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Barn Notes: Monday, January 20

IN TODAY'S NOTES: Jack Van Berg to Sign Autographs at FG Saturday; Delaunay, Gantry to Renew Rivalry in Saturday's Listed Gaudin Memorial; Upcoming South Mississippi Owners/Breeders Stakes Moved to Feb. 14; Monday's $156,012 Black Gold Jackpot Carryover Pool Highest in Nation

Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will return to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this Saturday to interact with Fair Grounds’ guests and sign autographs of the new book Jack, From Grit to Glory.

The legendary conditioner, Fair Grounds’ all-time leading trainer who accomplished 10 training titles and an estimated 1,210 wins at the New Orleans oval from 1957 until 1996 before switching his stable to Southern California, is still revered by longtime Fair Grounds fans, many of whom will be on hand for the afternoon when he is also slated to present to trophy to the winner of the $60,000 Van Berg Stakes.

The Van Berg Stakes, a grass dash for sophomores at about 5 ½ furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course, was inaugurated last season as part of a Name the Stakes contest.  It was named to honor both Jack Van Berg and his father Hall of Fame trainer Marion Van Berg.  Ken and Sarah Ramsey, honored with Eclipse Awards as both owners and breeders during ceremonies last Saturday in South Florida, won the inaugural Van Berg with Animal Style last season as well as last Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes here with Vicar’s in Trouble. 

It is also worthy of note that the father-son Van Berg trainer tandem is part of a select group of conditioners in the National Museum Racing Hall of Fame as well as the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame.  That list also includes Bobby Frankel, Grover (Bud) Delp, B. A. (Plain Ben) Jones and Harry Trotsek.

Jack, From Grit to Glory,written by Chris Kotulak, is a book that has been heralded as a “true story of hardship, heartache and heartfelt joy” and has received positive reviews from all corners of the racing industry.

Van Berg will be on hand near the paddock to autograph copies of the book this Saturday.

Under consideration for at this time for Saturday’s Van Berg Stakes include Maggi Moss’s Bisque, winner of the $85,000 Indiana Futurity; and Brian Hall et al.’s Boji Moon, hero of the $150,000 Kentucky Downs Futurity.

DELAUNAY, GANTRY TO RENEW RIVALRY IN SATURDAY’S LISTED GAUDIN MEMORIAL—Maggi Moss’s Delaunay, Horse of the Meeting at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots last season, is slated to make his local bow this season in Saturday’s $60,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes

Conditioned by 10-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss, Delaunay swept Fair Grounds’ three-race sprint series last season, taking the $100,000 Thanksgiving Handicap on opening day, continuing with last season’s $75,000 Gaudin Memorial as part of the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day program and concluding with a win in the $150,000 Duncan F. Kenner March 9.

Brittlyn Stable’s Gantry is trained by Ron Faucheux and was the hero of this season’s $100,000 Thanksgiving Handicap as well as the 2011 edition, the 2012 Gaudin Memorial and the 2012 Duncan F. Kenner.  However, he finished second to Delaunay in all three legs of the sprint series last season.

Others likely for Saturday’s Gaudin at this time are Martin Racing Stable’s Marchman, trained by Bret Calhoun and winner of this season’s $75,000 Woodchopper Nov. 30; the Hugh Robertson owned and trained Bet Seattle, winner of Canterbury’s $50,000 Honor the Hero Stakes last summer (and suddenly a Super Bowl hunchbet); and Average Joe Racing Stable’s Silver Lining John, trained by Jeff Engler and a winner of his last outing over Turfway’s Polytrack course on New Year’s Day.

UPCOMING SOUTH MISSISSIPPI OWNERS/BREEDERS STAKES MOVED TO FEB. 14—In a slight adjustment to the local stakes schedule, guests at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and fans of Fair Grounds’ simulcast signal are advised that the upcoming estimated $40,000 South Mississippi Owners/Breeders Stakes has been moved back one week and will now be contested on Feb. 14.

MONDAY’S $156,012 BLACK GOLD JACKPOT CARRYOVER POOL HIGHEST IN NATION—Again on Martin Luther King Day, the $156,012 Black Gold Jackpot Carryover Pool was the highest Monday jackpot carryover pool available in the nation.