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Brisnet Handicappers Edge Fair Grounds notes 1/17/10.
Louisiana-bred sprinters were in action at Fair Grounds on Saturday in a pair of $60,000 dashes over a sloppy 5 1/2 furlongs. Carl Moore's POWER SURGE (Holzmeister), who eventually descended into the claiming ranks after winning the Gentilly S. three years ago, made a triumphant return to the top level with a victory in the John E. Jackson Jr. Memorial H. by three parts of a length. Under Jamie Theriot, the Bret Calhoun trainee completed the course in 1:04 4/5. Fifth in this race a year ago, the gelding improved on that finish here and saw his bank account swell to $420,910 from a line of 32-10-7-6. In the Happy Ticket S., the companion race for fillies and mares, Marcia Lamarche's ANYTHING BUT QUIET (Real Quiet) turned in a stunning 59-1 upset by a neck under Billy Patin in a time of 1:06 2/5. Trained by Carl Woodley, the six-year-old had won the filly division of the Louisiana Futurity in 2006 and had been stakes-placed three times since then, most recently in the Power Doll S. last May. Her record improved to 27-5-4-6, $241,811...
Fair Grounds' Starlight Racing a success
Friday night's Starlight Racing program at Fair Grounds, the first of three this season at the New Orleans track, had track management describing the event as successful beyond expectations -- and that was despite increasingly rainy weather and a temporary late afternoon local power outage that caused a one-hour delay before the first race of the evening.
"If you had told me that with the rain and the power outage we would still have this many people I wouldn't have believed you," Fair Grounds President Austin Miller said midway through the racing program. "It is probably double the average Friday crowd.
"In terms of creating an environment and creating a vibe, it all went fantastically," Austin said. "You can just look around and tell that this is not our average Friday crowd. Next month (for the February 19 Starlight Racing event) we'll have to get a bigger tent. If we had had better weather it would have been spilling over."
Anecdotal evidence also suggested a very successful evening. The parking lot was full around the far turn, similar to a Thanksgiving Day program, and all available clubhouse dining tables were occupied.
Starlight Racing brought an upscale club atmosphere to the racetrack, with live music and an enhanced menu in the Clubhouse and a DJ to go with charbroiled oysters from Drago's in the Miller Beer Garden chalet. Both areas featured live dancers outfitted in jockey silks, themed lighting, specialty cocktails, beer specials and lounge seating.
In the $47,000 featured race of the evening, COUNTRY FLAVOR (Empire Maker) took command approaching the lane and drew off for a 4 3/4-length score under jockey Shane Sellers. The Greg Geier-trained bay paid $7.80, $4.40 and $5.60, toured the 1 1/16-mile distance over the sloppy track in 1:47 and increased his career earnings to $74,195 with his third win in nine lifetime starts.
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