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Sunday Notes: Believe You Can, Delaunay, Hernandez
By Graham Ross, Staff Writer
NEW ORLEANS (Sunday, March 10, 2013) –Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., unceremoniously unseated from Janis Whitham’s 2012 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned leaving the gate in Saturday’s Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap, emerged unscathed from that mishap and willing to talk about it outside the jockeys’ room at Fair Grounds Race Course shortly before Sunday’s first race.
“This is a tough game,” said Hernandez with a smile the morning after the horse he rode to victory in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic ran without him in his 2013 debut in South Florida. “It’s unbelievable that something like that can happen, but it does in racing. They tell me they clocked the horse in something like 1:30 for the mile. The horse ran huge without me.
“I’m fine today,” said Hernandez. “I didn’t get hurt at all. The only thing that was bruised was my pride. Now my only concern is for the horse. I hope he comes out of the race without any problems.
“Ian (Wilkes, Fort Larned’s trainer) called me last night to make sure I was all right,” said Hernandez. “I told him I was fine and that I just hoped the horse was all right, too, and my only concern was for the horse. I thought that was a very nice thing for Ian to do. He’s got a lot of class.
“I caught a 10 o’clock flight out of Florida last night,” concluded Hernandez, “so I’m back here ready to ride again today.”
Hernandez won two of the first four races Sunday with two more mounts to go.
BELIEVE YOU CAN BEING PREPARED FOR CHAMPIONSHIP RUN – Brereton Jones’s Believe You Can ran like a tigress in Saturday’s listed $150,000 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots but was friendly as a fawn when she stuck her nose out of her stall to accept congratulatory nuzzles Sunday morning during training hours at the Crescent City oval.
After being the odds-on choice of Saturday’s Fair Grounds guests, many of whom had watched her parlay her Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks score to another in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks last season and still another in the $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes here last month, Believe You Can was doing well Sunday morning following her facile 5 3/4-length tally in the fourth running of the New Orleans Ladies.
“She ran a huge race yesterday,” said her trainer Larry Jones. “She’s doing fine today. In fact, all four of our horses that ran yesterday came back good. We are having a good morning around here today.”
Following Believe You Can’s Saturday score, Jones had mapped out some tentative plans for her campaign.
“We want to continue with a light campaign for her off with her for awhile,” Jones reiterated Sunday, “and then start to intensify it later in the summer at Saratoga. Our main objective is to get her to the (Grade I) Breeders’ Cup (Ladies Classic) and get her a championship this year. We missed that opportunity last year when we had to take her out of training early in the summer. Something like the (Grade II) La Troienne at Churchill might be a good next race for her.”
DELAUNAY IN FINE FETTLE FOLLOWING SATURDAY’S DUNCAN KENNER – Maggi Moss’s Delaunay came out of his race is Saturday’s listed $150,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes unscathed, trainer Tom Amoss indicated outside his barn during training hours at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Sunday morning.
“The horse came out of his race fine and is doing good this morning,” Amoss said of Delaunay, who earlier in the winter won the Thanksgiving Handicap and F.W. Gaudin Stakes at Fair Grounds before sweeping the local sprint stakes series with his 4 1/2-length win in the Duncan Kenner.
“I’m on the phone to Maggi right now and we’re having a light discussion about what might be next for the horse,” Amoss said. “We’ll probably be having a more serious discussion about what we want to do next on Tuesday or Wednesday.”