Home of the Louisiana Derby

Jockey Theriot Looking Forward to a Successful Meet

All eyes will be on Euroears when he serves as the headline horse in Thursday’s 84th running of Fair Grounds’ traditional Thanksgiving Day Handicap.

That’s because racing fans at Fair Grounds all remember the gallant sprinter’s winter season here two years ago when the Bret Calhoun trainee won four straight races locally, including the $100,000 F. W. Gaudin Stakes on the main track in January of 2008, the $100,000 Colonel Power that February over the Stall-Wilson turf course, and then completed his stakes troika by capturing the $100,000 Duncan Kenner back on the main track on Louisiana Derby Day that season.

Owned by James and Marilyn Helzer, Euroears’ undefeated record in his first six starts fell by the wayside when he was compromised by injuries after leaving New Orleans that spring, but following a return to the winner’s circle in his last start Oct. 15 at Hoosier Park over a muddy race course, the all-terrain horse appears poised for a return to excellence on the day that so many New Orleanians show up thankfully to enjoy the nation’s third-oldest race course that sits in their midst.

Euroears will be ridden by jockey Jamie Theriot, who was the riding champion of that Fair Grounds season two years ago. Does he like his chances to repeat as leading rider at Fair Grounds’ 2009-2010 Thoroughbred Racing Season Presented by Miller Lite?

“I like my chances to do that,” said Theriot when asked that question earlier this week. “I’m holding my own here right now (through Sunday when he had ridden six winners to be tied for sixth in the local rankings) and most of my people still have not completely shipped their stables down here yet. I’m riding for the right people, and once they get everyone down here (from Churchill Downs which closes Saturday) I expect my business will really get going.”

Theriot, 30, born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, won his first riding title at Evangeline Downs in 2000, but added a riding championship at Oaklawn in 2003, and then at Lone Star Park in 2004 before garnering his first local title two seasons ago.

One of Theriot’s trips to the winner’s circle this season came last Saturday here aboard Tri-Star Racing’s Sheza Sexy A. P. in a prep for the upcoming $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes Dec. 12.

“I think she will be very competitive in that next race,” said Theriot.  “She’s a very nice filly.”