Home of the Louisiana Derby

3YO Machen an Impressive Debut Winner

Courtlandt Farms’ Machen, allowed to settle early, rallied strongly approaching the lane, took command in upper stretch and drew off with authority to capture Sunday’s featured $45,000 six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old maidens by 5 ½ lengths.

Trained by the resurgent Neil Howard, enjoying one of his best starts at Fair Grounds in recent seasons, Machen was ridden by Jamie Theriot, who replaced Robby Albarado after the latter suffered injuries earlier in the day.

Machen is a Kentucky homebred by Distorted Humor out of multiple graded stakes winner Ready’s Gal (More Than Ready) and is an early-bird nomination to the 2011 Grade II $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby. He was making his first career start Sunday and earned the $27,000 winner’s share of the purse.

“He’s trained along pretty nicely, said Howard. “He’s kind of been ready to run, but even though he broke good enough in the mornings, he was never real sharp away from the gate, but he’d go right on and the end result was always good. He worked well, he trained well. So, as you can see, I waited. He’s got quite a few more gate works in a row than normal, so I decided to go ahead and run rather than keep training.”

Machen paid $8, $5.60 and $3.40 and accomplished the distance in 1:10.41.

Adele Dilschneider’s Sour rallied to gain the place in Sunday’s feature, finishing three lengths to the good of Southern Equine Stables’ Birdie Beats Par, who made the pace with splits of 22.14 and 46.05 before weakening.

Sour returned $15.60 and $9.80 and Birdie Beats Par paid $7.60