Chantilly Nayla, Wicked Uno Vie in Tuesday's Mardi Gras
Salman Rashed’s Chantilly Nayla and Gold Mark Farm’s Wicked Uno are set to match strides as the 5-2 and 3-1 first and second choices, respectively, in the morning line for Tuesday’s $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds.
The 66th running of the Mardi Gras, as usual contested on the lone Tuesday racing day of the New Orleans season, is to be run at about five-and-one-half furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course and is now restricted to 3-year-old fillies.
Chantilly Nayla, trained by Neil Pessin, won her last outing Dec. 6 when going about one mile over the local lawn. In her start before that she was best by 5 1/4-lengths when going 6 1/2 furlongs over the Polytrack at Keeneland Oct. 23. Leading rider James Graham is listed for the irons aboard the daughter of Five Star Day.
Wicked Uno, conditioned Tom Amoss, the lone trainer to win Fair Grounds’ trainer championship nine different seasons, proved best by a head in a $50,000 optional claiming test in a 5 1/2-furlong race taken off the Stall-Wilson course last time on Jan. 24, and won in maiden company here over the main track going three-quarters before that on Jan. 2. Tuesday’s Mardi Gras will be her first outing over grass, but Robby Albarado, the only jockey to win the Fair Grounds riding title seven times, has been named to handle the reins.
Completing the Mardi Gras field is Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Kinsolving, Shaun Bridgmohan; Larry Richardson’s Midway Holiday, Miguel Mena; Robert Pierz’ Hathor’s Legacy, Brian Hernandez Jr. and Maynard Farm and JVH Inc.’s Baby Sister, Shane Sellers astride.