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 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.



Owner Appreciation Cup
Delta Downs, 2-29-20, 1 mile
Four-Year-Olds and Upwards, $70,000

Underpressure - OA Cup - 02-29-20
Underpressure wins the Owner Appreciation Cup at Delta Downs. Coady Photography.

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

Treasure Trove
Breeder: John Fradkin & Diane Fradkin (KY)
Owner: Bayou Bengal Racing Stable
Trainer: Thomas M. Amoss
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Paddock Pick
Graydar-Fiery Pulpit
Breeder: Taylor Brothers Properties LLC, Pollock Farms, Patrick H. Payne, et al (KY)
Owner: Claiming Game Racing
Trainer: Karl Broberg
Jockey: C.J. McMahon


Underpressure’s victory in the Owner Appreciation Cup came in come-from-behind style as his used his deadly late kick to run down pacesetter Treasure Trove in the stretch. The Chris Richard trainee, who was ridden by Gerard Melancon, hit the finish line 1-1/4 lengths to the good of Treasure Trove with Paddock Pick finishing another 2-1/4 lengths back in third. The final time for Underpressure was 1:38.79.


The win by Underpressure came with some drama after the race. Treasure Trove’s jockey Diego Saenz claimed foul against the winner for drifting in front of his mount in mid-stretch. The stewards took several minutes to review video of the race before disallowing the claim and keeping the order of finish intact.


Underpressure has now won 13-of-36 races and the $48,000 prize on Saturday night raised his career bankroll to $741,382. The 6-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Birdstone, out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen, won all three of his starts at Delta Downs this meet, each with Melancon in the saddle. The biggest score came in the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship on February 8, which was the richest race of the season.


Underpressure Edges Pound For Pound to Win LA Bred Premier Night Championship S.

LA Bred Premier Night Championship S.
Delta Downs, 2-8-20, Mile and one sixteenth
Four-Year-Olds and Upwards, Accredited Louisiana Breds, $150,000

UNDERPRESSURE - La Bred Premier Night Championship - 02-08-20 - R09 - DED - Finish
Underpressure edges Pound For Pound to win the LA Bred Premier Night Championship S. Coady Photography.

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

Pound For Pound
Redding Colliery-Buttercup’s Song
Breeder: J. Adcock & B&B Bloodstock
Owner: Israel Flores Horses LLC
Trainer: Andrea Ancil Ali
Jockey: T. Thornton

Star Fitzstall
Star Guitar-Wild About Marie
Breeder: Brittlyn, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Jose M. Camejo
Jockey: A Cintron





VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted its richest program of the season on Saturday night with another edition of Louisiana Premier Night. The 11-race card featured 10 stakes races for Louisiana-bred horses and nearly $1 million in total purse money up for grabs.


The featured event of the night was the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship for older horses competing at 1-1/16 miles and the event had a dramatic finish as Mallory Greiner’s Underpressure ran down a determined Pound for Pound in the stretch to get the victory under jockey Gerard Melancon.


The Championship began with the odds-on favorite Shang charging out to the early lead and carving out fractional times of 24.17 seconds for the opening quarter mile, 48.81 for the half, and 1:13.69 for three-quarters. When the field turned for home, Melancon let Underpressure loose after sitting several lengths off the early lead. The pair then reached the upper-stretch with their sights set on Pound for Pound, who had overtaken Shang and was looking make it home in front.


The stretch run of the Championship turned into a war of wills, as Underpressure slowly but surely cut into the lead of Pound for Pound before overtaking him in the final strides to win by a half-length. Star Fitzstall finished another five length behind in third.


Underpressure covered the distance of the Championship in a time of 1:45.51 while running on a fast track.


Trainer Chris Richard was very proud of his hard-knocking gelding after the race. “It was a very competitive race; he always shows up and gives us a big effort. I felt he was coming into the race as good as he ever has. Gerard did and excellent job! We’ll look at some Louisiana-bred stakes at Fair Grounds next.”


