Stakes Recap: Mardi Gras Stakes

Martin Racing and Morgan Thoroughbred’s Cozze Up Lady played the role of the closing lady in Tuesday’s $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, going from last to first with a powerful stretch run that saw her get up in the last jump to best William Heffner’s Saturday Nthe Park by a nose at the wire.

Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden patiently by Fair Grounds leading rider Rosie Napravnik, who were both registering their second wins of the afternoon, the 5-year-old Cozzene mare overcame her presumed preference for the grass in the race that was taken off the Stall-Wilson turf course and run on the sloppy main track to register mutuels of $12.40, $6 and $3.40 while recording a final time of 1:05.10 for the 5 ½ furlongs.

“She was standing like a statue in the gate and I was trying to get her ready to break,” said Napravnik.  “She just walked out of the gate and wasn’t picking up her feet, so I thought she just wasn’t going to run today.  But once I got her switched out in the stretch and she stopped taking dirt in her face, she really came running.”

The winner increased her career earnings to $286,431 while recording her sixth lifetime win from 12 trips to the post.

Saturday Nthe Park, who made the pace with splits of 22.13 and 45.39, continued courageously between Richard Klein and Bertram Klein’s favored Good Deed and Dream Walkin’ Farms’ Seeking Ms Shelley to save the place, paying $11 and $4.80 while finishing a neck to the good of Good Deed, who returned $3.20.

Brereton Jones’s Same Cross, void of early foot,rallied late to get fourth.

Racing resumes Wednesday at Fair Grounds with a first post of 1:25 p.m.