Happy Birthday to all the thoroughbreds
Happy Birthday to all the thoroughbreds and Happy New Year to all my fellow horse racing fans!
The new year brings new horses to talk about for the Road to the Derby races coming up in the next few months at Fair Grounds Race Course. I am happy to report there are two three-year-olds on the horse watch list for the Fair Ground's very own Road to the Derby trail...
Justin Phillips ran an interesting, but promising performance for his debut at the two turn distance. He broke awkwardly, but was able to move up the inside to take the lead around the first turn and lead the pace the entire way. He did veer out to the middle of track at the 3/16ths pole, but still finish the race strong to land the win last Saturday against allowance optional claimers. The connections are aiming for the Lecomte Stakes, the first of the three 3yo stakes races, which will be on Saturday, January 22nd.
Justin Phillips is a 3yo colt by First Samurai, out of a Cryptoclearance mare, Aveknowsthecode. He is owned by Zayat Stable LLC and trained by Steve Asmussen. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan guided this one to the winner's circle last weekend.
Machen is another 3yo to watch at the Fair Grounds, who just broke his maiden going 6 furlongs in his debut last Sunday, Jan. 2nd. He ran quite an impressive performance for his first career start. He broke in the back of the pack and rushed up to sit two lengths off the pace. He made a move around the turn going four wide, and drew off to win by five and a half lengths against maiden allowance foes. The trainer, Neil Howard, and owner, Courtlandt Farms, are unsure where the next spot for the colt will be, but one of the options is one of the three derby prep races at Fair Grounds if they make the decision to stretch him out in the near future.
Machen is 3yo colt by Distorted Humor, out of a More than Ready mare, Ready's Gal. We expect to see more out of the colt so add this one to the horse watch list.
The upcoming stakes restricted to 3yos are:
-The 67th of The Lecomte Stakes (GIII) on Saturday, January 22nd (one mile and forty yards)
-The 38th of The Risen Star Stakes (GII) on Saturday, February 19th (one mile and sixteenth)
-The 98th of The Lousiana Derby (GII) on Saturday, March 26th (one mile and eighth)
Not only do you, the fans, have the chance to witness history by seeing potential Kentucky Derby contenders compete at the historic
Fair Grounds, we are also on the watch for the next Rachel Alexandra, which here at the Fair Grounds starting this year, there is the newly named stakes, The Rachel Alexandra Stakes, one of the prep races for the Road to the Oaks for the 3yo fillies.
One of the newly turned 3yo fillies to watch is the Smarty Jones filly, Flash Mash, who won by 10 lengths in first-level allowance race on the first Saturday of the meet. Trainer Michael Stidham says there's a good chance she will return for The Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 22nd. Their ultimate goal of the meet with Flash Mash is the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 26th. She worked 1/2 mile bullet breeze in 48.60 on this Monday morning (01/03/11). She was the best of 93 horses who worked in the morning.
The next few months will be very exciting as celebrate the new year at Fair Grounds Race Course! We race Thursday thru Monday this upcoming week. The feature race of the week is the Dixie Poker Ace Stakes for 4yos and upward La breds going one mile on the Stall Wilson Turf Course.
Good luck in the new year! Let's make it a profitable one!