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 Pass the Plate eyes upset as she returns to the turf course

 Perfect from three starts (all on grass), Godolphin LLC’s Alms will put her undefeated record on the line as she faces six other three-year-old fillies as the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $60,000 Shantel Lanerie Memorial Stakes to be run over the “about” one mile turf distance at Fair Grounds Racecourse (Race 6, 2:59 p.m. CT).

An impressive debut winner sprinting on the Belmont turf for trainer Mike Stidham in September, the daughter of City Zip followed up with consecutive graded stakes wins. She sprinted to victory in the Matron (G3) at Belmont and returned with a highly successful two-turn debut in the Jimmy Durante (G3) at Del Mar, a race in which she defeated ten rivals.

“We wanted to give her a little of a freshening after that win,” Stidham said. “Being here at Fair Grounds with this turf course, we felt like this would be a good spot to get her three-year-old campaign kicked off. As long as she comes out of this race well, we’ll look to point her to the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa (March 7). The timing was good with this race and we’re looking forward to getting her started again. She’s trained well and I expect a good run Saturday.”

Alms, who has been working at Fair Grounds consistently for over a month, recently posted a bullet five furlong workout going 1:00.00 on February 3.

“She’s a very willing filly in the morning,” Stidham said. “We work her in company where she sits off another horse and she finishes well. She’s very straightforward and does anything you ask of her. That’s the way she’s always been and we’ve had high hopes for her since early on.”

Paco Lopez will be aboard as the pair break from post five.

Among the six others Alms is set to face is Silverton Hill LLC’s Pass the Plate. Following a maiden breaking score at second asking over the Keeneland green for trainer Paul McGee in October, the daughter of Temple City closed with a rush to defeat a first-level allowance crew on the Churchill Downs’ turf course the following month.

Switched over to dirt for the first time in the Silverbulletday on January 18 at Fair Grounds, Pass the Plate failed to pass the test, finishing a non-threatening sixth. She will break from post four (5-1 ML) on Saturday with jockey Corey Lanerie, the husband of the late Chantel Lanerie for whom the race is named, named to ride.


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The Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Fair Grounds in the Big White grandstand tent. There will be a silent and live auction, a 50/50 raffle, sale of SLBCF hats and t-shirts, a donation table and Rick Mocklin and his Southern Voice Band will play live. For more information call 504-382-9787.


About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global

Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 13 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 148th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 107 th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 28, 2019 through March 29, 2020. More information can be found online at

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