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French Beret Tops Again In Col. E.R. Bradley
NEW ORLEANS, La (January 10, 2009) - Sam-Son Farms' French Beret put his head down at exactly the right time to capture a repeat win in the $100,000 Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap on "Road to the Derby" Kickoff Day Saturday at Fair Grounds.
"You know what I like about this horse?" said jockey James Graham, who was also aboard for French Beret's win in the 2008 edition of the Bradley. "I had my head down and he was in the bridle, and when that other horse went to go by him, he put his head down, too. That's when I knew we had a good chance."
French Beret, trained by Mark Frostad and coupled in the wagering with Windward Islands, paid $6.40, $3.20 and $2.40. He covered the about 1 1/16-mile distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated "good" in 1:38.58, and increased his career earnings to $645,114 despite winning for only the fourth time in 34 career starts.
Frostad indicated that French Beret would be pointed toward the Grade II Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby Day March 14.
Golden Yank gamely held the runner-up spot at the wire to return $4.40 and $2.80, while third-place runner Wise River paid $2.80. Pacesetting Acting Zippy made early splits of 22.92 and 47.38 before tiring to finish ninth.
In the $75,000 Louisiana Handicap for older horses, James and Alice Sapara's Good and Lucky withstood a late run from Secret Getaway to win by a length under Patrick Valenzuela.
Good and Lucky paid $20.80, $8.20 and $4.60, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.46 and increased his earnings to $383,915 with his eighth victory in 22 starts. Secret Getaway paid $5 and $3.20, while favored Honest Man returned $2.60 to show after setting early fractions of 22:86 and 46.65.
In the F.W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes for older sprinters, Andrena Van Doren's Mutadda rallied outside the early leaders in the final furlong to win by 1 1/4 lengths under Julien Leparoux to give trainer Tom Amoss his 59th lifetime stakes win at Fair Grounds.
Mutadda, one of two supplementary nominations in the race, paid $7, $4.20 and $3.80 while getting the six furlongs in 1:09.87. The son of Mutakddim increased his career earnings to $171,959 with his fourth victory in 15 lifetime starts.
Grand Traverse was second, paying $9.80 and $5, while 1 3/4-lengths farther back was Lanzera, who set early fractions of 22.50 and 46.20.
In the Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Stakes for filly and mare sprinters on turf, Winchell Thoroughbreds' Classify rallied late under Shaun Bridgmohan to best Lady Chace by 2 3/4 lengths for trainer Steve Asmussen.
The gray daughter of Unbridled's Song paid $10.60, $5.20 and $3.60, got the about 5 1/2 furlongs over the grass in 1:04.67 and increased her career earnings to $255,850 with her eighth win in 19 career starts.
Lady Chace paid $8.20 and $5.80, while Apple Martini returned $5.40 while three-quarters of a length behind Lady Chace. Kalookan Dancer set early fractions of 22.43 and 46.63 before finishing fourth.
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.