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Wed. Notes: Believe You Can Gets First Work Back at FG

NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012) – Brereton Jones’s Believe You Can, who became the fifth Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks winner in its last eight renewals to parlay that score to another in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks five weeks later, recorded her first work back Monday morning at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots since being taken out of training last summer.

The daughter of Proud Citizen ticked off three furlongs in 37.20 under Fair Grounds’ two-time defending jockey champion Rosie Napravnik in what trainer Larry Jones deemed “just giving her a chance to stretch out her legs a little bit.

“She went well,” said Jones Wednesday morning during training hours. “We’ll probably bring her back for another work in about six or seven days.”

Believe You Can has not raced since finishing third in Belmont’s Grade I Mother Goose last June 21.

“Our big 3-year-olds all got the summer off,” said Jones, speaking also of Brereton Jones-owned colts Mark Valeski (runner-up in the Grade II Louisiana Derby and Grade II Risen Star)and Mr. Bowling (winner of the Grade III Lecomte), “so we’ll be firing with them all down here at Fair Grounds again this winter. That should make for some very exciting racing for the city of New Orleans this winter.

“Mark Valeski will probably get his first work back tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday,” Jones concluded, “and Mr. Bowling will probably get his first work back in another 10 days or so.”

JOCKEY JOHN JACINTO WINS FOUR AT FAIR GROUNDS SUNDAY – Veteran Fair Grounds jockey John Jacinto, who rode the 1,700th winner of his career last Saturday,became the first rider to win four races on a single program at the local oval this season on Sunday, getting the last of his win-quartet as a result of a disqualification in the day’s finale.

In that race, Picard Thoroughbred Racing’s Saintly Brees,first horse under the wire, wasn’t so saintly when drifting out in the late stages, preventing Cunningham Racing’s Storm Around, with Jacinto aboard, from “storming around” in the last strides.

“It wasn’t anybody’s fault,” said Jacinto Wednesday morning, speaking of Sunday’s last-race incident. “That other horse was just getting tired and came out and bumped me a little bit. That kind of intimidated my horse’s momentum. I think the stewards made the right call. If that hadn’t happened, I think my horse would have got by the other one.”

Jacinto, a 33-year-old native of Lima, Peru, recorded the first of his four wins Sunday in the third race aboard Etbauer’s Devil, owned and trained by Brian Schweda. Jacinto came right back to the winner’s circle in the fourth race on Charles Zacney’s The Louisiana Kid for trainer Eddie Johnston, and got his third in the sixth astride Tide Rising for owner-trainer Robert Rockwell before being adjudged winner of the last on Storm Around, trained by Johnston.

The four-bagger Sunday gave Jacinto 11 wins at the meeting, moving him into a tie for the runner-up spot with jockey James Graham through Sunday’s races. Two-time defending jockey champion Rosie Napravnik remains atop the standings with 14 wins.

Conditioners Tom Amoss and Bret Calhoun were tied for the lead in the young season’s trainer standings through Sunday after saddling seven winners apiece, with Wes Hawley in closest pursuit with five winners.

NEW HALL OF FAME ROOM TO HOST FREE HANDICAPPING SEMINARS STARTING SATURDAY – The free “No Favorites Allowed” handicapping seminars return to Fair Grounds starting Saturday in the newly christened “Hall of Fame Room” on the second floor. Moderator Jim Mulvihill and guest handicappers Brian “The Biscuit” Kohn and Gary Palmisano Jr. willpreview every race on the card with an emphasis on horses that offer value. The weekly seminars, which start 40 minutes before the first race (11:30 a.m. this week due to the early 12:10 p.m. first post for Louisiana Champions Day), are open to handicappers of all skill levels. The new Hall of Fame Room, open to the public only for handicapping seminars, is located on the west side (up the stretch) of the Grandstand’s second floor, across from the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame exhibit.  The Hall of Fame Room features large flat-screen monitors, a private self-service mutuel machine and offers a striking view of the paddock through the 15-foot windows above the Jockeys’ Quarters.

KOHN NAMED TO HOST FG’S ‘BISCUIT IN THE MORNING’ TV SHOW – Speaking of Mutuels Assistant Brian Kohn, “The Biscuit”has taken over the role as host of Fair Grounds’ in-house employee television show, newly-named the “Biscuit in the Morning” show.

As host of the show, Kohn leads off with Fair Grounds news bulletins, welcomes groups on hand to enjoy their day at the local oval, and also releases his “Tip of the Day.”

“I got the nickname ‘Biscuit’ when I started out slowly in a handicapping contest,” Kohn said. “One of my coworkers was teasing me about falling so far behind and I told him I was going to close on him like Seabiscuit.”

The song “I Like Biscuits” serves as the opening theme of the show each racing day.