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Abama Light Pays $89.20 in Inaugural Magic City Classic

NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, December 30, 2012) – Taylor Nelson’s Abama Light, the lone filly in a field of eight Alabama-breds, came charging down the middle of the track to win Sunday’s featured $50,000 Magic City Classic by three-quarters of a length over Pat Sheetz’s Busted Account. Abama Light, trained by Eric Nelson Jr., paid $89.20 as the third-longest shot in the field at 43-1.

The inaugural running of the Magic City Classic, at one mile and 70 yards, was the richest race of the year for horses bred in the Cotton State.

The winner, a 3-year-old filly by Phantom Light, improved her career record to 9-2-2-0 and raised her career earnings to $46,485. In addition to the $89.20 win mutuel, Abama Light paid $33.60 to place and $10.20 to show. Busted Account paid $10.40 and $5.20, while B.G.’s Admiral returned $2.80 to show.

Crimson Pride set the early fractions of 24.02 and 48.54, while Abama Light lagged in the back of the field. After six furlongs in 1:14.62, Abama Light was still 14 lengths off the pace. Jockey Kevin Smith shifted outside into the stretch and the pair took off, passing the tiring leaders before crossing the wire in 1:47.44.

In the day’s first race, Walnut Hill Stable LLC’s Loco Sweet ($2.60) drew away to an easy 3 ½-length win as the odds-on favorite in the $25,000 Kudzu Juvenile for Alabama-bred 2-year-olds. Donah Faircloth’s He’s Got Brass finished an even second, three lengths clear of Melvin P. Kelly’s Bama’s Empire in third. Loco Sweet was ridden by Miguel Mena for trainer Jonas Gibson.

Racing resumes tomorrow with the first Monday card of the meet for New Year’s Eve, highlighted by two gender-restricted divisions of the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity for state-bred juveniles.