Starlight Racing an 'Unqualified Success' as Mad Flatter Wins the Feature

The second of three Starlight Racing programs during Fair Grounds’ 2009-2010 Thoroughbred Racing Season Presented by Miller Lite was deemed an “unqualified success” by Fair Grounds president Austin Miller.

“After such a long few weeks of parties for the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, I was really afraid that the people of New Orleans might be all ‘partied out’ for Starlight Racing tonight,” said Miller, “but I was completely wrong. I love to be wrong that way. I believe I felt more energy in this building tonight than I have ever felt before.”

In the $44,500 featured race of the evening, Bonnie Heath Farm’s Mad Flatter forged quickly to the front, made the pace throughout and then held on courageously in the final furlong to withstand the gritty sustained challenge of Elisabeth Alexander’s Fundy by a neck.

Mad Flatter returned mutuels of $9.40, and $4.20 with no show wagering allowed in the field reduced to five horses following the program scratch of King Dan. Trained by Jeff Thornbury and ridden by Fair Grounds defending jockey champion Robby Albarado, the 5-year-old entire son of Flatter toured the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.25 after setting early splits of 23:74, and 47.29, and increased his career earnings to $128,118 with his fourth victory in 10 lifetime starts.

Fundy was clearly best of the others, paying $4 to place while a length behind in third was Jim Tafel’s Country Flavor, who improved position late as part of the favored Tafel-owned entry.

Racing resumes Saturday at Fair Grounds with an expanded 13-race program with an early first race post time of 12:10 p.m. for its Louisiana Derby Preview Day. The gala afternoon features six stakes races – four of them graded – as well as an All-Stakes Pick 4 with a guaranteed $125,000 pool and a minimum wager of 50 cents.