Underpressure has now won 12-of-35 career races and his $90,000 payday on Saturday pushed his lifetime bankroll up to $693,382.


Bred in Louisiana by James McIngvale, Underpressure is a 6-year-old gelding by Birdstone, out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen.


Sent to the gate at odds of 5-1, Underpressure paid $12.40 to win, $4.60 to place and $7.20 to show. Pound for Pound returned $4.40 to place and $8 to show. Star Fitzstall was worth $13.80 to show.


In other action on Louisiana Premier Night the $125,000 LAPN Distaff was won by Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte’s Mariah’s Galaxy, who scored her third stakes win of the season. Mariah’s Galaxy was ridden to victory by regular jockey Kevin Smith and is trained by Victor Arceneaux. Mariah’s Galaxy also took the Magnolia and Treasure Chest Stakes earlier in the meeting.


Maggi Moss’s 3-year-old superstar No Parole made quick work of his rivals in this year’s $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Prince as he led every step of the way under James Graham for trainer Tom Amoss. The win was his third in a row and none have been close. Saturday’s victory was by 6-1/2 lengths and now his connections look forward to a possible Kentucky Derby prep race for the son of Violence, out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Plus One.


Steph’sfullasugar won the $125,000 LAPN Starlet with jockey Colby Hernandez riding for trainer Victor Arceneaux. The winner is owned by Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc. The win came in Steph’sfullasugar’s stakes debut and her second career race overall.


This year’s $100,000 LAPN Matron was won impressively by Minit to Stardom under jockey Alex Citron. The property of Brittlyn Stable, Inc. (Evelyn Benoit) is conditioned by Jose Camejo. Minit to Stardom is a graded stakes winner who surpassed the half-million mark in career earnings with the win.


The $100,000 LAPN Sprint was taken in come-from-behind style by Double Barrel Man who was ridden to victory by jockey Paulina Ramirez, who had two wins on the program. Double Barrel Man is owned by GK Racing, LLC (Gary Knight) and is conditioned by leading trainer Karl Broberg.


The $60,000 LAPN Gentlemen Starter was annexed by Pinch Assault for owners John T. Easley and Brian A. Huval. Huval also trains and the winning ride went to Joel Dominguez. Pinch Assault is a 6-year-old who now has 10 wins from 37 career starts.


This year’s $60,000 LAPN Ladies Starter was won by Flying Start, LLC’s My Little Jen. The 4-year-old filly produced the first stakes win for both jockey Paulina Ramirez’s and trainer Judy Beavin. My Little Jen defeated the heavily favored Dale’s Lil Sis, who came into the race on a four-race winning streak.


The $50,000 LAPN Ragin Cajun Starter was taken by Big Em C with jockey C. J. McMahon in the saddle. The 5-year-old gelding has now won four races on the season for owner End Zone Athletics and leading trainer Karl Broberg.


Sarge’s Daughter dominated seven rivals to win the $50,000 LAPN Bon Temps Starter with jockey Eguard Tejera in the saddle for trainer Beverly Burress. The 8-year-old mare is owned by former jockey Juan Larrosa.


Delta Downs will embark on its 19th week of live racing Wednesday night with a nine-race program that kicks off at 4:55 pm. The current season runs through February 29.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at

Louisiana Champions Day Classic

Louisiana Champions Day Classic
Fair Grounds, 12-8-18, 9 furlongs
Three-Year-Olds and Upwards, $150,000

Underpressure with Corey Lanerie aboard wins the 28th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Birdstone–Charming Colleen
Breeder: James McIngvale
Owner: Mallory Greiner
Trainer: Chris Richard
Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

Grande Basin
Good and Tough–Silver Rail
Breeder: Coteau Grove Farms
Owner: William J. Deckwa and John Carbo
Trainer: Edward J. Johnston
Jockey: Miguel Mena

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



By Meredith Daugherty


Underpressure with Corey Lanerie aboard wins the 28th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

With storm clouds looming over Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Dec. 8, a sloppy track and the threat of continued rain did nothing to deter Underpres- sure, who claimed his first stakes win since 2017 in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic Stakes.

