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Barn Notes: Saturday, December 27


RAMGEET OUT INDEFINITELY WITH MULTIPLE INJURIES

            Apprentice jockey Andre Ramgeet, who is currently ranked seventh in both wins (10) and purse earnings ($228,550) at the current Fair Grounds meet has suffered multiple injuries after his mount Gator Jack stumbled badly entering the far turn and unseated the leading apprentice in Friday’s fourth race.  Ramgeet was struck by multiple horses after the fall and taken to the hospital via ambulance.  He is now at University Hospital in New Orleans.

“He has a broken clavicle in two spots and a skull fracture on the side of his head,” reported Rick Mocklin, agent for Ramgeet and Richard Eramia.  “He is alert, conscious and very aware.  It’ll be a slow-healing process and there’s no time frame yet.  They just moved him into a room as of 8:30 this morning and they’ve stabilized the bleeding.  He’s his normal, bubbly and cheerful self – believe it or not.”

            Ramgeet is the son of three-time Jamaican champion jockey Andrew Ramgeet, who rides regularly at Mountaineer Race Track, and is the first cousin of multiple Grade I-winning rider Rajiv Maragh.

            “He’s a really great kid with an unbelievable work ethic,” Mocklin remarked at the beginning of the season.  “He has a personality that is similar to Richard’s and he always tries to be very patient.  He’s a very talented young rider.”

VILLANDRY AND STRIKE CHARMER SHARP IN MOVES FOR CARROLL

            Gainesway Farm’s Villandry continues to impress in the mornings as he prepares for his local debut in the Grade III $100,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap on Jan. 17.  On Monday, Dec. 22, the 5-year-old gelded homebred son of Mr. Greeley worked a solid five furlongs over a sloppy main course in 1:01.20 for conditioner David Carroll, who is supervising the winter training of the Charlie LoPresti trainee.  Villandry exits a career-best effort when winning the Grade III $100,000 River City Handicap by a widening 2¾ lengths at Churchill Downs.

“I’m very happy with him,” Carroll said.  “Obviously I’m very pleased that Charlie and (Gainesway principal) Mr. Beck sent him to me.  He’s doing really well and is on course for the Colonel Bradley.  His last race was really nice and he handled the wet track just fine.

            “I’m really happy with the surface at the Fair Grounds right now,” Carroll continued.  “It’s in terrific shape and even the turf course is in great shape after some rain.  It’s nice to have more turf racing and always nice to see things change for the better, though I’ve always enjoyed my time at the Fair Grounds.”

Also on the worktab Monday was Carroll’s proverbial big horse – or filly, rather – in the barn, Courtlandt Farms’ recent Grade III $100,000 Cardinal Handicap winner Strike Charmer.  The well-bred bay 4-year-old – a daughter of Smart Strike from the family of champions Gold Beauty, Maplejinsky and Dayjur – worked in the same time as her male counterpart with rider Chris Landeros in the irons.

“She’s doing very well,” Carroll said.  “I’m very happy with her and hopefully she’ll breeze on Monday again.  Right now we’re looking at the (Grade III $150,000) Marshua’s River (Stakes) at Gulfstream Park on January 10th.  Chris was very happy with her. 

“We’ll let her tell us where we should go with her after Gulfstream,” Carroll continued.  “With fillies, once they start to improve they’ll tell you where you can take them.  The Cardinal was a very good race and we’re hoping she will keep improving from race to race.  She’s coming into her own, gives 110% and certainly has an impressive turn of foot.”

MR. L. S. SHOE TO STAY WITH STATE-BREDS

            Phyllis Hodges’ homebred Mr. L. S. Shoe will stay with his fellow Louisiana-breds in the near future instead of attempting to stretch out against open company in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 17, according to his conditioner James ‘Sweet’ Hodges. 

“He’s doing fine,” Hodges said.  “I wasn’t tempted to run him against those horses.  They could possibly beat him and I would like to keep him with state-breds.  We’ll run him on Louisiana Premier Night at Delta (in the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Prince on Feb. 7) and if everything goes good and he stays sound, we’ll go from there.”

Last out, the son of Forefathers stayed undefeated in his third attempt when disposing of 13 other rivals in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile by three lengths.  Said victory came after breaking from the far outside and enduring a 3- and 4-wide trip throughout.  Prior to that, he was a useful winner of the $90,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes at Louisiana Downs at the Prince’s seven-furlong distance. 

 “He’s been an exceptional horse,” Hodges concluded.  “He’s special because my wife bred him and raised him and it’s very nice to have one as good as him.”