Mike Diliberto Debates 'Dressing' for Saints Parade

The late New Orleans native and local newspaper, radio and television personality “Buddy” Diliberto once boasted that if the New Orleans Saints ever went to the Super Bowl he would parade downtown wearing a dress.

“Unfortunately, he never got to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mike Diliberto, Buddy’s son and morning line maker at Fair Grounds – himself a longtime high profile presence at the Crescent City oval. “He died in 2005 before the Saints began to improve. He would have been enjoying all this more than anything in the world. He was the original unknown Saints fan wearing a paper bag over his head.”

However, a host of other longtime New Orleans Saints fans have decided to remember Buddy’s pledge and will parade downtown this Sunday wearing dresses. The growing group will journey from the Louisiana Superdome’s Gate “A” down Sugar Bowl Drive and eventually end up in the French Quarter at Bourbon and Conti for a block party outside the Oceana Grill restaurant.

Already committed to the “Bunch of Men Dress March” which starts at High Noon is former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert – the Cajun Cannon – as well as such other local media notables as Garland Robinette and Deke Bellavia.

“My brother Chris will also be one of the marchers,” said Mike Diliberto, “as well as my sister Debbie and my sons Shawn and Joshua.”

Would Fair Grounds’ morning line maker be one of the marchers?

“The jury is still out on that,” said Diliberto with a grin. “One minute I think I’m going to go and the next I think I’m not. I’ll just have to wait and see.”

Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra May Changed Scheduled Move Saturday at Fair Grounds
Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick’s Rachel Alexandra, named 2009 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Award ceremonies Jan. 18 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., was penciled in for a pick up in her training schedule Saturday morning at Fair Grounds, but after heavy rains hit the local oval prior to Friday’s third race, that plan might have to be updated.

“If we do anything, it won’t be much,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi during the third race post parade.  “We’ll have to see how the track looks (tomorrow) and then make a decision.”

Steve Asmussen, Rachel Alexandra’s trainer this season, was also honored with his second consecutive Eclipse Award as the nation’s leading trainer during the California ceremonies less than two weeks ago.

Circular Quay Sires First Foal
Michael and Doreen Tabor’s Circular Quay, who won the Grade II Louisiana Derby in 2007 and came back the next season to capture the Grade II New Orleans Handicap, has sired his first reported foal – a filly born Jan. 15 at Destiny’s Oaks Farm near Ocala, Fla.

The filly is out of the winning High Yield mare Destiny’s Yield, a half-sister to stakes winner Brush Over.

Trained by Todd Pletcher during his racing days, Circular Quay, by Thunder Gulch out of Circle of Life, also won the Grade I Hopeful Stakes as a 2-year-old and now stands at Brent Fernung’s Journeyman Stud near Ocala. His 2010 fee is $6,500.

All Races at Fair Grounds to Feature Pro Cush Riding Crops Beginning Feb. 1
Fair Grounds Race Course has adopted a policy that will require all jockeys to carry Pro Cush riding crops beginning Monday, Feb. 1.

Through the first 51 days of Fair Grounds 2009-2010 Thoroughbred Racing Season Presented by Miller Lite, Pro Cush riding crops were required only on the first two races each day.