New Orleans, La (Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023) – After breaking his maiden in January, Roger Smith’s Allnight Moonlight immediately stepped up to stakes company and stepped out in front to wire the inaugural $75,000 Louisiana Stallion of the Year Half Ours Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Going one mile 70 yards, Allnight Moonlight beat seven other statebred 3-year-olds by four lengths.
Piloted by Jareth Loveberry and trained by Ron Faucheux, Allnight Moonlight completed one mile and 70 yards in 1:43.94. He is now two-for-two since adding blinkers. The win in the Half Ours was Faucheux’s second on the day and sixth on the week. Sitting at 25 total wins to Bret Calhoun’s 30 and Brad Cox’s 28, Faucheux is now in position to compete for his third straight trainer’s title.
“Ron (Faucheux) has really done a great job with this horse,” Loveberry said. “Stretching him out and putting the blinkers on, he got him going in the right direction. I made sure he got a good break and was able to take command after that. He’s a really nice horse and I want to thank the whole team.”
Breaking from the rail, Allnight Moonlight shot out to take control and set scintillating fractions of :23.50 and :46.29. After bobbling at the start, the 2-5 favorite Jack Hammer rushed to keep up and took a run at Allnight Moonlight in the second turn but came up empty. As Allnight Moonlight put more distance between himself and the field at every call, Benoit and Mangum ran well for second and third-place honors respectively. Never mustering a re-rally after being turned away, Jack Hammer held on for fourth.
“We’ve always been high on this horse,” Faucheux said. “The addition of blinkers helped him prove his talent in these last two races. I think the sky’s the limit with him. I love this horse, always have, even when he was running second or worse. We always thought he would be a true router, and he might even be best on the grass in the long run. He has the feet for it and the pedigree. I’m so happy for (owner) Roger Smith who is here with his grandson today. He’s been with me through and through, we’ve had a lot of fun. It’s a special (win).”
Stiff Drink, Gobot, Real Action, and My Lil Dude completed the order of finish.
Allnight Moonlight was sent off at 5-1 and returned $13.00, $7.40, and $3.80. He boosted his career record to 5-2-2-0 and earnings to $97,000.
Mansfield Racing’s Free Drop Maddy wired the field to win the inaugural $75,000 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year Buttercup’s Song Stakes, recording her third stakes victory during the 2022-2023 meet at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The sophomore beat seven 3-year-old statebred fillies by 2 1/4 lengths.
Piloted by Rey Gutierrez and trained by Bret Calhoun, Free Drop Maddy completed one mile in 1:39.47 for her first win going two turns. Her previous three efforts came at Delta Downs.
“Delta is a much different surface and (Free Drop Maddy) runs better here (at Fair Grounds),” Gutierrez said. “Bret (Calhoun) made some adjustments coming into this race, and she was extremely comfortable out there, very relaxed on the lead. Today was her first victory stretching out, and the credit goes to Bret and his team.”
Free Drop Maddy broke sharply and immediately took command, rolling through the early fractions in :24.57 and :48.22. New Destiny chased the leader early on before settling along the rail and biding her time for a late bid. Olivia G settled near the back early before making a bold, wide move to threaten in the stretch. Both of those two fillies ranged up behind Free Drop Maddy at the top of the stretch but neither could threaten as the winning filly kicked away. Olivia G beat New Destiny to the wire. Racing midpack throughout, Guitar Woman rounded out the superfecta.
“(Free Drop Maddy) is a small fast filly,” Calhoun said. “She’s like dynamite: little but powerful. Scheduling and hoping Delta’s track had tightened up had us back over there (in her last race), and I regret it. She doesn’t like that track at all.”
She Told You So, For Harper, Hopeitsmyluckyday, and Agami completed the order of finish.
Free Drop Maddy was sent off the 9-5 co-favorite and returned $5.00. $3.60, and $3.00. In joining the ranks of Surveillance and Oeuvre with her third stakes score of the meet, she boosted her career record to 8-4-1-2 and earnings to $272,800.
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