Home of the Louisiana Derby

Barn Notes: Thursday, December 7

                                                                               

·        Stall Sends Out Three Star Guitar Babies for LA Champions Day

·        Stand Him Up Goes for Hat Trick in LA Champions Day Sprint

·        Mr. Al’s Gal Seeks First Stakes Victory on Turf

STALL SENDS OUT THREE STAR GUITAR BABIES FOR LA CHAMPIONS DAY

Trainer Al Stall, Jr. has a “natural sense of pride” when it comes to training offspring by all-time leading Louisiana-bred Star Guitar, whom he conditioned to three consecutive Louisiana Champions Day Classics (2009-11). On Saturday, Dec. 9, Stall has the chance to showcase the talent of his former trainee’s offspring when he sends out Minit To Stardom and Andthebandplayedon in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie and Divine Bean in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile as a part of Louisiana Champions Day.

“They’re all very nice horses,” Stall Jr. said. “They’re good and have stayed sound all through the summer. We’re looking forward to running all three.”

Stewart Madison’s Andthebandplayedon won her career debut and will look to return to the winner’s circle after a pair of unlucky runner-up efforts where she did not get the best of trips. Andthebandplayedon was victorious in her career debut this August at Evangeline Downs, but encountered a rough trip in her following effort in the Evangeline Downs Princess Stakes where she was wide coming around the turn and closed late to get second behind She’s Our Fastest. In her most recent effort, she was second again, this time finishing a neck behind Feisty Embrace as the heavy favorite.

“In her second and third starts, she had some traffic trouble,” Stall said. “She ran up on the leaders and checked a couple of times and had to lose some ground.”

Owned by Brittlyn Stables Minit To Stardom got her career off to a hot start when she beat fellow state-breds in maiden race on Opening Day, which she won by 5¼ lengths under Colby Hernandez as the heavy favorite.

Just a half-hour after Minit To Stardom’s victory, Stall and Hernandez returned to winner’s circle once more, this time with Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile contender Divine Bean. This offspring of Star Guitar’s dam, Good Human Bean, is a half-sister to Louisiana-bred champion Sunbean, a two-time winner of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

“It’s interesting because they ran on the same day 30 minutes apart and both came out of their races nicely,” Stall Jr. said. “(Divine Bean) ran a great race from the one hole and he got a better draw this time. He’s been doing very well since that race so I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t come back and run a nice race again. It’s a step up but he breezed nice the other day and I think he can handle it.”

Divine Bean will break from post five under jockey Colby Hernandez, the pilot in his career debut.

STAND HIM UP GOES FOR HAT TRICK IN LA CHAMPIONS DAY SPRINT

Hay Hollow Racing’s Stand Him Up appears to be in his best form at the moment and will go for his third consecutive victory when starting in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, which will be contested at six furlongs.

Breaking from post three under Gabriel Saez, the 5-year-old son of Time Bandit won the Heitai Stakes against state-breds last time out on Opening Day, which was his first start since a six-furlong allowance victory at Evangeline Downs in August. 

“He’s doing well, I expect him to run real big,” said trainer Howard Alonzo. “He likes this racetrack and trains extremely well over it. They have a few new horses in the race that we’re going to have to beat but on the same token they’ve got to beat us, too.”

Jockamo’s Song, the 5-2 morning line favorite, also is looking to make it three straight wins.

“Jockamo’s Song is coming off layoff so we might have an edge over him but we’ll see,” Alonzo said.

MR. AL’S GAL SEEKS FIRST STAKES VICTORY ON TURF

Brittlyn Stable Inc.’s Mr. Al’s Gal has found quite a bit of success winning stakes races for Louisiana-breds on the main track, but will take a shot at a stakes win on grass in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies, which will be contested on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course for the first time this year.

Trained by Justin Jeansonne, the daughter of Salute The Sarge will be ridden by Diego Saenz and boasts a record of eight lifetime victories in ten career starts, which included a quintet of stakes wins. She was an emphatic 12¾-length winner of the Louisiana Futurity on New Year’s Eve last year. This victory was followed by three more stakes triumphs against Louisiana breds in Delta Downs’ Azalea and Louisiana-Bred Premier Night Starlet Stakes. She then returned to the Fair Grounds in April to win the Crescent City Oaks. Two starts ago, she won the Magnolia Stakes at Delta Downs.

“She’s doing really well,” Jeansonne said. “She’s been training good and hasn’t missed a beat since her last race.”

Mr. Al’s Gal is no stranger to the turf. In her lone start on grass, she was victorious against allowance company at Louisiana Downs in June, but did not get the best of trips when doing so. 

“We were kind of looking to try something different to see if she can handle the turf, which she did.” Jeansonne said. “(We) also wanted to see if she could handle older fillies before Cup Day at Louisiana Downs.

“If you watch the first part of the race she was switching back and forth, but finally Richard (Eramia) grabbed a hold her and got her under control, she’s a very competitive filly. She didn’t like that situation.”

Most of Mr. Al’s Gal’s victories came in wire-to-wire fashion and Jeansonne believes that his filly races better when she is on the lead.

“She’ll come from off the pace but if you get her to the lead, she relaxes a little more,” Jeansonne said. “She doesn’t like to have horses in front of her too often, even when she’s working in the morning.”