Home of the Louisiana Derby

Stakes Advance: Happy Ticket Stakes & Battle of New Orleans

Warm Breeze Meets Same Cross in FG's Happy Ticket; Adrianne G, Kiss to Remember Go Face to Face in Battle of New Orleans

Ten Broeck Farm’s Warm Breeze, who blew off all challengers with a 6 ¼-length tally over sloppy going in her last start Dec. 28 in first level allowance company, could steal away once again in Saturday’s 29th running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots if unchallenged in the early going.

Trained by Grant Forster, the daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Street Sense had been going two turns in her previous four starts before returning to sprint competition in that local bow.  The six- furlong distance of Saturday’s sprint for older fillies and mares could easily be her preferred distance, especially since she demonstrated a bullet half-mile move in :46 flat here on Jan. 15.

Brereton Jones’s Same Cross, trained by Larry Jones and named for her close pedigree to the Jones duo’s 2008 Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks and Kentucky Oaks heroine Proud Spell, would appear to be the one to beat.  The 5-year-old mare won her most recent start in allowance and $62,500 optional claiming company by 1 ¾ lengths here Nov. 29 for her fourth lifetime score, all of which were recorded at the local oval.  She finished fifth in last season’s Happy Ticket on the Stall-Wilson turf course, but was only beaten two lengths for the win after breaking tardily.

Jockey Leandro Goncalves will handle the reins on Warm Breeze while three-time Fair Grounds defending rider champion Rosie Napravnik will be astride Same Cross.

Capable of providing strong competition for the top two is Marc Ferrell Racing Stable’s Los Ojitos, a pace-contending third beaten four lengths in Aqueduct’s Grade II Distaff Handicap in her most recent start last April 13.  Fair Grounds’ 2009-2010 jockey champion Shaun Bridgmohan will ride.

Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Ire, with Miguel Mena named in the irons, was third beaten a length for the win in last year’s $75,000 Mardi Gras Handicap here and cannot be discounted.

Completing the Happy Ticket Field is Stoneway Farm’s Swift Artist, Chris Landeros; William Heffner’s Malibu Holiday, Florent Geroux; L. T. B. Inc. and Miles Childers’ Honey Hues, James Graham; Camelia Casby’s Polar Plunge, Eddie Martin Jr.; and Andrena Van Doren’s Mama’s Dia, Robby Albarado.

ADRIANNE G, KISS TO REMEMBER GO FACE TO FACE IN BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS—Thomas Galvin’s Adrianne G and Maggi Moss’s Kiss to Remember face each other and five other fillies in Saturday’s first renewal of the $60,000 Battle of New Orleans Stakes at about 5 ½-furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Adrianne G, trained by Bret Calhoun, won her last start by a half-length in first level allowance and $50,000 optional claiming company on Dec. 29 here after breaking her maiden by 4 ½ lengths in her previous effort Dec. 7.  Both those races, originally carded for the local lawn, were taken off the grass and run on the main track.

Kiss to Remember, who broke her maiden here by 4 ¾ lengths on Dec. 5 when claimed by her present connections, most recently finished third to Adrianne G when beaten a half-length by that rival in their encounter on Dec. 29.

Miguel Mena will be aboard Adrianne G once again while three-time defending Fair Grounds rider champion Rosie Napravnik is up on Kiss to Remember.

Named to oppose those two in the Battle of New Orleans are Rising Graph Stable’s Dramatize, Chris Landeros; Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Jenny Vignette, Florent Geroux; Right Time Racing and Irons Stables’ Mizzen Moon, Leandro Goncalves; Castleton Lyons’ Toni’s Hollyday, James Graham; and Hidden Brook Farm’s Canaryinacoalmine, Robby Albarado.

The last named, a daughter of Birdstone trained by Steve Margolis, broke her maiden impressively at Churchill Downs Oct. 27 but lost her footing in the Twin Spires oval’s Grade II Golden Rod Nov. 30 and deserves another chance.