Successful Mission Succeeds in Sunday Feature

Live Oak Plantation’s Successful Mission won Sunday’s $42,500 feature at Fair Grounds in what New Orleans native hunch players hoped would be prescient of a victory by the New Orleans Saints some hours later in Super Bowl XLIV.

After being allowed to settle early, Successful Mission responded outside the leaders when set down for the drive and just got up by a nose in the last jump.

Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott and ridden by Pat Valenzuela, Successful Mission paid $8.80, $4.60 and $3.80 toured the about five and a half furlongs over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “good” in 1:05.84 and increased his career earnings to $106,834 with his third victory in nine lifetime starts.

Southern Region, always well placed, continued willingly late to gain the place, paying $6.20 and $4.40 while finishing a half-length to the good of Battle At Sea, who paid $4.40 in the show position after making the pace with early splits of 22.71 and 47.08.

Racing resumes Monday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program with a first post of 1:10 p.m.