Home of the Louisiana Derby

Barn Notes: Friday, December 30

 

·        Geroux Asserts in Jockey Standings

·        Yockey’s Warrior Has Options for Stall

·        Work Tab

GEROUX ASSERTS IN JOCKEY STANDINGS

Jockey Florent Geroux has quickly asserted himself in the jockey colony at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this season. After riding sparingly the first couple weeks, the Frenchman has quickly made up for lost time, winning a meet-leading 20 races from 71 starts for a 28% strike rate and finishing in the money 58% of the time. In addition, he now leads all riders in purses earned through Thursday’s card with $676,490. Thursday also marked Geroux’s 1,000th career victory when he rode Flurry Racing Stables’ Mr. Misunderstood to a dominant win over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

In second in both wins and purses is Miguel Mena, who maintains the momentum he began early in the meet. Mena now has 17 wins and $563,980 in earnings.

The trainer’s standings saw a new leader after Thursday’s card when the high-percentage barn of Brad Cox scored its 13th victory of the meet from just 48 starts, good for a 27% strike rate. The barn is also in the money 58% of the time so far this meet and has earned a meet-leading $391,390. The previous two meet champion trainers, Mike Stidham and Tom Amoss each have 11 victories and are within $60,000 of Cox in purses.

The long arm of the Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey stable leads all owners with five victories from just eight starts through Thursday’s card.

YOCKEY’S WARRIOR HAS OPTIONS FOR STALL

Thanksgiving Handicap winner Yockey’s Warrior is training well for conditioner and part-owner Al Stall, Jr., but plans for his next start are up in the air according to the conditioner. The son of Warrior’s Reward, who ran the best race of his life when defeating six others in the aforementioned $75,000 event – finishing up the six furlongs in 1:09.23 and earning a 115 Equibase Speed Figure – could possibly stay home and race in the $75,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes on Jan. 21 at Fair Grounds.

Other options for Yockey’s Warrior include the Grade II $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 4 at the same six-furlong trip as the Kenner and the $125,000 King Cotton on the same day at Oaklawn Park.

Yockey’s Warrior worked a half-mile on Friday morning for his connections, getting the distance in 50 flat.

WORK TAB

Wes Hawley’s multiple stakes-winning Oklahoma-bred mare Steel Cut worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 for her owner-trainer. She was last seen taking the $145,000 Oklahoma City Distaff at Remington Park on Oct. 21.

Well-regarded Wayne Catalano trainee Malibu Sunset worked an easy three furlongs in 38 flat for Gary and Mary West. The sophomore son of Bernardini impressed when graduating here by 10½ lengths last January before being transferred to Bob Baffert, resulting in an allowance win and an off-the-board finish in the $150,000 California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos on Apr. 30. He is now back in the care of Catalano and has logged a couple works for the three-time Breeders’ Cup-winning conditioner.

Well-regarded sophomore Tour de Force signaled his readiness for his second career start with a five-furlong bullet in 59 flat for trainer Mark Casse and owners John C. Oxley and Kinsman Farm, who bred the half-brother to Grade I winner and useful stud Majestic Warrior.

Graded stakes-winning millionaire miler Rise Up worked another sharp half-mile in 48.20 for trainer Tom Amoss and owner Paul Van Doren.

Winchester Racing’s well-intended Miss Gossip (IRE) worked a half-mile in 49.40 for trainer Andrew McKeever. Originally raced in Ireland, the daughter of Big Bad Bob (IRE) has made her last four starts stateside, including a good fifth in the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse on Aug. 13.