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Rock Hard Noses Giant's Tomb in Lundi Gras Feature

Stacey Moak’s Rock Hard, a distant last in the early stages of Monday’s featured sixth race, passed seven rivals in the stretch to earn a nose victory over Sam-Son Farms’ Giant’s Tomb in the $41,000 first-level allowance with $50,000 claiming option, originally carded for the turf but contested at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

Rock Hard, with Miguel Mena aboard, and Giant’s Tomb, with Corey Lanerie up, exchanged brushes in the stretch as they surged to the front but a stewards’ inquiry did not find either horse at fault.

Trained by Bobby Barnett, the winner returned mutuels of $24.20, $8.40 and $5. Rock Hard, a 3-year-old gelding by Menifee, increased his career earnings to $45,250 with his second victory from seven lifetime starts while accomplishing the distance in 1:41.25.

Favored Giant’s Tomb returned $3.60 and $3.40. Heiligbrodt Racing Stables’ Canadian Wish rallied for third, paying $6.20.

Carl R. Moore’s Mr. Winthrop set the soft early fractions of 24.90, 49.94 and 1:15.54 before fading to sixth.

Racing resumes Tuesday at Fair Grounds with the annual Mardi Gras program, featuring the $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes for 3-year-old fillies sprinting on turf, beginning at 1:10 p.m.