Louisiana Derby Preview Day Notes and Quotes
Pan Zareta Stakes
Winner: Precious Kiss ($6.60, running time 1:11.14)
Trainer Patrick Mouton: "I told John (Jacinto) not to change a thing with the four-horse field. Take her back and relax, because she loves this home stretch."
Jockey John Jacinto: "I took her back today. I thought they would come back to me. When I asked her, she exploded."
Notes: The owner (Stanley Seelig), trainer and jockey each claimed his first career win in the Pan Zareta ... Seelig and Mouton claimed Precious Kiss one year ago this week for $25,000 ... Morning-line favorite Secret Gypsy was scratched Saturday morning.
Colonel Power Stakes
Winner: Chamberlain Bridge ($5, running time 1:03.33)
Trainer Bret Calhoun: "Last time out, we tried slowing down the pace, but today, we let him run his race."
Jockey Jamie Theriot:" Today we went back to old tactics. We let him set his fractions the way he likes to run."
Notes: Calhoun won this race for the second straight year; he captured the 2008 running on Euroears ... The running time was .11 slower than Euroears' time last year.
Mineshaft Handicap (G3)
Winner: Honest Man ($6, running time 1:44.16)
Jockey Gabriel Saez: "Everything was very comfortable. We were letting (My Pal Charlie) go and I was sitting behind him, and it was comfortable after that."
Trainer Neil Howard (Grasshopper, 7th): "He was training good. He was training better than that. He did everything he could. He just struck out."
Notes: Jones won his second graded stakes race of the meet ... It was the first Mineshaft win for both Jones and Saez ... Grasshopper was trying to become the first repeat winner in the 24-year history of this race.
Fair Grounds Handicap (G3)
Winner: Diamond Tycoon ($9, running time 1:52.12)
Trainer Andrew McKeever: "The distance was not a concern, the way this horse takes to the course. Here at the Fair Grounds, we changed his style from Kentucky, where he was close. He likes to come from behind. It's going to be hard to leave New Orleans with this horse."
Jockey Julien Leparoux: "Keep them with their running style, even if it's a slow pace. He runs from behind. He really has a nice kick at the end."
Trainer Mark Frostad (Windward Islands, 2nd; French Beret, 6th): "(Windward Islands) hasn't been running like he can. Coming in, we thought he'd run a much better race. The slow pace didn't set up for (French Beret)."
Notes: McKeever and Leparoux won this race for the first time ... Diamond Tycoon is now 3-for-3 at the Fair Grounds meet, with a pair of allowance wins prior to today ... Grade I winner Daytona won this race last year.
Silverbulletday Stakes (G3)
Winner: War Echo ($11.20, running time 1:45.20)
Trainer Steve Asmussen: "She settled nicely today and ran a good race. She's Pyro's (three-quarters) sister and is gorgeous physically. She can be pretty aggressive, but today, she settled."
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan: "She ran great. She was so composed today. When I asked her at the top of the stretch, she gave me what she had."
Jockey Robby Albarado (Four Gifts, 2nd): "She just couldn't match strides late."
Jockey Terry Thompson (Just Jenda, 3rd): "She didn't have the punch she had last time."
Notes: Asmussen won this race for the third time in the last five years (Summerly, 2005; Appealing Zophie, 2007) ... War Echo, like 2008 Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby winner Pyro, is out of the Wild Again mare Wild Vision.
Risen Star Stakes (G3)
Winner: Friesan Fire ($7.60, running time 1:45.11)
Jockey Gabriel Saez: "I had horses on both sides of me. When it opened up, I ran past both those horses and kept the pressure on."
Trainer Larry Jones: "When he finds the racetrack, he can really run. We used the workout (Feb. 2, five furlongs in 1:04 2-5) to teach him to relax. It looked slow, but he finished fast. This horse is a late foal (April), combined with being an A.P. Indy, that usually means a late bloomer. We are pleased at his progress. We think his best is before him."
Jockey Robby Albarado (Flying Pegasus, 2nd): "He ran a huge race. The winner has been over the track a couple of times already."
Trainer Ralph Nicks (Flying Pegasus, 2nd): "I thought the top three was pretty clear. The other horse had two races before over the track."
Notes: Friesan Fire became the first horse to win both the Lecomte and the Risen Star since Fly Cry in 1994 ... Jones, who has five graded stakes wins at Fair Grounds since 2007, and Saez had a graded stakes double on the day ... Morning-line and betting favorite Giant Oak finished fifth ... Despite no winner priced higher than 9-2 in the Pick 6, which covered the six stakes, no one hit the Pick 6 Saturday; Sunday's carryover is $26,354.