Home of the Louisiana Derby

Half-Way There


The conclusion of the past week put us at the half-way point of this winter Fair Grounds meeting. The season is nine weeks old and the jockey, trainer and owner’s standings are as close as ever. No one has emerged as the clear-cut favorite to finish in front in any of the categories.

In the jockey’s standings Richard Eramia is holding a one win advantage over Rosie Napravnik. Here’s a rundown of the top 10: Richard Eramia is 43 - 52 - 29 from 309 mounts with earnings of $1,094,100; Rosie Napravnik is 42 - 36 - 27 from 235 mounts with earnings of $1,154,955; Jamie Theriot is 40 - 37 - 37 from 259 mounts with $1,151,800 in earnings; Miguel Mena is 37 - 42 - 28 and $1,070,850 in purses; Shaun Bridgmohan is 5th with a tab of 36 - 20 - 19 and $967,850 in earnings. Rounding out the top 10 are James Graham with 33, Kerwin “Boo Boo” Clark with 27, Corey Lanerie with 25, while Brian Hernandez, Jr. and Robby Albarado are tied with 18. Albarado recently had surgery on his broken heel and will be out of action until sometime in March.

Richard Eramia has been steady, winning four to five races a week, but Rosie made up the most ground in the last week. She had a couple of multiple win days last week which moved her up to within one win of Richard. Jamie Theriot is another steady performer and the high-quality mounts he rides are going to keep him in the thick of things until the very end. Miguel Mena seemed to be getting on a roll over the last couple of weeks, but a careless riding infraction got him a seven day suspension, which could cost him a few wins over the next week. Shaun Bridgmohan has been chipping away in the standings and is moving up steadily. Shaun may have the most “live ammunition” of all of the riders, with mounts coming from both the Asmussen and Margolis stables.

After nine weeks of racing it’s still “too close to call” to make a prediction in this well-balanced riding colony competition.

In the trainer’s battle, Steve Asmussen is still on the lead. He’s sent 107 runners postward and has recorded 21 wins, 14 seconds and 10 thirds with earnings of $551,090. Bret Calhoun is 17 - 15 - 14 from 85 starters with earnings of $558,803. Here’s the remaining eight trainers in the top 10; Mike Stidham is 16 - 12 - 5 from 49 starters with $452,130 in earnings; Tom Amoss is 15 - 16 - 13 from 72 runners and $400,765 in earnings; Michelle Lovell has recorded 14 - 11 - 7 from 59 starters with earnings of $307,680. Steve Margolis has 13 wins; Merrill Scherer has 10, while five trainers are tied with 9. Of all of the trainers in the top 10, Mike Stidham and Tom Amoss are really starting to heat up and have made the most progress in the standings over the last couple of weeks. Anything they send to post is worth watching.

After nine weeks, I’m still sticking with Steve Asmussen to successfully defend his training title. His numbers are still strong and he can win races in bunches. I think that’s enough to keep his challengers at bay.

In the owner’s race, Maggi Moss is currently holding down the top spot. Her runners have been to the gate 36 times and have posted a worksheet of 9 - 10 - 5 and have earned $170,030. Four owners have won six races each, while two have won five and six have won four races a piece. Maggi has a well-balanced claiming stable and is constantly looking for new claims to add to her stable, so ther numbers are going to make her tough to beat in the owner’s race.

This past Friday night was the second of the four Starlight Racing programs and I think it was the most successful night racing program to date. Attendance seemed to be at an all-time high and the Clubhouse was wall-to-wall people and everyone seemed to be in a party mood, listening and dancing to the Top Cats. The next Starlight Racing program is scheduled for Friday, February 18th, so make plans to come out and join us. You’ll be glad you did.

As I mentioned in one of the paragraphs above, Robby Albarado had surgery on his broken heel and is on the road to recovery. Robby plans to be back in action sometime in March, so we’re all wishing him a speedy recovery. In the next week or two, I’m going to sit down with Robby and talk about his last couple of injuries and the rehabilitation process it takes to get back to the races.