Five Stakes Top FG's Season-Ending Lagniappe Weekend
NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 26, 2009) - Five stakes races for Louisiana-breds, including four on Saturday, make up Louisiana Lagniappe Weekend presented by Miller on the final two days of Fair Grounds' 137th racing season.
Tom Curtis's Milwaukee Miracle, winner of the $60,000 Gentilly Stakes here Feb. 28 over the Stall-Wilson turf course, is the lukewarm 7-2 morning line choice in the 37th running of the $75,000 Crescent City Derby, carded as Saturday's featured eighth race on the 10-race program with a first post at 12:35 p.m.
Daniel Lynch and Merrill Scherer's Silent Pipe, fifth in the Gentilly Stakes behind Milwaukee Miracle, is the 9-2 second choice in the Crescent City Derby, run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track for state-bred 3-year-olds.
In Saturday's $75,000 Crescent City Oaks for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies, Russell Welch's Warrior Maid has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite off her win in the $125,000 Premier Star Stakes at Delta Downs Feb. 7. The daughter of Holy Bull is trained by Larry Jones and will be ridden by Gabriel Saez, who is also named aboard Milwaukee Miracle.
In Saturday's $60,000 Happy Ticket Stakes for filly and mare sprinters, Ryder River Ridge Farm's Coach Mike and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Sax Appeal lock horns for a third time in a rubber match of one-two finishes. At last asking Feb. 7, Sax Appeal proved a length the best over Coach Mike in Delta's $100,000 Premier Matron, but before that Dec. 13 in Fair Grounds' $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, Coach Mike bested Sax Appeal by 1 3/4 lengths.
Also on Saturday's card is the $60,000 John E. Jackson Jr. Memorial Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs for older accredited Louisiana-bred sprinters. Valene Farms' Ide Like a Double, who has not raced since winning the $198,000 Evangeline Mile in August, returns to competition as the slight 3-1 choice in the Jackson.
Sunday's feature, and a traditional closing-day event, is the $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes for older Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at about 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course. Heiligbrodt Racing's Hisse, twice a winner at the current meeting under leading trainer Steve Asmussen, will be prominent in the meet's final stakes race.
Also Sunday, the meet's leading owner, trainer and jockey, as well as Fair Grounds' employees of the year, will all be honored in the winner's circle.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.