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Sunday Notes: Pants On Fire Gets Palm Meadows Breeze
George and Lori Hall’s Pants On Fire, who finished second by a neck in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 22 behind Gaillardia Racing’s Wilkinson after having a one-length lead at the eighth-pole, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Training Center Saturday morning and may be making a return trip to New Orleans for the Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 19.
“The work was good,” said Pants On Fire’s trainer Kelly Breen later in the day while speaking over the phone from South Florida. “It went well. I might possibly give him one more work next week before I decide for sure what we’re going to do, but I liked his race over that (Fair Grounds) track last time. He really tried.”
In his previous trip to the post, Pants On Fire ran third in Aqueduct’s $65,000 Count Fleet Stakes on New Year’s Day, and then breezed a half-mile over the Belmont training track in 49 flat before coming to the Crescent City.
Breen also trains the Halls’ Sweet Ducky, who finished second to Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In in Gulfstream’s Grade III Holy Bull Stakes Jan. 30, as well as Ruler On Ice, also owned by the Halls, who finished second beaten less than a length in a first-level allowance race at Aqueduct Friday in his first start since last October.
“I was in New York for that race but I’m back at Palm Meadows now,” said Breen. “I will be getting together with the owners in the next few days and make more definite plans for all three horses. Right now, we’re keeping our options open.”
JOCKEY JOHN JACINTO EYES RETURN TO RIDING SHORTLY – Jockey John Jacinto, who finished third in Fair Grounds’ jockey standings last year but suffered a broken wrist when unseated from a horse during training hours Dec. 2 here, is estimating a return to the saddle within two weeks.
“I feel great,” said Jacinto Sunday morning during training hours. “I go back to the doctor tomorrow to get released, but the cast has been off for two weeks now and I’ve been rehabbing since then. I expect to be back riding within a couple of weeks, for sure.”
Jacinto was in the midst of a hot streak two seasons ago at Fair Grounds when his successful winter was cut short after he suffered a broken collarbone.
JAMES GRAHAM SCORES SATURDAY HAT TRICK – Jockey James Graham, runner-up in the Fair Grounds standing during the 2009-2010 meeting, rode three winners at Fair Grounds Saturday – including both halves of the late daily double – to leapfrog into fifth in the local rider standings through Saturday night.
The Irish-born reinsman began his triple in Saturday’s second race aboard Gale Springer’s Sweet Aptitude for trainer Bobby Springer, won on a pick-up mount in the ninth when up on Terry Hamilton’s Kidding for conditioner Mike Stidham and then took down winning honors in the second half of the late daily double astride Maggi Moss’s Tupelo Playboy for trainer Tom Amoss.
LANERIE-STALL, GONZALEZ-CALHOUN TEAM UP FOR DELTA DOUBLES – Two days after scoring his 3,000th career victory Thursday while riding at Fair Grounds, Louisiana native jockey Corey Lanerie and New Orleans native trainer Al Stall Jr. journeyed to Delta Downs Saturday night after the Fair Grounds races and teamed up to score a jockey-trainer double at the western Louisiana oval.
Lanerie was aboard the Stall-trained Star Guitar, owned by Brittlyn Stable, in Delta’s $200,000 Premier Night Championship Stakes and also was up on the Stall-trained Shezacrazygirl, owned by the Red Oak Stable of John Brunetti, in the $150,000 Premier Night Distaff Stakes.
Fair Grounds-based jockey Carlos Gonzalez and Fair Grounds-based trainer Bret Calhoun also joined forces for a successful western Louisiana invasion Saturday night, winning the $100,000 Premier Night Prince Stakes with Thomas Galvin’s Su Casa G Casa and capturing the $100,000 Premier Night Matron Stakes with Carl Moore’s Speedacious.
Also at Delta Saturday night, jockey Miguel Mena, fourth in the Fair Grounds standings through Saturday, and locally-based trainer Cody Autrey teamed up to win the $100,000 Premier Night Sprint Stakes with Charles Fletcher’s My Star Runner.
Earlier in the day, defending Fair Grounds jockey champion Shaun Bridgmohan journeyed to South Florida to ride Virginia Tarra’s Giant Oak to a two-length victory in the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park after that horse finished third in last year’s Grade III Mineshaft Handicap and fifth in last year’s Grade II New Orleans Handicap here at Fair Grounds.