Home of the Louisiana Derby

Stakes Recaps: Nelson J Menard Memorial & Allen "Black" Cat Meorial Overnight Stakes



Robert and Lawanna Low’s improving 3-year-old filly Kabella kept a perfect streak at the  Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ alive with a last-to-first move down the stretch to take the $50,000 Allen “Black Cat” Memorial Overnight Stakes on Saturday afternoon.

In the race’s early stages, Kabella sat well off the pace while 76-1 long shot Roussalka set a slow pace and led with opening fractions of 24.28, 48.75 and 1:14.43. Meanwhile, Noblame tracked two lengths behind in second with odds-on favorite Beyond Blame in third. Approaching the far turn, Roussalka began to give way as Beyond Blame took command at the top of the stretch, but was unable to hold off a devastating charge from Kabella, who came wide down the stretch to win the Allen LaCombe Memorial Stakes by one length in a time of 1:39.98 under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Beyond Blame was second and Starving Artist took the show spot.

“She’s a hard trying filly,” Bridgmohan said. “Every time they have let her over here, she’s been real impressive.”

The daughter of Kitten’s Joy broke her maiden at fourth asking on Jan.7 over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course defeating Beyond Blame and successfully took on winners next out in an allowance event over the Fair Grounds lawn. The Allen Lacombe Memorial was her first start against stakes company.

Trainer Steve Margolis acquired the filly from trainer Daniel Peitz, who conditioned her through her first three career starts.

“I got this filly from (trainer) Danny Peitz in good shape,” Margolis said. “He sent me a readymade horse and she started to do well. He was the one that started her out and he even told me first time out that she would run well. She ran a good race and she stepped back up to win the a other than and she had been doing well with five weeks between this and the last race. She’s not a big or robust horse but she’s very athletic looking and she’s got a good turn of foot.”

Kabella pushed her career earnings to $79,761 following an acquisition of $29,760 from Saturday afternoon’s triumph.

She returned $8.80, $3.40 and $3.00. Beyond Blame returned $2.80 to place, while Starving Artist brought back $4.60 to show.

Roussalka, Pretty Lady,Deadline,Multiplayer,Terra’s Angel, Noblame, Caroline The Great and Regal Dame completed the order of finish.


Earlier in the day, Brad Grady’s Triple Chelsea sat just off the pace to win the $50,000 Nelson J. Menard Overnight Stakes under a patient hand ride by jockey Adam Beschizza.

Coming out of the gate, There’syourtrouble set the pace and the led the field by one length while producing opening fractions of 22.35 and 46.92 with Stallion Heiress tracking behind in second and Triple Chelsea right alongside in the third spot. Approaching the far turn, Triple Chelsea began inching her way up closer to the front with very little asking from Beschizza. When he finally began to shake the reigns, Triple Chelsea began to open up on the field to win the Nelson J. Menard Memorial by 1 ¾ lengths in a time of 1:04.55.

The 5-year-old daughter of Hat Trick (Jpn.) was third last time out in the Mardi Gras Stakes on Feb. 13, where she took the lead and set a slow pace upfront. At the beginning of the year, she won the Pan Zareta Stakes on Jan. 5.

“Things panned out a little better today,” Sharp said. “When she makes the lead too soon, she kind of waits on horses. We’ve all learned a lot about her since we’ve been down here. We will get her back and cool her out, and figure it out (next start). Obviously we’re heading north from here.”

Triple Chelsea earned $29,760 from Saturday’s win which increased her bankroll to $308,789. In 19 career starts, the Nelson J. Menard Memorial was her seventh career win and her third stakes victory. Aside from her two stakes triumphs at the Fair Grounds this meet, she took the Lightning City Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Dec. 2016 when under the care of previous trainer Tony Granitz. She boasts a record of 4-2-0-2 over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.

She returned $5.40, $3.40 and $2.80 to win while There’syourtrouble brought back $8.80 and $7.40 to place. Miss Gossip (Ire.) returned $6.60 to show.

Rounding out the order of finish were Stallion Heiress,Hotshot Anna,Burma Road,Nineteenth Street, Ours To Run,Justa Lady,Wealthy Shipman and Pleasant Tales.