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BARN NOTES: December 28, 2015

  • ·        Nyquist, Airoforce top 12 Stakes Winners Among 88 Early-Bird Nominees for 103rd Louisiana Derby
  • ·        Money Flows Moving in the Right Direction for Stall
  • ·        Work Tab

 

 

NYQUIST, AIROFORCE TOP 12 STAKES WINNERS AMONG 88 EARLY-BIRD NOMINEES FOR 103rd LOUISIANA DERBY

Reddam Racing’s expected champion 2-year-old colt Nyquist leads a group of 88 early-bird nominees, including a dozen stakes winners, to the Grade II $1,000,000 TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby, which is to take place six weeks out from the Grade I $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby on Mar. 26, 2016 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist capped an undefeated 5-for-5 campaign in 2015 with a half-length victory in the Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Oct. 31 at Keeneland.

The always-dangerous Mark Casse barn has nominated six 3-year-olds-to-be, including John Oxley’s multiple graded stakes winner Airoforce, who exits a smart win in the Grade II $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club in late November. Another Casse runner of note nominated is Conquest Stables’ very highly regarded Conquest Big E, who exits a sharp victory in a one-turn mile allowance on that same card. Said effort came one try after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile when defeated by less than five lengths in only his third career start.

The remainder of the early-bird nominee list is led by stakes winners Dressed in Hermes, Taylors Angiel, Swagger Jagger, Sunny Ridge, Suddenbreakingnews, Richie the Bull, Pinnacle Peak, Mo Tom, Forevamo and Bird of Trey.

Graded stakes-placed horses Siding Spring, I’malreadythere, Harlan Punch and Frank Conversation, as well as stakes-placed charges Tom’s Ready, Texas Jambalaya, Sawyers Mickey, Runningfromthefeds, Greatest Game and Fish Trappe Road add significant depth to the possible field for the 103rd running of the 1 1/8-miles event.

Steve Asmussen led all trainers with 11 early-bird nominees, while Mike Maker and D. Wayne Lukas each had seven. Owners Calumet Farm and Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey each nominated five.

 

MONEY FLOWS MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR STALL

Trainer Al Stall, Jr.’s barn has been waking up in a big way over the last couple weeks and one horse among those winners who stands out as a charge to watch over the next few months of the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots meet is Columbine Stable’s Money Flows.

A $130,000 Keeneland September 2012 purchase, the 4-year-old gelded son of Malibu Moon won for the third time in four career starts on Saturday evening in a muddy second-level allowance/optional claiming event by an easy 1¾ lengths. Ridden by Colby Hernandez, who has been aboard for his quartet of tries, Money Flows’ only loss was 23 days prior at the same level by a head when losing to a more-seasoned Teniente Coronel.

“He’s certainly made progress in the mind department,” Stall said. “He was traveling like a good thing down the backside and Colby tipped him and that was all she wrote. I think he waited a little bit in the last eighth after he made the lead, but other than that it was a nice win.

“The ($75,000) Louisiana (Stakes on Jan. 16) is probably a little quick back for him,” Stall continued. “We’ll make sure he’s okay. He wasn’t a 4-year-old maiden by accident. Once we do that, we’ll go snooping around for a spot for him. There aren’t a lot of three-other-than (allowances) available, so we might go into a stakes.”

Money Flows is a half-brother to the brilliant E Dubai, as well as Grade I-winning No Matter What, who produced Group I winner Rainbow View. Money Flows’ dam, the Lord At War mare Words of War, was a nine-time winner who won stakes races from ages two through five, while placing in two stakes at six, winning stakes on both surfaces during her career and setting a track record for 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs. She, herself, is a full-sister to Grade III winner Ascutney, the dam of track record-setting Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic and Group I Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Raven’s Pass.

Needless to say, there was ample reason to keep Money Flows in training, despite not making his debut until Aug. 29 of his 4-year-old season.

 

WORK TAB

Preston Stables’ Reflector warmed up for his scheduled run in Saturday’s $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes with a three-furlong blowout on Monday morning in 35.40 – a bullet of nine moves at the three-furlong distance for trainer Pat Devereux, Jr.

Clark Brewster’s consistent Bayerd worked three furlongs over the sloppy surface in 38.40 for trainer Steve Asmussen Monday morning. The stakes-winning son of Speightstown is scheduled to run in the $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes on Saturday in what will be his turf debut.

Big Aut Farms’ two-time stakes winner Afternoon Tango, who exits a fourth last out in the $100,000 Magnolia Stakes at Delta Downs on Oct. 30, worked three furlongs in an easy 40.40 for trainer Pat Devereux, Jr.