By Brian W. Spencer —-
RAPID RHYTHM, TRIPLE CHELSEA TOP SPLIT STAKES HONORING MEMORY OF RICHIE SCHERER
NEW ORLEANS (November 30, 2017) – The $50,000 Richie Scherer Memorial will take place Saturday in two divisions at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Serving as races four and eight, the 5½-furlong dash over the Stall-Wilson turf course is topped by favorites in each respective division, Triple Chelsea and Rapid Rhythm.
In the day’s first division, Brad Grady’s Joe Sharp-trained Triple Chelsea makes her second start for her connections in what will be her 16th lifetime try. A good second last out in a Keeneland allowance turf sprint, the 4-year-old daughter of Hat Trick (Jpn) is a turf sprint stakes winner in the past, including a neck triumph in Tampa Bay’s Lightning City last December while trained by Tony Granitz. Consistent, the 7-2 morning-line choice is 5-for-15 and has finished in the money 11 times. Robby Albarado rides from post five.
The always-dangerous Steve Asmussen barn will be represented by Ten Broeck Farm’s multiple stakes-placed speedster Chanteline, who breaks from post two under Jamie Theriot. The daughter of Majesticperfection will make her third consecutive start on grass after 16 dirt tries and exits a good fourth in the same allowance as Triple Chelsea, finishing 1¾ lengths behind said rival. Another worth watching is Hugh Robertson co-owned and trained Thoughtless, who breaks from the rail under Mitchell Murrill in what will be her second try on the grass. A consistent stakes performer, she will be looking for her third black-type victory of 2017.
The remainder of the first division consists of Honey Bunny (Brian Hernandez, Jr., post three), Two Wonders (Francisco Torres, post four), One Last Shot (Jack Gilligan, post six), Snack Shack (Florent Geroux, post seven), Our Valor (Colby Hernandez (post eight), Scatter Gun (Jose Valdivia Jr., post nine) and Excessivespending (Miguel Mena, post 10).
The second division, arguably a bit tougher, is topped by locally undefeated Rapid Rhythm, who breaks from post six under Shaun Bridgmohan for trainer Mike Stidham and owner Robert S. Evans. A perfect 5-for-5 over the Stall-Wilson turf course, the daughter of Successful Appeal’s form went sour after returning to the races following a failed cover in the breeding shed last spring.
At her best, Rapid Rhythm is tough to beat, but that does not mean Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Asmussen-trained Simple Surprise will not take another crack at her rival. A good third behind Rapid Rhythm in February’s Mardi Gras Stakes at this trip, the 4-year-old daughter of Cowboy Cal breaks from post seven under Jamie Theriot and has never finished out of the money from four Stall-Wilson starts.
Lothenbach Stables’ well-bred Nobody’s Fault, a Neil Pessin-trained half-sister to Grade I winner Vacare, is a turf sprint stakes winner who has faced some of the country’s top filly and mare turf sprinters. Sixth last out in the Grade III Buffalo Trace at Keeneland Oct. 13, the daughter of Blame was a solid second to multiple Group I winner Lady Aurelia in April’s Giant’s Causeway Stakes, the spring equivalent to the Buffalo Trace. She also defeated Triple Chelsea one start later in the Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs going five grassy furlongs, adding to her marked consistency and considerable class. Valdivia rides from post eight.
The field is completed by Contributing (Edwin Gonzalez, rail), Burma Road (Colby Hernandez, post two), Nite Delite (Gabriel Saez, post two), Boom Bam Bing (Miguel Mena, post four), Luvin Bullies (Marcelino Pedroza, post five), World Peace (Robby Albarado, post nine), Miss Gossip (Brian Hernandez Jr., post 10) and Sky Flower (Francisco Torres, post 11).
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 146th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 105thrunning of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 18, 2017 through March 31, 2018. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com