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• Taraz could join Kentucky Derby trail
• Monomoy Girl returns to Fair Grounds
• Two turns next for No Parole
• Serengeti Empress confirmed for Houston Ladies
• Lynn’s Map to “take a look” at Smarty Jones
• Faucheux scores career win #500



Should she win the Martha Washington impressively,
a stakes run against the boys could be next

New Orleans (January 16, 2020) – Should she win the Martha Washington Stakes (February 1) at Oaklawn impressively, trainer Brad Cox has indicated that Juddmonte Farm’s homebred three-year-old filly Taraz could tackle the boys in her subsequent start and thus join the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) presented by Woodford Reserve.

“Look, she’s special,” Cox explained. “Everything has to line up, everything has to go right. The way she trains, she gives you that amount of confidence to think about things like that, bottom line. It’s one step at a time, obviously. The Martha Washington and then go from there.”
A 7 ½ length winner in her career debut at Churchill on November 14, the daughter of Into Mischief returned five weeks later to score an even more impressive 11 ¼ length victory over sloppy going in the Letellier Memorial at Fair Grounds. Both of those races were one-turn sprints. A two-turn, short-stretched one mile event restricted to three-year-old fillies, the Martha Washington is a points race on the Road to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) (10-4-2-1).

“It’s always exciting when fillies take on the colts,” said Kevin Kerstein, publicity manager, communications and media services for Churchill Downs. “If a really nice filly like Taraz joins the Road to the Kentucky Derby, it would add an intriguing storyline to the lead up to this year’s race.”

According to Kerstein, since the system was implemented in 2013, there have been several fillies who have earned points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, including 2018 El Camino Real winner Paved and 2017 UAE Derby (G1) runner-up Rayya.. No filly has competed in the Run for the Roses since Devil May Care in 2010 and only three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby – Winning Colors (1988), Genuine Risk (1980) and Regret (1915).



Unraced as a 4-year-old following a couple of setbacks, Dubb, Monomoy Stables LLC, The Elkstone Group LLC (Stuart Grant) and Bethlehem Stable LLC’s champion mare Monomoy Girl arrived to barn 29 early Wednesday morning at Fair Grounds as she continues what her team hopes will be a successful comeback.
“She galloped a little bit this morning,” trainer Brad Cox said. “Physically she looks amazing. She’s moving well. She was doing great in Ocala (at Paul Sharp’s Stables) before coming back up here. We’re excited to have her back in the barn and give her another shot. At the end of this month or very early February we will start picking up the pace (with her) a little bit.”
Monomoy Girl parlayed a win in the 2018 Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds into subsequent victories in the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland, the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Acorn (G1), the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga and eventually the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) en route to an Eclipse Award as Champion 3-year-old filly.



Maggi Moss’ three-year-old Louisiana-bred colt No Parole, a winner of his first two career starts by a combined 27 ½ lengths, will test two turns for the first time in his next start, although according to trainer Tom Amoss, a specific race has not been targeted.
“Even though his pedigree slants strongly towards sprinting, we are going to stretch him out in his next start,” Amoss said No Parole. “He’s a horse who deserves an opportunity. Because he’s already won a couple of races, more than likely he’ll run next in a stake.”
By Violence, No Parole is out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Plus One, who won four times from 15 starts with an average winning distance of 5.13 furlongs. Her first foal, Violent Ways, also by Violence, won three of six starts with an average winning distance of 5.83 furlongs. On the plus side, No Parole’s granddam License Fee, a $1.2 million earner, was a multiple graded stakes winner around two turns.
If connections wanted to pick some low-hanging fruit, the restricted $100,000 LA. Bred Premier Night Prince for three-year-olds at one mile at Delta Downs on February 8 would fit the schedule timing-wise.
“No decision has been made,” Amoss said. “We’re not really sure where we are going. It doesn’t help that the transition (to stakes) here (at Fair Grounds) would be to the Risen Star which is 1 1/8th miles (on February 15). That seems a lot to ask, so I would say running there is doubtful.”



Off just a pair of local half mile works, Joel Politi’s 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Serengeti Empress, an Eclipse Award Finalist in the three-year-old filly division, is on target to make her seasonal debut in the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) on January 26.
“She’s a horse who gets herself ready quickly,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “She’s going to go to Houston. There’s not really a dirt race for her here at Fair Grounds.”
In addition to the Kentucky Oaks (G1), the now 4-year-old daughter of Alternation also won the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds and as 2-year-old, the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill. She was most recently seen finishing third behind Blue Prize and Midnight Bisou in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita.



David Carroll, assistant trainer to Mark Casse, has indicated that HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud’s Lynn’s Map, who drew post 14 for Saturday’s $200,000 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds, will be entered tomorrow for the $150,000 Smarty Jones to be run on Friday, January 24 at Oaklawn.
“Post 14 is a bit of a concern, but we are also not sure we want to ship this horse right on top of a race and run out of town,” Carroll said. “We are going to enter (the Smarty Jones) and take a look.”
Casse, who won last year’s Lecomte with eventual Preakness (G1) victor War of Will, also has John Oxley’s Enforceable (post 10) entered in Saturday’s Lecomte.



It’s only Thursday, but it’s already been a very good week for trainer Ron Faucheux.
A diehard LSU Tigers fan, Faucheux’s week started with a Monday night victory by his team over Clemson to secure a National Championship, and on Thursday at Fair Grounds, the 37-year-old Louisiana native scored the 500th win of his training career when Hot Melissa returned from a 1 ½ year layoff to take race one with Sophie Doyle aboard.

“We’re ecstatic, the entire barn is super excited,” Faucheux said. “It’s been ten years since we’ve been training. It is a cool milestone to achieve, especially here at the Fair Grounds. I’m happy it happened here. My best friend and former assistant Joey Fontenot just passed away a couple days ago and his whole family was out here for it, so that meant a lot to us. We know he is looking over us and we know he was here. This was the first horse we ran after he passed away, so it was just really cool. It’s a great accomplishment for my crew more than anything. I have two great assistants and it really goes to show how hard they work. It’s really for them and the barn more than myself.”
Perhaps best known for his work with the millionaire Sunbean and Grade II winning sprinter Gantry, Faucheux has a 24% career win percentage with purse earnings exceeding $11.6 million.

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