By Brian W. Spencer —-
EXTRA CREDIT ACES CHAMPIONS DAY TURF TEST; LOUISIANA-BREDS IN SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT
NEW ORLEANS (December 9, 2017) – Klein Racing’s Extra Credit made a powerful winning move at the top of the stretch of the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf to give trainer Brad Cox and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan their second stakes win together on the card.
The 4-year-old son of Proud Citizen broke well and sat off a moderate pace led by defending winner, Valene Farm’s Hail To The Nile who sailed through splits of 23.59, 49.17 and 1:14.46. As the field approached the far turn, Scrivener Stables’ Trust Factor made an assertive move to the front and opened up at the top of the stretch, but the 4-5 favorite was unable to fend off challenges from both Extra Credit and Tigertail Ranch’s Fort Pulaski. The final time for the 1 1/16-miles event over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course was 1:44.88.
“Better trip than I had last time,” Bridgmohan said. “He was a lot more settled and his composure was better today. I got him to turn off early and that helped him finish.”
Extra Credit rewarded his backers with payouts of $9.80, $4.20 and $2.40 and boosted his career bankroll to $245,523. The Louisiana Champions Day Turf was his fifth win in 14 lifetime starts, which includes wins in last year’s Lafayette Stakes and Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes at Evangeline Downs. Fort Pulaski returned $4 and $2.20 while heavy favorite Trust Factor returned $2.10.
“It went good,” said Robby Albarado, who was aboard Trust Factor. “I was where I thought I’d be and I squeezed him turning for home and he went on with it. He just couldn’t hold them off.”
The Turf field was completed by Impressive Student, Harbor Pilot, Jack Snipe’s, Hail To The Nile and Who Datawaki.
Several stakes were contested earlier in the card on a Champions Day program worth $1.1 million. Highlights included:
– Allied Racing Stable’s Inveniam Viam ($6.40, $3.40 and $3.20) made her fifth trip to the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots winner’s circle following a victory in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies, which was run on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course for the first time this year. The 5-year-old daughter of Half Ours was coming fresh off a win on Opening Day in the Si Cima Stakes over the Fair Grounds lawn for trainer Brad Cox. Piloted by Shaun Bridgmohan, Inveniam Viam sat well off a pace led by Brittlyn Stable’s Mr. Al’s Gal through opening fractions of 23.61, 48.78, and 1:14.01. Around the far turn, she began to make up ground but had to angle wide as they approached the top of the stretch. Mr. Al’s Gal held her momentum for a good portion of the stretch run but could not fend off the winner, who finished the race in a time of 1:45.07. Keith Plaisance’s Pacific Pink ($8.20 and $5.20) finished a length behind the winner in second while pacesetter Mr. Al’s Gal ($3.40) held third.
“The turf is a little soft today,” Bridgmohan said. “I didn’t think it was her best performance, but she’s such a classy filly.”
A victory in the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie improved Inveniam Viam’s lifetime earnings to $351,089 and her record over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course to 10/5-3-2. Saturday’s win was her 11th victory in 29 career starts.
Completing the order of finish were Safari Calamari, Dontmesswithjoanne, Calamity Jane, Tenpins Tempo and Pera.
– James DeSoto’s seasoned veteran Well’s Gold ($9.80, $5.20 and $3.20) scored his first victory in exactly one calendar year when he took the $50,000 Louisiana Champions Day Starter Stakes by a half-length. Ridden by Miguel Mena and trained by F. Dewaine Loy, the 9-year-old iron horse last found the winner’s circle on December 9, 2016 in an allowance optional-claiming event against fellow Louisiana-breds over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course. The son of Gold Tribute sat just off a slow pace set by Tigertail Ranch’s Princetonian through fractions of 24.71, 49.67 and 1:15.39. Coming around the final turn, Well’s Gold angled to the outside of the pacesetter and asserted himself to the front, holding off a late challenge by Darque Horse Racing LLC’s 7-year-old gelding Southern Mister ($4 and $2.80) who took second. P and D Racing Stable Inc.’s Thunderberg ($2.80) finished another half-length back in third.
“I had a great trip,” Mena said. “I was covered up the whole way and then we cut the corner. He’s all class.”
Well’s Gold completed the one-mile trip on turf in a time of 1:39.87. The win was his 17th victory in 70 career starts, which upped his earnings to $472,692.
Rounding out the order of finish were Sky Stanza, Fist Full, B Brazin and Princetonian.
– Carlos Acuna’s Strong Guns ($25.20, $12, and $7) pulled off an 11-1 upset in the Grade II $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic. Piloted under a hand ride by Damian Martinez for trainer Robert Meche, the 5-year-old son of Strong Hope traveled the 440 yards in a time of 21.557, winning by 1¼ lengths. The victory was his eighth career win in 30 lifetime starts which boosted his earnings to $181,225. Tony Doughtie’s Jes a Fast Dasher ($6.80 and $5) finished a neck ahead of Richard Mendoza’s Super Sonic Patriot ($7.20).
Heza Bell Perry, Heza Louisiana Dash, My Favorite Blue, Ww Showtime, Ldn Jessasaltydog and Absolute Shot completed the order of finish.
– Owner-trainer Rosendo Valdez’s Shatto Stoli ($9, $5.80 and $3.80) scored a victory in the Grade III $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby in wire-to-wire fashion. Ridden by Raul Ramirez Jr. the 3-year-old son of Stoli held off a late challenge by Pedro Barron’s Coronaoro ($14 and $7.80) and won the 400-yard event by a nose in a time of 19.942. The victory, his sixth in 19 lifetime starts, pushed his career bankroll to $134,293. Jose Barron’s Di Maria ($6.80) took the show spot, a half-length behind Coronaoro.
Completing the order of finish were Gt Runway Date, Buds World, Fast Dashin Dee, Toast to Virginia, Royal Quick Patriot, Dont Kill Patriot, Fabulously Fast Game and Nd Super Long Pass.
– Rogelio Marquez, Jr.’s Dashnunder Afullmoon ($5, $3.20 and $2.40) was much the best as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade III $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile. Guided to victory by Eddie Sanchez and trained by Saul Ramirez, Jr., the daughter of Heza Fast Dash won the 350-yard event by a length and scored her fifth victory in six lifetime starts, which include a pair of Grade II triumphs at Delta Downs. Dashnunder Afullmoon stopped the clock in a time of 17.468 and built her career earnings to $572,859. Eulalio Argote and Victor Alvarado’s Second Down Leaving ($4.60 and $3.20) ran second, finishing a half-length ahead of T M Ranch’s Jls Dash N Fire ($5).
Blue Eyed Fance, Eyesa Game, Miss Tee Lajolla, Piloto Shiner, Sha Boo Yah, Cos I Get It, Jrs Natural Runaway, Fabulously Black and Yumyumcomegetyousome completed the order of finish.
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.