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.

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