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BARN NOTES: February 20, 2016

  • ·        Jensen, Harlan Punch Return in Thursday Allowance
  • ·        Swift Latent Revenge Coming Around for Foley
  • ·        TwinSpires Offers $25,000 Derby Bet Opportunity in Risen Star
  • ·        Work Tab



While the bulk of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots-based sophomore talent will be clashing Saturday afternoon in the Grade II $400,000 Veterans Ford Risen Star Stakes, there is a contingency path toward the Grade II $1,000,000 TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby that passes directly through a first-level mile and 70-yard allowance on Thursday, Feb. 25 at the New Orleans oval.

Jensen, already raced three times at the current meet, was a sharp winner at second asking two back going six furlongs. Trained by Larry Jones, who bred and owns the son of Haynesfield with his wife Cindy, he came back to be a game second at this level and trip to highly regarded Dolphus in late January. Passed at the top of the stretch by the winner, the chestnut colt fought back to gain on his foe in the final yards. Said two-turn effort was all the more impressive, as it came a mere 21 days after his sprint graduation.

Another from that heat who is looking to return to the winner’s circle on Thursday is Rosemont Farm’s Harlan Punch, who was surprisingly flat in said four-horse event, finishing last of the quartet, but only beaten about two lengths. Graded stakes-placed when third in the Grade III $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot in November, the son of Harlan’s Holiday was second in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes a race prior at second asking in October, also at Delta Downs. The Tom Amoss trainee is winless since his debut on Aug. 29 at Ellis Park.

Spikes Shirl has been touted by the Dallas Stewart barn since the beginning of the Fair Grounds season. By top sire Speightstown, the chestnut colt is out of the unraced mare Shirl’s Soul, who is a full-sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl. A smart winner at second asking last fall at Churchill Downs, the good-looking colt was a photo-finish second to Tiznoble in an allowance/optional claiming event last out on Dec. 28.

Others worthy of note in this salty affair include stakes-placed DrakarysRoyal Ransom – who was a nose ahead of Harlan Punch last out – and lightly raced local graduate Elle’s Holiday.



Greg Foley trainee Latent Revenge has shown immense promise in the past and such began to resurface in a big way on Feb. 11 when the son of Latent Heat manhandled an a group of talented turf sprinters in a first-level allowance. The victory was his second in eight starts and first since breaking his maiden at this identical 5½-furlong trip on Mar. 1, 2015.

“He’s a really fast horse,” Foley said. “He had a chip taken out and we’ve always liked him. He showed talent last year and disappointed in his previous race, but was very impressive the other day. I will run him back through the conditions.”

Visibly impressive, the allowance tally earned the Kentucky-bred a 108 Equibase Speed Figure as he scampered off by 2½ lengths with ease for owners Steve Vanovich, Steve Andriot, et al. After a sophomore season that was riddled with injury, it seems that the dark bay charge may be headed toward a prosperous 2016. 



The Grade II $400,000 Veterans Ford Risen Star Stakes is not only the first race in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, but also is the first opportunity for TwinSpires.com players to qualify for a chance to win a $25,000 win bet on this year’s Grade I $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby.

Simply place a winning $15 win wager on the Risen Star via your TwinSpires account to earn a berth in April’s championship tournament. One player will win an all-expense paid trip to the Kentucky Derby to place a $25,000 win bet.

Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes program at Fair Grounds features three Pick 4s on the 12-race card, and TwinSpires.com is offering a 1-million point bonus on each of those Pick 4s. If you hit the Pick 4 on TwinSpires.com, you will split a million points. Pick 4s start in races 2, 8, and 9, and the race 8 Pick 4 is an all-stakes sequence that ends with the Risen Star and includes the Grade II $200,000 TwinSpires.com Rachel Alexandra Stakes.



Grade III $400,000 Delta Princess winner Jet Black Magic worked a half-mile in 50.40 for trainer Bret Calhoun and owner Carl R. Moore Management.

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Galton, a sharp winner last out while carrying top weight in the $75,000 Sam Houston Turf Sprint, worked a half-mile in 49.60 for trainer Tom Amoss.

Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s One King’s Man, second last out in defense of the $200,000 Premier Night Championship at Delta Downs, worked a half-mile in 51.60 for trainer Joe Sharp.

Novogratz Racing Stables’ El Seventyseven worked a half-mile in a spritely 47.40 for trainer Hugh Robertson. The stakes-winning turf sprinter has been off since finishing third in state-bred company as the favorite in September at Parx. When last seen racing at Fair Grounds, he kicked off his 2015 campaign with a stylish 3¼-length win in allowance company.

Keith Plaisance’s multiple stakes-winning Louisiana-bred 4-year-old filly Pacific Pink returned to the work tab for the first itme since finishing third on Premier Night at Delta Downs with a half-mile breeze in 49.40 for trainer Eddie Johnston.

Impressive turf maiden winner Ready for Chianti returned to the work tab with a 50 flat half-mile move on Saturday morning for trainer Dallas Stewart and owner-breeder Charles Fipke. The daughter of More Than Ready faced the likes of Just Wicked, Stageplay, Carina Mia and Sapphire Kitten before graduating in her sophomore bow on Feb. 6.


Michael Adolphson | @AdolphsonRacing
Media Specialist, Senior Writer