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Stakes Recap: Statebred Stars Shine on LA Derby Undercard

GOLD APPOINTMENT WIRES CRESCENT CITY DERBY -- In a race loaded with early pace on paper, it was owner-trainer Robert J. Rockwell’s Gold Appointment who proved he was quickest early and that he was courageous late, extending his lead in the lane en route to a four length score in the $75,000 Crescent City Derby for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds.

A maiden winner in his most recent start, the son of Grand Appointment threw down an opening quarter of :22.93 and a :47.17 half-mile before shaking clear of his closest pursuers and never finding himself threatened by the late rally of runner-up Hot Zapper. The final time was 1:45.23 for the 1 1/16 mile trip. He returned $18.40, $9.40, and $7.80 and earned $45,000 for the victory, pushing his career earnings to $81,460.

Winning rider Colby Hernandez offered a simple plan. ““He worked great last week and he got a lot of speed.  Just put him where he wanted,” Hernandez said.

Ronald Webb’s Hot Zapper rallied through the stretch between horses but proved no match for the winner while rallying four lengths clear of Cunningham Racing LLC’s 28-1 longshot Blue Forty Two who held the third spot after following the winner in the early stages.

Hot Zapper returned $6.00 and $4.80. Blue Forty Two returned $16.80 to show.

Clueless Rusty, B and B’s Pulpit, Youve Got a Friend, Grand Isle, Theycalledhimbig, Hail to the Nile, Yankee Gambler, Dixie Beat, Montbrooks Miracle, Kapenta, and Drewssasin completed the order of finish.

HOPEFUL NOTION REBOUNDS IN DIXIE POKER ACE – In earlier action,Autumn Hill Farms’ Hopeful Notion rebounded off a dull try earlier in the month to capture the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace for older Louisiana-breds. Moved from the turf course to the main track, the Dixie Poker Ace was the first stakes win for Hopeful Notion in his third career stakes try.

Settled inside off a :23.32 quarter and :47.06 half-mile split, Hopeful Notion remained in the pocket waiting for a seam turning for home. Angled out at the top of the lane, he used the entire length of the stretch to wear down even-money favorite Skip the Pinot, who finished a half-length behind the winner while still 1 ½ lengths clear of the show horse, Benwill.

Trained by Eddie Johnston and ridden by Richard Eramia, Hopeful Notion returned $12.80, $4.20, and $3.80 as the third choice in wagering after stopping the clock in 1:42.54 for the one mile and seventy yard trip. Skip the Pinot returned $3.00 and $2.60, and Benwill returned $6.60.

“Perfect trip, we waited on the rail, it opened up and I moved him out and it was done,” said Eramia.

Hopeful Notion’s career bankroll increased to $132,250 with the $36,000 winner’s share.

Populist Politics, No Rules Now, Cajun Charlie, and Request a Puck completed the order of finish.

BLADING WILD CAT POSTS CRESCENT CITY OAKS UPSET -  Dismissed on the board at odds of 20-1, Phyllis J Hodges & Nicky Rowell’s Blading Wild Cat assumed command at the top of the stretch and increased her margin under the wire to post a two-length score over fellow longshot Another Pinot in the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks.

Tracking a solid pace of :23.27 and :47.18 under winning rider John Jacinto, the 3-year-old Offlee Wild filly completed the mile and seventy yard trip in 1:44.50.

“It set up perfectly,” said Jacinto. “Those two [Closing Report and Heatseeker Sharon] went and we just sat until it was my time to go, and when I moved, she just took off.”

It was Blading Wild Cat’s third win from seven lifetime races, and the $45,000 winner’s purse boosted her career bankroll to $76,980 for trainer “Sweet” Hodges.

Blading Wild Cat returned $42.20, $15.80, and $8.40. Runner-up Another Pinot paid $27.60 and $9.40, while All Woman rounded out the trifecta and paid $5.60.

Even-money favorite Closing Report led on the far turn but tired in the final yards and finished fourth.

“She wasn’t as relaxed as she was in those Delta races,” said Closing Report’s rider Rosie Napravnik. “She broke a little slow so I had to ride her into the turn, but she was hard to relax. She still tried so hard in the stretch.”

Designer Legs, Heatseeker Sharon, Glamoride, and P T’s Jewel completed the order of finish.