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Valentine Eddie Wins South Mississippi Owners & Breeders


By Graham Ross, Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS (Friday, February 8, 2013) – Howard Alonzo’s Valentine Eddie, allowed to settle behind the pace setter in the early going, took command when that one faltered and drew clear late for a 1 1/4-length victory in Friday’s Fair Grounds feature – the 18th running of the $41,000 South Mississippi Owners/Breeders Stakes.

“My horse broke good,” said winning rider Jose Riquelme. “I knew the seven-horse (Deborah Strahan’s Elijah Raine) was the speed so I let him go, but when he started to get tired my horse re-broke and got to running real good after that.”

Valentine Eddie toured the six-furlong distance in 1:12.02, returned mutuels of $29.80, $20 and $78.60 and increased his career earnings to $25,200 with his first win in three career starts.

“The race went great,” said owner-trainer Howard (Tucker) Alonzo. “The boy (Riquelme) rode him great. It’s always great when you win.”

William Reed’s Edolie finished second, paying $9 and $9.60, and Pop-A-Top Stable’s Always Broke finished third returning $26.20 while 2 1/4-lengths farther back in the race. Both halves of the 1-5 entry ran out of the money.

Elijah Raine carved out early splits of 21.64 and 45.50 before giving way.

Racing resumes Saturday at Fair Grounds with an 11-race program beginning at 1 p.m.