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BARN NOTES: January 2, 2016

Barn Notes:  Saturday, January 2, 2016                                                                                         

·        Rocket Time Returns in Jan. 8 Feature

·        Defending Champion Jockey James Graham to Return

·        Work Tab




One of the more promising runners from the 2014-15 Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots season returns to the course over which he is a stakes winner in his lone local try. Frank Fletcher Racing Operation’s Rocket Time, an Al Stall, Jr., trainee, has been working well for his 2016 debut over the New Orleans oval, including a six-furlong move in 1:13.40 on Dec. 20 and a very nice 48 flat half-mile eight days prior out of the gate. The former was a bullet of four, while the latter was fifth of 100 at the distance.

Last seen finishing a game third in the Grade III $300,000 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland on April 4, the son of Tiz Wonderful earned his best Beyer Speed Figure – 99 – when wiring the $50,000 Tenacious Stakes on Dec. 21 two efforts prior. Jamie Theriot rides from the outside post six on Saturday, Jan. 8.

The one-mile allowance/optional claiming event also attracted multiple graded stakes winner Nates Mineshaft, minor stakes winner Agent Di Nozzo, multiple restricted stakes winner Buggin Out, multiple graded stakes-placed Irish You Well and stakes-placed Doctor Peter.



James Graham, who was a runaway winner of last year’s jockey title, is set to return to riding full-time at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots starting next week, according to his Twitter account. The multiple graded stakes-winning rider will be represented by Mark Guidry.

After taking the 2014-15 Fair Grounds title, Graham has been riding full-time in Southern California since the Del Mar meet and mentioned a lack of take-off in business this winter as his reason for returning his tack to New Orleans.

Graham will be fulfilling his riding engagements on Saturday and Sunday in California before heading eastward.



Lovable Lyss, who made waves with a five-length win in first-level allowance company on Dec. 17 for owner-trainer Hugh Robertson, worked five furlongs in 1:04 flat. She is possible for the Listed $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 16.

Grade III $300,000 Comely Stakes winner Forever Unbridled (above) worked a half-mile in 48.80 for trainer Dallas Stewart and owner-breeder Charles Fipke.

Al and Bull Ulwelling’s stakes-winning Pumpkin Rumble had his first work since a sharp allowance victory on Dec. 17, working a half-mile in 50.60 for trainer Brad Cox.

Stakes winner Agent Di Nozzo worked three furlongs in 36.80 for trainer Steve Margolis and owners Robert and Lawana Low.

Highly regarded Dolphus worked a half-mile in 50.40 toward a possible start in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes for trainer Joe Sharp and owner Dede McGehee.

Four-time stakes winner Pacific Pink worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 for trainer Eddie Johnston and owner Keith Plaisance.

Classic-placed Commanding Curve worked five furlongs out of the gate in 1:02 flat for trainer Dallas Stewart and owner West Point Thoroughbreds.

Lecomte probable Noble Thought worked a handy five panels in 1:01.60 for trainer Mike Stidham and owner-breeder Pin Oak Stud.

Five-time stakes winner and last-out winner of the $60,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial on Dec. 1 Ibaka worked a half-mile in 52.20 for trainer Bret Calhoun and owner Doug Wall.

-Michael Adolphson | Media Specialist, Senior Writer