Home of the Louisiana Derby

BARN NOTES: March 5, 2016

  • ·        The Pizza Man Gets Vacation, Points to Summer
  • ·        Mo Tom Quick in Return Work
  • ·        Lemon Drop Belle and Ready for Chianti Work in Tandem
  • ·        Forevamo Works Easy Half toward Louisiana Derby
  • ·        Work Tab



Midwest Thoroughbreds’ homebred Eclipse Award finalist for 2015 champion turf horse The Pizza Man has been given time off to freshen, according to Fair Grounds-based trainer Roger Brueggemann.

A 7-year-old son of English Channel, the Illinois-bred was last seen finishing a disappointing fifth in the Grade I $350,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap as the even-money favorite on Feb. 6 in his seasonal debut. Previous to that, he was a facile victor in the Grade II $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar in late November to cap a big season in which he also won the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million.

“He went to the farm for a little while,” Brueggemann said. “He hasn’t done that well since he got back from California and then he got a little sick and was off his feed (after Gulfstream). He wasn’t acting like he normally does, his color wasn’t quite right, his blood work was off and we decided he just needed a little time.

“He’ll be on the farm a month or two and then we’ll aim toward the summer with him,” Brueggemann continued. “His big goals are the Arlington Million and the Breeders’ Cup, again. He’ll join us back at Churchill (Downs) after this meet.”



Leading local hope for the Kentucky Derby Mo Tom returned to the work tab for the first time since suffering a defeat as the 5-2 second choice in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 20. Owned by G M B Racing and trained by Tom Amoss, the son of Uncle Mo left little doubt that the minor cut he suffered in his rough trip left any psychological marks on him, as he easily breezed through a rapid half-mile in 47.80 – good for third-best of 62 moves at the distance.

“He went well,” Amoss said. “It was his first work since his race and he did it in-hand the whole way. It was a good work, as far as all that goes, and was very relaxed. If anything, it was quicker than I thought. Hopefully he just stays like this though the Louisiana Derby. That would make me happy.”

In the Risen Star, Mo Tom closed from last place – 16 lengths astern – and checked sharply at the three-sixteenths-pole under Corey Lanerie while trying to rally up the rail. Despite such, he re-rallied to be third, beaten only 1½ lengths. Out of the Rubiano mare Caroni, he has shown marked consistency throughout his short six-race career, including three wins and three thirds. One race prior, he was a smart winner of the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 16 to kick off his Derby Trail and sophomore campaign.



A pair of Charles Fipke homebred fillies with lofty expectations worked in tandem on Friday morning for trainer Dallas Stewart. Ready for Chianti, who was visually impressive when graduating in her sophomore bow on Feb. 6, and Lemon Drop Bell (above), eighth last out in the Grade II $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, each worked a half-mile in 49.80 – tying the fillies for 17th of 43 works at the distance.

“Ready for Chianti is very good right now,” Stewart said. “She skipped a week to give her a little more time and we’re looking at trying to get a race for her before the end of the meet. We couldn’t get a race to go for her, which is why it took her a while to run.

“I really like her,” Stewart continued. “She’s developed really well and is a healthy filly. We’re hoping to have a good spring with her and I’m aiming her toward the (Grade III $125,000) Appalachian (Stakes on Apr 14) at Keeneland.”

Previous to her graduation, the daughter of More Than Ready had competed three times, while running into the likes of Grade II winners Just Wicked and Carina Mia, as well as multiple stakes winner Stageplay and Breeders’ Cup fourth-place finisher Sapphire Kitten. Her graduation was her first attempt at a turf route.

Lemon Drop Belle, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid out of the swift Storm Boot mare Bourbon Belle, has raced only three times. A half-sister to Canadian champion 3-year-old of 2008 Not Bourbon, she broke her maiden at first asking going seven furlongs at Woodbine before finishing a game head-second to Royal Obsession in her Fair Grounds and Dallas Stewart bow on Jan. 23. Royal Obsession would go on to finish fourth in the Rachel Alexandra.

“I’m going to put a line through her last race,” Stewart said. “I am not sure what went wrong, but I know she’s a better filly than that. I’ll look for an allowance race for her.”



In his first work since a valiant runner-up finish in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 20, Brittlyn Stable’s Al Stall-trained Forevamo returned to the work tab for his connections, working an easy half-mile in 49.80.

“Nice and comfortable,” Stall succinctly reported.

The stakes-winning Florida-bred half-brother to champion Musical Romance has shown impressive improvement in his last three starts, while finishing second in both his races in 2016. One race prior to the Risen Star, he was a rallying runner-up in allowance company behind improving Candy My Boy, who would set a torrid pace before finishing fourth in the Risen Star.



Robert Persons and Earl Conrad Sanderson, Jr.’s Blarp, sixth last out in the Grade III $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 20 and third a race prior in the Grade III $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap on Jan. 16 – both at Fair Grounds – worked a half-mile in a strong 49 flat for trainer Joe Sharp.

Four colts exiting the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes – Brittlyn Racing’s Al Stall-trained Forevamo (second), G M B Racing’s Tom Amoss-trained Mo Tom (third), Frank Mancari’s Roger Brueggemann-trained Candy My Boy (fourth) and Lloyd Madison Farms, IV’s Greg Foley-trained Zapperini (fifth) – each had their first work since that Feb. 20 event. Forevamo (49.80), Mo Tom (47.80) and Candy My Boy (50.60) each worked half-miles, while the slightly more lightly raced Zapperini logged five furlongs in 1:02.40.

Lothenbach Stables’ four-time Fair Grounds Stall-Wilson turf course stakes winner Eden Prairie worked a half-mile in 49.80 for trainer Neil Pessin. She runs next in the $50,000 Big Easy Stakes next week over 5½ furlongs on her favorite surface.


Michael Adolphson | @AdolphsonRacing
Media Specialist, Senior Writer