Chantilly Nayla Survives Objection to Win Mardi Gras Stakes

Salman Rashed’s Chantilly Nayla outgamed Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Kinsolving and Robert Pierz’ Hathors Legacy respectively in a three-horse pinball finish to Tuesday’s 66th running of the $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds.

However, all three horses had to survive a stewards’ inquiry concerning the stretch run before their order under the wire was allowed to stand.

Chantilly Nayla, trained by Neil Pessin and ridden by James Graham and allowed to settle early, threaded her way through the stretch run to be best by a half-length at the wire, while Kinsolving continued willingly despite contact to best the front-running Hahtors Legacy by a length at the wire. The Mardi Gras was taken off the grass and contested at 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track.

“That’s a running filly right there,” said Graham after surviving the inquiry and heading for the winner’s circle ceremonies. “I got split between Shaun (Bridgmohan aboard Kinsolving) and Brian (Hernandez Jr. astride Hathors Legacy) and we ‘pinballed’ but there wasn’t much any of us could have done about it. I wasn’t too happy when this race was taken off the grass – she seemed a little uncomfortable when I’ve worked her on the dirt – but today she proved she could run over broken glass.”

Chantilly Nayla returned mutuels of $13, $6 and $3.60, accomplished the distance in 1:04.75 and increased her career earnings to $96,700 with her fourth victory in six lifetime starts.

Kinsolving paid $6 and $4.60 and Hathors Legacy returned $8 to show after setting splits of 22.22 and 45.85.

Racing resumes Friday at Fair Grounds with the second of three “Starlight Racing” programs – a nighttime racing concept introduced this season at Fair Grounds. Post time for the first race on the Friday night nine-race card is 5 p.m. CST.