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Borel at 4,998 Wins; Graham Hits 1,500 in Opener

NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 13, 2012) – In a one-day sojourn to his native Louisiana, nationally prominent jockey Calvin Borel – winner of three of the last six renewals of the Kentucky Derby –finished third with each of his two mounts, denying Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots fans the opportunity to witness the popular 46-year-old reinsman’s bid to reach the 5,000 career-win milestone at the Crescent City oval.

In the third race of the day when aboard Ferrous Farm’s Belong to B’sal, that 3-year-old maiden broke awkwardly but moved quickly to the fore, made the pace until upper stretch with splits of 21.92 and 45.68 but then gave way grudgingly, finishing 2 1/4-lengths behind the victorious Ali Maccool, owned by Tenth Street Stables, ridden by Miguel Mena and trained by Bernie Flint.

Ali Maccool paid $14.20, $5.60 and $2.60, toured the six furlongs in 1:12.06 and increased his career earnings to $28,500 with his first victory in two starts.

In the sixth race, when astride Frank Fletcher Racing’s Boss Man Rocket, Borel settled that 2-year-old maiden making his third start behind New Phoenix Stable and Coffeepot Stable’s eventual winnerSaturdaysatbernies, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and trained by Wayne Catalano. Boss Man Rocket challenged for command at the furlong grounds but could not sustain the bid, beaten a length and a half for all of it.

“I’m trying to get him to relax and finish up a little bit,” Borel said. “I got him back today and he finished, but he didn’t finish as good as I though he would. No excuse, but I think he’s a little bit better horse than that and we’re going to find out later in the year that he is.”

Saturdayatbernies accomplished early splits of 22.66 and 47.58, got the about 5 1/2-furlongs over a turf course rated good in 1:05.62, returned mutuels of $44.40, $12.40 and $7.40 and increased his career earnings to $27,234 with his first win in two lifetime starts.

Earlier on the card, jockey James Graham notched the 1,500th winner of his career aboard 3-year-old filly Dangerous Dream in the first race of the day, a two-turn $7,500 claiming event.

Racing resumes Friday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program beginning at 1 p.m.