Sent out from post 2 in the headlining race on the Champions Day card, Underpressure broke well under jockey Corey Lanerie and settled back on the rail off the pace in fourth.

First to the front from the break, Ready Prospector maintained a comfortable 1 1/2-length lead and set fractions of :23.83, :47.98, and 1:13.34 for the first
six furlongs. Zenucci tracked the pace in the three path on the outside, a slim head in front of Autumn Warrior in third.

Still well back by 3 1/2 lengths as the six-horse field entered the final turn, Underpressure ignored the onslaught of mud kicked back from his competition and angled out four wide to make his bid for the lead. Taking command in the stretch, the 4-year-old colt drifted toward the rail and wobbled as Grande Basin moved up to his
outside to issue a late challenge.

Coming under the left-hand whip, Underpressure dug in and turned back Grande Basin to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Final time in the 1 1/8-mile test for Louisiana- breds was 1:52.82.

Grande Basin took second, followed by Mageez another five lengths back in third. It was another four lengths back to Autumn Warrior in fourth, a neck ahead of Ready Prospector in fifth. Zenucci rounded out the order of finish, more than 19 lengths behind the winner.


It was the third win of the year for Underpressure,
a three-time stakes winner owned by Mallory Greiner and trained by Chris Richard. The son of Birdstone took a pair of allowance races at Canterbury Park over the summer. Underpressure finished third in last year’s Classic behind Mobile Bay and Grand Basin.

Bred in Louisiana by James McIngvale out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen, Underpressure is a half brother to the stakes-winning filly Goodprofit. He improved his record to 8-6-6 from 25 starts, with earnings of $468,132.

The 13-race Champions Day card awarded a total seven Thoroughbred stakes winners Saturday. The 2-year-old filly Midnight Fantasy took the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes in Race 5 for trainer Joe Sharp to remain unbeaten in two starts. Valene Farms’ Classy John ran away with the Juvenile Stakes two races later by 4 1/4 lengths. His victory was followed by that of Magic Vow in the Turf Stakes.

Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Remember Daisy followed Underpressure’s runaway success with her own impressive triumph in the Ladies Stakes. It was the third consecutive victory for the 3-year- old daughter of Misremembered, who entered the race off a win in the Nov. 15 Tom Benson Memorial Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds.


Givemeaminit and Ours to Run closed out the day with wins in the Sprint Stakes and Ladies Sprint Stakes. BH

Underpressure Improves To Dominate Lousiana Champions Day Classic

Underpressure with Corey Lanerie aboard wins the 28th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.


In Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day action at the Fair Grounds, Mallory Greiner’s Underpressure rated mid-pack early in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, took over off the final turn and held firm late.

“Obviously we wanted to be up a little closer and were hoping that he would break running,” said jockey Corey Lanerie. “He broke a little sluggish and I had to ride with the cards that I was dealt and let him run his own race early. At about the half-mile pole I engaged him and had a lot of horse. I was watching the horse in front of me I saw Colby on a lot of horse with (Autumn Warrior). I moved him (Underpressure) a touch early to get up to his outside and try to hold my ground and it worked out today. I thank Chris (Richard) for letting me ride him and getting him ready. My whole family is here today rooting us on and it’s great to have them here today.”

Third beaten only a length for trainer Chris Richard by local legend Mobile Bay in last year’s Classic, Underpressure ($6.60, $3.80 and $2.40), a 4-year-old son of Birdstone, got the jump on runner-up Grande Basin ($5.60 and $2.80) for Corey Lanerie before keeping that rival at bay late to score by 3 ½ lengths in final time of 1:52.82 for nine furlongs over a sloppy main track. It was five lengths further back to the 9-5 post time favorite Mageez in third ($2.40).

