Home of the Louisiana Derby

Barn Notes: Monday, January 1


•           Louisiana Futurity Winners To Make Next Start At Delta Downs

           Margolis To Send Bourne In Nixa to Delta For Big Drama Stakes; Ebben Still On Track For Lecomte

•           Ride a Comet To Try Turf In Saturday Allowance Event



Delta Downs-based Louisiana Futurity heroes Pound For Poundand Iona Starwill more than likely make their next start at their Vinton, La. home base, according to their connections.

Owned by Israel Flores Horses LLC Pound For Pound, an upset winner of the colts and geldings’ division of the Louisiana Futurity at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, will target the $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Prince on Feb. 10.

“We’ve already nominated,” trainer Jose Grimaldo said.  “We’ll check on him (Monday morning) to make sure everything came out okay and if he’s good then we’ll run him at Delta. I think we have a future with this horse. The last couple of times he was little green but this time he ran really well. I was really pleased with (jockey Miguel Mena’s) ride.”

The Louisiana Futurity was the son of Redding Colliery’s first stakes triumph, which he won off an eight-day layoff. His prior start was on Saturday, Dec. 23 where he defeated seven other Louisiana-breds in a 7½-furlong allowance event at Delta Downs. In October, he broke his maiden first time out at 48-1 odds, which he followed with a third-place effort in the Louisiana Legacy Stakes behind Gladyousawme, both of which were also at Delta Downs. He then shipped to the Fair Grounds for another crack at a state-bred stakes in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile, but could do no better than fifth behind Greeley Went West.

“This is my second year running horses here and a got a winner (Runaway Ide) at the end of the last meet,” Grimaldo added. “I like it here, it’s a nice place and I like to be running with the big guys.”

Brittlyn Stables Inc.’s Iona Star, winner of the fillies’ division, also will run out of her own stall at Delta Downs next out, although trainer Justin Jeansonne is unsure as to where.

“We’ll stay at home,” Jeansonne said. “We’ll have to keep her going one turn because she doesn’t like two turns. We’ll wait and see how she comes back and make our decision after that.”


Saturday Jan. 13 could be a successful day for trainer Steve Margolis, who will run Churchill Downs allowance winner Ebbenin that day’s Grade III $200,000 Lecomte, a qualifying race on Churchill Downs’ Road To The Kentucky Derby. Meanwhile, stable mate Bourne In Nixawill ship to Delta Downs for the $60,000 Big Drama Stakes which is scheduled for that evening.

Owned by Craig Aguilar, Ebben will attempt his first stakes win in the Lecomte. In three starts against stakes company, his best finish was a fourth-place effort in Churchill Downs’ Gr. III Iroquois where he was 66-1.

“Ebben has been doing well,” Margolis said. “He worked :59 and 1 (on Saturday Dec. 30). We’ll work him a half-mile next weekend and get Corey (Lanerie) to ride him. He loved the way he worked so all is good. We got a little break after the allowance (at Churchill Downs on Nov.25) and it’s been about six or seven weeks so it’s perfect timing for him. We’re ready to go.”

Later that day, Margolis will be represented by Bourne In Nixa in Delta Downs’ Big Drama Stakes. Owned by Robert and Lawana Low, the son of More Than Ready was originally entered in the Fair Grounds’ Sugar Bowl Stakes on Dec.16, but was withdrawn from the six-furlong event when he came up with a fever the day before the race.

“I couldn’t run him in the Sugar Bowl, he unfortunately got a temperature the day before so we had to scratch,” Margolis said. “I think that right now he might be more of a closing sprinter so I don’t want to throw him against these kinds of horses going two turns off of a two month layoff. We’ll take him over to Delta and then see what happens after that. I don’t know if I would make it (to Delta Downs) depending on what race I’m in here so I might have to send my assistant if  it’s a late race here since it takes about four hours to drive there.”

Bourne In Nixa has not started since Nov. 4, where he was a one length winner of a six-furlong allowance race on the Churchill Downs main track.



John C. Oxley and My Meadowview Farm LLC’s Ride a Cometwill make his first start on turf in Saturday’s seventh race, a one mile allowance event over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course for three-year-olds.

Trained by Mark Casse, the half-brother to 2017 Gr. I Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit was a $375,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale last April and broke his maiden at fourth asking over the Fair Grounds main track last time out by 1½ lengths on Dec. 17. The race was originally scheduled for the turf but was moved to the main track due to weather.

“He’s a horse that’s always trained beautifully,” Casse’s assistant David Carroll said. “He’s got a great pedigree. It’s a little frustrating in the sense that he trains so well and wasn’t getting the job done. The last race came off the turf which made his job easier. He came out of the race really well, I’m actually really anxious to see him on the turf because my gut feeling is the horse trained that well and to me he’s underperformed so far so it’s good to see him get his maiden broke. I want to see him on the turf and hopefully he’ll show us in the afternoon on the turf what he does in the morning.”

Gabriel Saez, the pilot in his last two efforts will return to the saddle for Saturday’s race.