Underpressure wins the Louisiana Premier Day Championship at Delta Downs. Coady Photography


VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted its richest program of the season Wednesday afternoon with another edition of Louisiana Premier Day. The program featured 10 stakes races for Louisiana-bred horses and over $800,000 in total purse money up for grabs.


The featured race was the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Day Championship and it was won for the second consecutive year by Mallory Richard’s Underpressure, who rallied from last-to-first in the 1-1/16 mile event for older horses. Underpressure was ridden to victory by jockey Gerard Melancon, who also won the Distaff and the Gentlemen Starter on the same program.


After breaking last in a field of eight, Underpressure settled in about seven lengths from the pacesetter Double Star, who carved out fractional times of 23.88 seconds for the opening quarter mile, 48.46 for the half, and 1:39.98 for three quarters. As the field turned for home Underpressure began a sustained rally five wide as he passed rivals methodically before confronting Double Star in deep stretch.


During the final furlong Underpressure, who is trained by Chris Richard, wore down Double Star and went on to the victory by ¾ of a length, covering the distance over a fast track in 1:46.60. Jimi’s a Star finished another  1 ¾-lengths behind the runner-up in third.


“I’m blessed to ride him,” said Melancon after the race. “He loves this track and the forty-eight second pace set up the race pretty well for him.”


Trainer Chris Richard was very humble when speaking of his star pupil following the win.


“He’s a once in a lifetime horse; as solid as they come. I just try to not get in his way. His running style is to come from off the pace and he got the right set up today.


Underpressure has now won 14 races during his 40-race career. His bankroll now stands at $838,182 after earning another $75,000 for his tally on Wednesday.


Bred in Louisiana by James McIngvale, Underpressure is a 7-year-old gelding by Birdstone, out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen.


Sent to the gate at odds of 7-5, Underpressure paid $4.80 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. Double Star paid $4.40 to place and $3.40 to show. Jimi’s a Star was worth $8 to show.


No Parole was an easy winner of this year’s $100,000 Louisiana Premier Day Sprint under jockey Diego Saenz for trainer Thomas Amoss and owners Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin. No Parole won last year’s Prince before scoring a grade 1 win in the Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park a few months later. The 4-year-old son of Violence has now won six races from nine career starts.


No Parole covered five-furlong distance of the Sprint in a time of 57.37 second, the fastest clocking of the season at the distance.


There was plenty of drama in the $100,000 Distaff this year as Whispering Oaks Farm LLC’s Quikfast N Ahurry survived a jockey’s objection by Joe Stokes, who rode the runner-up Saints N Muskets. After several minutes of deliberation, the stewards disallowed the claim and made Quikfast N Ahurry the official winner. She was ridden by Gerard Melancon. Quikfast N Ahurry has now won five of 11 career starts. A 4-year-old filly by Closing Argument, Quikfast N Ahurry is trained by Steven Flint.


It was Southern Beauty who took the $100,000 Matron under jockey Diego Saenz who roused her to the lead turning for home in the five-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. Southern Beauty is a 4-year-old filly who was making her eighth career start in the race for owner Allied Racing Stables LLC and trainer W. Bret Calhoun. The Matron victory was Southern Beauties first stakes score of her career. The win also marked the fourth winner of the day for Saenz.


The $100,000 Louisiana Premier Day Prince came down to the two favorites at the wire as Respect The Valleys, LLC’s Standing Perfect edged out Jimmy Two Times. Standing Perfect was ridden to victory by Ashley Broussard and is trained by Lee M. Thomas. The win by Standing Perfect marked his second stakes score of the season. The 3-year-old son of Half Ours also took the Louisiana Legacy on January 11.


This year’s $100,000 Louisiana Premier Day Starlet saw Jean Etienne Dubois’ Australasia, who pushed her record to a perfect three-for-three as she dominated five rivals in the one-mile affair for 3-year-old fillies. Under jockey Diego Saenz the daughter of Sky Kingdom helped set the early pace before taking off and winning by 7-1/4 lengths. Australasia is trained by Brad Cox, who notched his 1,500th career win when she reached the finish line on Wednesday afternoon.


Joe Alfredo Castillo’s 5-year-old mare Kris T was victorious in the $50,000 Ladies Starter under jockey Eguard Tejera. The Juan Larrosa trainee is now undefeated on the Delta Downs season with five wins in as many starts. Overall, she has now tallied 10 victories from 28 trips to the starting gate during her productive career.


Madelyn’s Wild Max won the $40,000 Ragin Cajun Starter under leading jockey Tim Thornton, who got a leg up before the race from leading trainer Karl Broberg. Owned by End Zone Athletics Inc., Madelyn’s Wild Max ran down Whacudposblygowrng in the final strides to record his 18th win from 78 career starts. The 10-year-old gelding was claimed by his current connections at Delta Downs on December 28 for $4,000.


This year’s $40,000 Bon Temps Starter was won in front-running style by Gerald L. Averett, Jr.’s Wild Mallory under jockey Diego Saenz. The 6-year-old mare, trained by Ronnie Averett, has now won four times from 11 lifetime starts. The Bon Temps tally marked her second in row at Delta Downs this season.


And finally, the $50,000 Gentlemen Starter wrapped up the day as Greeley’s Dealer was victorious under jockey Gerard Melancon. Greeley’s Dealer is owned by End Zone Athletics and is trained by Karl Broberg, who had a training double on the program.


For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about 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.