Ramsey-Owned Duo Tops Friday's Woodchopper, Hero of Order 20-1

  • Hero of Order crosses the wire at 109-1 in April's Louisiana Derby (GII).

NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012) – The Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned entry of Coalport and Gung Ho, trained respectively by Wayne Catalano and Mike Maker, has been pegged the lukewarm 3-1 morning line choice in Friday’s 27th running of the $75,000 Woodchopper Stakes – restricted to sophomores at about one mile over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course.

The Woodchopper is the featured event of Friday’s 11-race program – second day of racing at the Crescent City oval’s 2012-2013 meeting.

Coalport returns to competition after a layoff of more than six months. In his last trip to the post he finished sixth in the Grade II American Turf on Kentucky Oaks Day May 4. Before that the son of Kitten’s Joy won a first-level allowance race at Keeneland April 13.

Entrymate Gung Ho, also an entire son of Kitten’s Joy, comes into the Woodchopper off a runner-up finish in more advanced allowance company at Keeneland Oct. 13. Before that he was fourth in Woodbine’s $150,000 Ontario Derby Sept. 16

Gung Ho gets the riding services of jockey Rosie Napravnik, leading rider at Fair Grounds for its last two winter meetings, while Coalport has John Jacinto named to handle the reins.

Expected to provide strong competition for the Ramsey coupling – and installed at 4-1 in the early line – is Sam-Son Farm’s Aldous Snow, a sophomore son of Theatrical who finished eighth in the Grade III Hawthorne Derby in his last start Oct. 13. Before that the Malcolm Pierce trainee had back-to-back runner-up runs in Woodbine’s $125,000 Halton and $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes last summer at the Canadian oval. Ed Da Silva is slated for the saddle.

Not to be easily overlooked in the Woodchopper is Terry Hamilton’s Hammers Terror, a Mike Stidham trainee who finished eighth in Woodbine’s Grade I Neartic Stakes Oct. 14 but won Canterbury’s $100,000 Mystical Derby last July. Jockey James Graham is listed on the 9-2 entrant.

Dismissed in the Woodchopper morning line at 20-1 is Raut LLC’s Hero of Order, who lit up the tote board with a $220 win price in last spring’s Grade II Louisiana Derby over Fair Grounds’ main track. Raut LLC’s Macho Bull is coupled in the wagering with Hero of Order and both horses have jockey Billy Williams named in the irons.

Completing the field for the Woodchopper is Don Ebert’s Pure Tactics, Colby Hernandez; Danny Keene’s Sommer’s Choice, Jansen Melancon; Danny Pish’s Quiet Acceleration, Iram Diego; Diamond Racing et al.’s Adios Nardo, Richard Eramia; Adele Dilschneider’s Unlatch, Jamie Theriot; and Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s Icon Ike, Mark Guidry.