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Margolis Live in Three Races Today

Three years ago, trainer Steve Margolis decided to bring a string of horses to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He was shifting his winter stable from the Florida circuit to Louisiana at the recommendation of main client Richard Klein, whose Due Date competes in today’s $60,000 Colonel Power Stakes. That first season, Margolis sent out just 16 runners resulting in three trips to the winner’s circle. But he liked Fair Grounds enough to put down roots here, and ensuing seasons have only gotten better for the New York native.

“It’s been unbelievable,” said Margolis, 47, who ranks third in the standings for the current meet with a 22-8-13 statistic from 69 starts. “We went to Florida the first year I picked up the Kleins, but you’ve got all the big New York guys and it’s tough. I’m not saying this place is easy, but when you compare purse structures, you can do very well here if you bring good horses.”

One such runner is the 3-year-old filly Bouquet Booth, a daughter of Flower Alley who seeks her fourth straight victory in Saturday’s Grade III $150,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. Out of the Loup Savage mare Toll Booth, she’s owned by Right Time Racing LLC, a partnership of Louisville natives led by Dann Glick.

 “We started this partnership in 2004 but hadn’t bought horses from a 2-year-old sale, so we decided to do things a little differently this time around,” Glick said. “Joe Brocklebank helped us pick her out at OBS last June; she was actually our target not too far from the beginning and we were fortunate that there weren’t really many people on her. She comes in a plain brown wrapper but she checks all the boxes for us – she moved so fluidly and has a great pedigree, her dam’s side is incredibly strong from the family of Riskaverse, and we just loved her.”

This $30,000 purchase took the Jan. 22 Silverbulletday Stakes wire-to-wire last time out after winning the Grade III Delta Princess Stakes on Nov. 20 and breaking her maiden at Keeneland on Oct. 15 last year.

 “We’re ecstatic to have this filly in training,” Glick said. “That race at Delta where she came out of nowhere and got up to win so impressively on a track that doesn’t really favor closers, that just threw us into another universe. Then the way she came here and went to the lead and won… she just wasn’t going to let that other horse pass her. She just likes to win and we’ve all had an unbelievable time. She’s a plain brown wrapper but very well-made, very balanced. She does it all so easy, to say it’s been a thrill of a lifetime is an understatement.” 

Coming into the 1 1/16-mile Rachel Alexandra, Bouquet Booth faces a formidable foe in Kathmanblu, the Ken McPeek trainee whose impressive scores in the Grade II Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill last November and in Gulfstream’s Sweet Chant Stakes on Jan. 22 have already had racing fans talking of a potential Kentucky Oaks victory. Other starters include California shipper Lilacs and Lace, winner of the Jan. 1 California Oaks, and Gran Lioness, winner of the Jan 14 My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta. Glick, however, has great faith in his horse – and his trainer.

“Steve has done a wonderful job with this filly; his timing with everything has been perfect, obviously, with three wins in a row,” he said. “He’s all about the horses. He lives, eats, and drinks racing. He’s so dedicated and such a great guy, all his owners love him.”

On Saturday, along with Bouquet Booth and Due Date, Margolis will also saddle the intriguing maiden Red Ace, a son of Northern Afleet who makes his first start in the third race going six furlongs under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (another Margolis entrant on Saturday’ card, Hello Monday, scratched). The Peachtree Stable runner Red Ace is Triple Crown nominated but is also a Canada-bred, leaving open many options for his future.

“He’s a well-made runner,” Margolis said. “Of course, we still have to see what he can do, but he’s been training great and looks promising. And Due Date is coming into this race nicely as well. I think the key with him has been finding the right distance – five furlongs was too short, but he got five and a half and six just fine. He loves his job and he’s a gorilla to gallop; just a nice, big old son of a gun.”