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


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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

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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.”

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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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Underpressure Triumphs in Louisiana Legends Cheval

Underpressure under Diego Saenz wins the Louisiana Legends Cheval S. Photo by Coady Photography.


Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes
Evangeline Downs, 7-8-17, 8 f.(dirt)
3yos, Purse: $100,000

Birdstone-Charming Colleen, by Charismatic
Owner: Mallory Greiner
Breeder: James McInvale
Trainer: Chris Richard
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Magic Vow
Private Vow-Whitewashed, by Broad Brush
Owner: Brittany Stable, Inc.
Breeder: J. Adcock
Trainer: Allen Landry
Jockey: K.D. Clark

True Emperor
Yes It’s True-Queen Of the Empire, by Empire Maker
Owner: Dan Casey and Elite Thoroughbred Racing LLC
Breeder: Rebecca Farm LLC & T.J. Dickey
Trainer: Lee Thomas
Jockey: Jansen Melancon

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