Home of the Louisiana Derby

Barn Notes: Friday, January 6

 

·        Saint’s Fan on Track for Lecomte

·        Cox Barn Continues to Conquer

·        Myositis Mystique Running for a Cause

·        Work Tab

 

SAINT’S FAN ON TRACK FOR LECOMTE

Trainer Dallas Stewart is more than pleased with the progress of Saint’s Fan, a son of Tale of Ekati he also owns and bred. A two-length winner last out in the local $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile going six furlongs on Dec. 10, the chestnut with a unique split blaze has been training forwardly and is on track for a step up in class.

“He’s great right now,” Stewart said. “With the weather being how it is, we may wait a few days to work him again. There’s no rush with a 3-year-old like him right now. We’ll let this system go through and then work him and get him ready.

“If for any reason he can’t make the (Grade III $200,000) Lecomte (Stakes on Jan. 21), he will go to Delta (Downs) and run against statebreds. There’s a lot of money up there, too.”

A winner against open company on debut going six furlongs at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, the undefeated, 2-for-2 colt likely will be stepping up to two turns no matter what next out. While the Lecomte is at a mile and 70 yards, Delta’s $125,000 Louisiana Premier Night Prince is restricted to Louisiana-breds over a mile.

COX BARN CONTINUES TO CONQUER

It has been the Brad Cox show so far during the 2016-17 Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots meet, arguably, especially in the last three weeks at the New Orleans oval. The 36-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native leads all conditioners in wins and purses, including landing three stakes on the Dec. 17 Santa Super Saturday card.

The former Dallas Stewart assistant’s 30% strike rate has allotted him 16 victories, three more than 11-time champion Tom Amoss and fellow millennial Joe Sharp, while using an array of riders. In fact, seven different jockeys have finished first or second on a Cox’s charges since the season commenced on Nov. 19.

A deeper look into the barn’s numbers expose even more dominance. In the last 24 Fair Grounds races in which Cox has competed – starting with his big Dec. 17 afternoon – the barn has yielded 11 victories, which translates to 45%. He has also won three of his last five races leading into Friday’s card, including a fourth stakes win of the meet in the $75,000 Pago Hop Stakes with Richard Klein and Bertram Klein’s track record-setting turf filly Believe in Bertie.

Cox’s barn is assisted locally by Ricky Giannini, a former assistant to Neil Howard.

MYOSITIS MYSTIQUE RUNNING FOR A CAUSE

When Brereton C. Jones’ homebred Myositis Mystique makes her second career start on Saturday afternoon in Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ ninth race, the sophomore daughter of Haynesfield runs for more than just the winner’s share of the purse. The chestnut Tom Proctor trainee competes to spread awareness of the rare, chronic form of muscle disease that affects about 50,000 people in the United States.

Another previous Proctor trainee who ran for the same cause was Myositis Dan, who was graded stakes-placed and won a pair of allowances for the same connections between Sept. 2013 and Sept. 2014.

WORK TAB

Trainer Tom Amoss’ star pupil Mo Tom put in his second work since returning from a layoff, working a half-mile in 49.20 for G M B Racing. Amoss also sent out Maggi Moss’ graded stakes winner Big World to work the same distance in 49 flat.

Mike Stidham-trained Synchrony worked five furlongs over the sloppy course in 1:02.80 for Pin Oak Stud. Last seen finishing third in the Grade III Lexington Stakes, the son of Tapit has worked well since coming to New Orleans.

Promising newly turned 3-year-oldTakeoff worked a swift half-mile in 47.80 for trainer Mark Casse and owner John C. Oxley. The son of Arch earned a 96 Equibase Speed Figure breaking his maiden locally on Dec. 26 and is considered possible for the Grade III Lecomte Stakes over the same mile and 70-yard trip on Jan. 21.

Jerry Durant’s Grade II winner Holy Boss worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 for trainer Steve Asmussen. The multiple Grade I-placed son of Street Boss has not raced since finishing second as the 4-5 favorite in the $80,000 Bet on Sunshine Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 19.