Home of the Louisiana Derby

Barn Notes: Saturday, November 26

·        Running Mate Stays Undefeated in Landslide Win

·        R Naja Comes Through for Stidham

·        Work Tab



On Oct. 5 at Delaware Park, Bret Jones of Airdrie Stud and veteran conditioner Larry Jones unveiled a compact, attractive son of Airdrie’s freshman sire Creative Cause named Running Mate – a clever name, considering Airdrie is the stud farm of former Kentucky governor Brereton C. Jones – and the muscular colt toyed with his rivals, earning a 99 Equibase Speed Figure when wiring them by six lengths in 1:10.46.

Fast-forward seven weeks to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots over the same trip in first-level allowance company and the Kentucky homebred provided a near-identical performance when decimating seven other juveniles by 7¾ lengths under Gabriel Saez, the go-to jockey for the Jones barn this meet. Despite a slightly tardy start, the maternal grandson of Street Cry charged up and held his position at the rail,  carving out fractions of 22.63 and 46.46 (the same half-mile split as at Delaware) before coming home in hand in a time of 1:10.52, earning a 102 Equibase Speed Figure.

“It was very similar to the first time,” Jones said. “He’s not super-fast out of the gate, but when he runs two turns, he’ll look like he has a lot of speed. With that pedigree and Creative Cause being a full-brother to Destin, who was second in the Belmont (Stakes), I think he’ll stretch out nicely.

“All looks good for him,” Jones continued. “The main thing is that they’re not asking him to do it, he’s doing it all on his own and both races have been fast with good times. We’re excited and we think we’re back in the picture.”

Jones confirmed that Running Mate, the first foal out of Street Mate – a product of generations of the late Edward P. Evans breeding operation – will point to the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes on Dec. 17, before a hopeful launch onto the Triple Crown Trail in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 21.


DARRS, Inc.’s R Naja has long been held in high esteem by trainer Mike Stidham. Since coming to his Arlington International Racecourse barn earlier this year, the juvenile daughter of Exchange Rate has shown great promise. On Friday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the well-muscled dark bay filly wore blinkers for the first time in four starts and proved that her two consecutive bullet works going into the race were no fluke with a 2¼-length graduation under Mitchell Murrill.

“We’ve loved her from the beginning and when we got her here and started working her on the dirt and added the blinkers, she really started to change and was more focused,” Stidham said. “She was finishing the right way and doing it the right way, unlike in a couple of her races when she was a little erratic. She drifted a little bit (on Friday), but she was a little better than she had been.”

Second on debut going 5½ furlongs, defeating subsequent stakes winner Lovely Bernadette, she was ambitiously placed in the Listed $75,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie just 14 days later and responded with a solid third-place finish behind well-regarded stablemate Diadura after a wide trip. Next out, in a one-mile turf maiden at Keeneland, she showed tactical speed before fading to fifth of 12, beaten 4½ lengths.

On Friday, she showed speed immediately from the gate, contesting the lead through the first three-eighths of the six-furlong event before powering clear by 5½ lengths by mid-stretch, a margin that was more than halved by rallying Al Stall, Jr., trainee Enterprise Value at the wire. She stopped the clock in 1:12.01 and earned an 82 Equibase Speed Figure for her facile victory.

Out of the Cobra King mare Chiramoya, who earned more than a quarter-million dollars in her 40-start career, she is a half-sister to stakes-winning sprinter Greed and Fear and cost $70,000 at Ocala Breeders’ Sale in April.


William Stiritz’s graded stakes-winning turf sprinter Hogy, who remains at the top of his game at age seven, worked a half-mile in 50 flat for trainer Scott Becker.

Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s turf filly Prado’s Sweet Ride worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 for trainer Richie Scherer. The graded stakes winner was third last out in a rained-off sloppy allowance at Keeneland on Oct. 21.

Grade III winner Uchenna (IRE) worked a half-mile in 49.60 for trainer Mark Casse. The Gary Barber-owned mare exits an off-the-board effort in the Grade III Maple Leaf at Woodbine on Nov. 5.

Don Alberto Stable’s consistent multiple stakes winner and turf sprinter Tesalina (CHI) worked a half-mile in 48.40 for trainer Wesley Ward.

Recent stakes winner Calamity Jane worked strongly yet again for trainer Eddie Johnston and owner Keith Plaisance, going five furlongs in 1:01 over a track that seemed to be producing slower times.

Stakes-winning turf sprint filly Rapid Rhythm worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 for trainer Mike Stidham. Last out, the daughter of Successful Appeal won the restricted Oakley Stakes at Laurel with ease.

Stakes-winning turf campaigner Pumpkin Rumble continues to work forwardly for trainer Gary Scherer. The son of English Channel negotiated five furlongs in 1:02.80. Last out, the Al and Bill Ulwelling-owned gelding was second in the Listed Remington Green Stakes.

Hugh Robertson’s Princess Erindelle worked a half-mile in 50.80 for her owner-trainer. The big, gray stakes-winning daughter of Divine Park returns to action for the first time since August in an allowance race on Dec. 1.

Valor Ladies, LLC’s turf stakes mare Nisharora (IRE) worked a half-mile for new trainer Tom Morley. The daughter of Excellent Art (GB) was last seen finishing off the board in a pair of graded stakes this spring for previous conditioner Kelly Rubley.

Mark Stansell’s promising sophomore filly Shaken, who is unraced since finishing third in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes in only her second start, worked five furlongs in a leisurely 1:04.60 for trainer Mike Stidham.

Multiple 2016 allowance winner Full Tap, fourth last out in the Grade III Buffalo Trace Franklin County at Keeneland, worked a bullet half-mile in 47.60 for trainer Mike Stidham and owners Gainesway Stable and Cobra Farm, Inc.