Stakes Recap: Santa Super Saturday


STAKES RECAP: 'Prayer' Answers for Flores in FG's Tenacious 'Cap; 'Daddy' Catches Speedsters in $75,000 'Buddy' Diliberto Memorial 'Cap; Class Included Tops in $75,000 Blushing K. D. 'Cap; Sum of the Parts Leads All the Way in $75,000 Bonapaw; Albano Tastes Sweet Victory in $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes; Divine Beauty Wins $60,000 Letellier Memorial

Zayat Stable’s Prayer for Relief answered those of winning rider David Flores and winning trainer Steve Asmussen with a 6 ¼-length tally in the $75,000 Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the main event at the New Orleans oval’s six-stakes race Santa Super Saturday program.

Prayer for Relief returned mutuels of $9, $5.60 and $4, and toured the 1 1/16-miles over a fast main track in 1.43.78 after alternating for the lead early with splits of 24.21 and 48.19.  The 5-year-old horse, starting high weight in the field with 120 pounds, increased his career earnings to $1,580,913 with his eighth win in 25 career starts.

“He put me in a spot where I wanted to be,” said Flores.  “It’s never too early when you have the horse to make that kind of run.”

West Point Stable et al.’s Ground Transport stayed on for the place after setting the early fractions, paying $10.40 and $5.40 while finishing a head to the good of Robert and Lawana Low’s Agent Di Nozzo, who returned $2.80.

‘DADDY’ CATCHES SPEEDSTERS IN $75,000 ‘BUDDY’ DILIBERTO MEMORIAL ‘CAP—Cathy and Bob Zollars’  Daddy Nose Best proved wisest of all under a patient ride by jockey David Flores to win Saturday’s $75,000 “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial Handicap at about 1 1/16-miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course by 3 ½-lengths.

Giving the tandem of Flores and Steve Asmussen their second straight win onSanta Super Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Daddy Nose Best paid $8, $5.20 and $4, he accomplished the distance in 1:44.53 and increased his career earnings to $867,303 with his eighth win in 23 career starts.

“He had great acceleration from the half-mile pole to the quarter pole and that’s when I went around the group,” said Flores.  “When you have the best horse it is best that way.”

Long shot early leader Adios Nardo, owned by Diamond Racing et al., could not match the winner late held on to be easily second best after setting early fractions of 23.01 and 46.89.  He returned $24.60 and $12.20.  Three lengths in arrears of Adios Nardo was La Marca Stable’s Compliance Officer, who returned $5.80.

CLASS INCLUDED TOPS IN $75,000 BLUSHING K. D. ‘CAP— Brittlyn Stable’s Class Included, away fastest, pressed the early leader and drew clear in the stretch under Shaun Bridgmohan to win Saturday’s $75,000 Blushing K . D. Handicap by a 1 ¾-lengths.

“This is a very smart filly,” said Bridgmohan after the race for older fillies and mares at about 1 1/16-miles over a firm Stall-Wilson turf course.  “She’s a real straight shooter.  All I had to do was to keep her out of trouble and let her run her race.”

Trained by Ron Faucheux, the 5-year-old mare returned mutuels of $6.40, $3.40 and $2.80 and came home in 1.45.93 after tracking the early splits of 23.89 and 48.92.  She increased her career earnings to $552,146 with her 12th win in 23 lifetime starts.

Ronnie Werner et al.’s Bluegrass Sapphire finished second, paying $8.40 and $5.20 with Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings’ Twirl third, returning $5.80 to show.

SUM OF THE PARTS LEADS ALL THE WAY IN $75,000 BONAPAW—Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts broke in full stride to make the pace in fractions of 21.99 and 46.21 before coming home in 1:04.30 and 2 ¾-lengths in front in Saturday’s $75,000 Bonapaw grass dash for older speedsters over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

Tom (winning trainer Amoss) told me he does his best work on the lead so that was the plan,” said winning rider Rosie Napravnik.  “We were out there pretty quick so he’s all heart coming down the lane and all class as well.”

The winner paid $8.40, $5 and $4 and increased his career earnings to $761,543 with his seventh win 17 lifetime starts.

St. George Farm et al.’s Channel Marker finished second, paying $4.40 and $3.40, while a neck in front of Le Marca Stable’s Strong Impact, who returned $4.40

ALBANO TASTES SWEET VICTORY IN $60,000 SUGAR BOWL STAKES—Owner Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones completed a sweep of Saturday’s two 2-year-old stakes when Albano, ridden by Kerwin Clark, took command in mid-stretch and went on to win the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes by 1 ¼-lengths.  The winner paid $5, toured the six furlongs in 1:11.50 and increased his career earnings to $58,100 with his second victory in three lifetime starts.

“I feel this one is better to get around (two turns) than Mark Valeski did,” said the trainer of Albano’s big brother.  “We felt that ‘Mark’ was a little speedier and had more acceleration than this horse but we are high on him.  We hope he does what Mark Valeski did and maybe one better.”

DIVINE BEAUTY WINS LETELLIER MEMORIAL--Brereton Jones’s Divine Beauty, trained by Larry Jones and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, won the $60,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes for juvenile fillies by 6 ½ lengths, touring the six furlongs in 1:10.66 and returning $5.20 to win.  She increased her career earnings to $57,600 with her second win in as many starts.

Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with a nine-race program beginning at 1 p.m.