Underpressure (25-8-6-6) elevated his career earnings to $468,132.

“He’s just a model of consistency,” added Richard. “He gives you everything he’s got every single time. We ran against Mobile Bay a couple of times last year and came close to him. Obviously he’s probably one of the greatest Louisiana-breds ever, if not the greatest Louisiana-bred ever. For him to break through in this race on Champions Day, I’m just ecstatic for him. I felt pretty good about it. I just drew a line through his last race, a lot of things didn’t go his way last time. It’s just his ultra-consistency. He tries so hard and I felt really good that we had a really legit shot today to get it done.”

Underpressure wins Classic by two lengths


12/8/2018. – Underpressure with Corey Lanerie aboard wins the 28th running of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

It was a dreary, rainy day, and the Fair Grounds’ track was sloppy for Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day races.

However, it was a special day for jockey Corey Lanerie, a champion rider at Churchill Downs, who was back in his home state for the first time since his wife, Shantel, died suddenly on June 22 in Louisville, Ky.

Lanerie guided Underpressure, the 5-2 second favorite, to a two-length victory in the 28th running of the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

Grande Basin was second, with Mageez — the 2-1 favorite by race time — third and Autumn Warrior fourth.

On a day featuring Louisiana-bred horses, Lanerie planned for the race, the biggest of the day, to be special.

“I rode in the Shantel Lanerie Breast Foundation saddle,” he said. “It’s pink and white (with the foundation’s name on it). I only used it in the Breeders’ Cup before. I took it out for today to ride, hoping it would get a winner, and this was the one.”

It also was big day for trainer Chris Richard and for Underpressure, a 4-year-old colt who had been consistently in the money for much of his career but an also-ran, nonetheless.

It was the biggest win of Richard’s career. He’d won the Louisiana Bred Premiere Night Prince Stakes at Delta Downs on Feb. 11, 2017 with Underpressure, but most of his wins with the colt were in allowance claiming races.

“This win means a lot,” Richard said. “Being a Louisiana-bred myself, to finally break through … We’d come close in some of the Louisiana-bred races. We lost by (a head) to Mobile Bay (in February) on Premiere Night, and we’ve had some really good runs but didn’t win.”

Underpressure was third in last year’s Louisiana Champions Day Classic, behind Mobile Bay and Grande Basin.

Richard credited Saturday’s win to Lanerie.

“I thought Corey did a great job, getting (Underpressure) out of the gate, getting him in the race, a very quick opening quarter going a mile and an eighth, 23 and (four-fifths seconds),” Richard said. “It was 47 and change for (a half-mile), very legitmate fractions. And, he had just a perfect trip sitting in fourth position. Never got in any trouble, never got in any traffic.”

Out of the gate, Ready Prospector, who broke from the fourth gate, had the lead, with Autumn Warrior, the No. 1 horse, in second and No. 7 Zenucci in third, followed by Underpressure, who broke from gate No. 3.

Ready Prospector kept the lead into the first turn, with Zenucci edging ahead of Autum Warrior. It stayed that way on the back stretch and into the far turn.

Lanerie said the fourth spot was the place to be.

“I didn’t have anybody near me,” Lanerie said. “(Underpressure) was kind of running in his own slot, chasing the horses in front.

“I was just keeping my eye on (Autumn Warrior). I thought he was probably one of the horses to beat. And whenever it looked like he was looking for racing room, I tried to get up and make sure he didn’t find it so I could get the jump on him.”

Like last year, Richard said he likely will eschew the big Jan. 19 races on Road to the Derby Day at the Fair Grounds and opt for another run in the Premiere Night at Delta. However, he likes the prospects for Underpressure.

“He can off the lead; he’s come from way off of it,” Richard said. “He stalks. He won a race in Minnesota on the lead. His versatility. He can come from anywhere, depending on the race and how everything sets up.

“He’s run well in open (-class race). He’s run great in Louisiana-bred (races). So, it’s really more about him than anything else.”

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