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A flashy debut winner here on opening day, Columbine Stable LLC’s Binding Agreement steps up in class to face Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) runner-up Chimney Rocks (8-5 ML favorite) and seven others in Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile

Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the 5 ½ furlong sprint restricted to Louisiana-bred maidens, the Al Stall, Jr.-trained Binding Agreement stalked the early pace from second, took over on the turn for home and darted away under a Colby Hernandez hand ride to win by 7 ¾ increasing lengths. Hernandez is named to pilot once again, and the gelding is at 4-1 on the morning line.

“He was ready to run over the summer at Louisiana Downs but he got sick,” Stall said Thursday afternoon. “We decided to back off of him and take it easy. He knew how to run and had showed some ability in the mornings so we figured he’d run a nice race first time out.”

Binding Agreement is a son of Bind, whom Stall trained on behalf of Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. In 2011, he too was also a flashy debut winner over the Fair Grounds oval, stopping the timer in 1:08 4/5 while drawing off by 9 ½ lengths. Bind went on to win three of his four starts at Fair Grounds. The son of Pulpit stands for $1,500 at Red River Farms in the Red River Parish, Louisiana.

Stall, who has won the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile twice (with Star Guitar in 2007 and Beanwah’s Machine in 2011, both for Brittlyn Stables, Inc.) likes his chances to add a third on Saturday.

“He (Binding Agreement) is a naturally fast horse, I imagine he’ll be close up early on Saturday,” Stall said. “He came out of that win well and still had a ton of energy so he’s going to be fresh. We are expecting a good race from him.”

With an expected post time of 3:23 p.m. CST, the Juvenile is carded as race eight on the 13-race Louisiana Champions Day program. First post on the day is noon CST.




G M B Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat, who recently scored the first grade one stakes victory of his career in the Clark Stakes presented by Norton Healthcare (G1) at Churchill Downs, is “happy and healthy” on the Fair Grounds backside.

“He’s just been doing some light training and jogging,” said his trainer Al Stall, Jr.. “We don’t have any plans for him yet. Maybe an early spring campaign but as of now we’re just keeping him happy and healthy. He came out of the Clark great, and now he just needs to rest and stay a fresh horse. We’re excited about it.”

In winning the Clark, the soon-to-bed 7-year old son of Smart Strike raised his career bankroll to $1,236,572 (16-9-2-1). He is perfect from two start at Fair Grounds, winning both a first-level allowance (March 20, 2017) and the Tenacious Stakes (December 22, 2018) over the local oval.




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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