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Stakes Recap: Mardi Gras Stakes

Brereton C. Jones’ Divine Beauty made all the running with a sharp win in the $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes, improving to a perfect four-for-four at the six-furlong distance and winning the second stakes of her seven-race career.  Going immediately to the front, the homebred daughter of Divine Park held off Louis Roussel, III’s Starship Duchess and Whispering Oaks Farm’s graded stakes-winning Street Story to win by a neck in 1:10.20 after setting fractions of :22.32, :45.38 and :57.45. 

            Winning the fourth race of her career, the 4-year-old banked the $36,000 winner’s share of the purse to increase her earnings to $155,200.  Second by a neck, Starship Duchess was game in defeat under Richard Eramia after being forced four-wide and drifting out late.  Street Story, on the other hand, had a rougher trip after steadying at the three-sixteenths-pole and charging home on the outside under Florent Geroux two lengths astern Starship Duchess. 

            Sent off at 3-1, Divine Beauty paid $8, $4.40 and $3.  Starship Duchess paid $3.60 and $2.80 at odds of 5-2, while Street Story paid $3.60 to show at odds of 7-1.  

“Things were going good. I got to slow her down a little down the backside.  Larry’s horses always respond when you push the button, so I was trying to wait as long as I could,” said Clark.  “She cut and opened up quick, but she gets to waiting on horses – but now we have a new gallop boy on her now (Jones) and she’s a little fitter.  You never feel confident when they’re fixing to run you down, but we got lucky and held on.”

Jones echoed Clark.  “She’s just better suited and better at sprinting,” he said.  “Anytime they start running at you like that – and Louis (Roussel)’s horses are on fire right now – you get worried, but we had her fit with extra pounds we have been putting on her in the mornings.”

            Eramia was pleased with his charge’s effort.  “We had a good trip and we had to go a little wide,” he said.  “I had a lot of horse left.  She finished very good but the other one never stopped.”

            “I was behind the winner and two horses squeezed me pretty hard,” a disappointed Geroux said.  “She could have won.”

            Favored Kiss to Remember, Table Three Ten and Lorelei True completed the order of finish.