Undercard Stakes: Country Day, Look At the Time , Nehro
It was Country Day, owned by Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein, who came home first by a length in Saturday’s $75,000 Colonel Power Stakes, one of the six supporting stakes worth $885,000 that made up Fair Grounds’ Louisiana Derby Preview Day program at the New Orleans oval.
This time it was his seemingly perennial rival ChamberlainBridge, owned by Carl Moore, who finished second. In their Colonel Power matchup two years ago, it was the other way around, and so it was in their last meeting Dec. 17 in Fair Grounds’ $75,000 Bonapaw Stakes, but Country Day was bumped soundly at the start that day.
Country Day returned $5.20, $3 and 2.60 as the choice of fans Saturday, increased his career earnings to $503,829 with his seventh win from 19 lifetime starts and accomplished the about 5 1/2-furlong distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “good” in 1:04.24.
Chamberlain Bridge paid $4 and $3.40 while third-place runner Cactus Son, owned Dwight Sprague, returned $6 while finishing nose farther back.
LOOK AT THE TIME WINS GENTILLY STAKES – Hooties Racing’s Look At the Time, rated just behind the early leaders, cut to the rail after entering the stretch and drew off with intermittent urging to win Saturday’s $60,000 Gentilly Stakes for accredited Louisiana-bred sophomores by three and a quarter lengths.
Trained by Wes Hawley and ridden by Corey Lanerie, the winner toured the about one mile distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “good” in 1:39.95, increased his career earnings to $60,974 with his second win in three career starts and returned mutuels of $8.20, $5 and $4.40.
Look At the Time, an altered son of Brahms, was also first under the wire in his career debut but was disqualified and placed fourth.
Danny Ray Butler’s Benwill, unhurried early, rallied in the stretch to gain the place in the Gentilly, paying $5.60 and $4 while finishing a head to the good of Larry Johnson’s Beckyboy, who paid $8.40 to show.
Todd Dick’s Wits End and Dan Lynch, Ken Sentel and Merrill Scherer’s Freddie One Bite alternated for the early lead with splits of 24.67 and 49.54 but tired from their efforts.
2011 LOUISIANA DERBY RUNNER-UP NEHRO WINS 2012 BOW EASILY – Zayat Stables’ Nehro, second in last year’s Kentucky Derby, Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby before that,returned to competition for the first time since a fourth-place finish in last spring’s Belmont Stakes, winning his 2012 debut at Fair Grounds Saturday by seven and a quarter lengths.
Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and trained by Steve Asmussen, Nehro was allowed to settle well back in fourth position early, commenced his rally approaching the lane in the $49,000 allowance and $17,500 optional claiming mile and 70 yard run and drew off late in facile fashion. The son of Mineshaft paid $2.80 and toured the distance in 1:41.88.
“I think the timing of this race – I was a little concerned, he doesn’t have a lot of work in him – but I think it puts us right on schedule for the New Orleans Handicap,” said Asmussen, referring to the Grade II race on April 1, Louisiana Derby Day as well as closing day of Fair Grounds 2011-2012 season.