Home of the Louisiana Derby

BARN NOTES: March 10, 2016

  • ·        Venus Valentine Training Forwardly for Fair Grounds Oaks
  • ·        Jensen to Skip Louisiana Derby, Points to Spiral
  • ·        Work Tab (Mon-Thr)



Rosemont Farm’s homebred Venus Valentine is beginning to show signs that her incredible upset in the Grade II $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 20 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots may not have been a fluke. The daughter of Congrats – who already boasts a strong crop of sophomore fillies with the likes of Grade II winner Forever Darling and Group III winner Polar River – continued her march to credibility with a five-furlong workout in 1:02 flat on Wednesday morning for trainer Tom Amoss. She starts next in the Grade II $400,000 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks on Mar. 26.

“She’s doing well,” Amoss said. “Her work was a lot like her works leading up to the Rachel Alexandra. She seems to be maintaining her readiness.

“We definitely benefited from a suicidal pace last time,” he continued. “I don’t know if that happens again, but for her to be successful, she’s got to make herself a little more tactical. Hopefully she can do that (in the Fair Grounds Oaks).”

Venus Valentine is a daughter of Valentine Fever, who was also on the Kentucky Oaks path in her sophomore season of 2008. A two-time stakes winner at Turfway Park on Polytrack early in her 3-year-old season, she was then second in the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks. Briefly considered for the Kentucky Oaks, she instead took the grass and synthetic route in her career for trainer Greg Foley. In 2010, Valentine Fever was sold to Rosemont Farm for $80,000 at Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale and Venus Valentine is her first foal.



Trainer Larry Jones’ homebred Jensen is likely to skip the Grade II $1,000,000 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on Mar. 26 and instead ship to Turfway Park for the Grade III $500,000 Spiral Stakes on Apr. 2 for his breeder-owner-trainer. A chestnut son of Haynesfield out of a mare by Kentucky Derby runner-up and 2007 Spiral winner Hard Spun – one of Jones’ top trainees – Jensen exits a runaway two-turn victory in allowance company in which he earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure at Fair Grounds Race Course.

“Hard Spun never got beat on the Poly and Jensen reminds me of him so much,” Jones said. “He was tough like Jensen and I think it’s a good spot for him.”

Florent Geroux, who was aboard for that race, is likely to keep the mount in what could be a prep for the Grade I $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby on May 7.



Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s homebred Eclipse Award finalist I’m a Chatterbox teamed up with regular rider Florent Geroux and worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Larry Jones.

Charles Fipke’s homebred multiple graded stakes winnerForever Unbridled worked five furlongs in 1:01 flat for trainer Dallas Stewart. She starts next in the Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap next month at Oaklawn Park.

Grade II Risen Star Stakes winner Gun Runner worked a useful five furlongs in 1:01.20 under Florent Geroux for trainer Steve Asmussen and owners Three Chimneys Farm and Winchell Thoroughbreds.

Rosemont Farm’s homebred Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes winner Venus Valentine worked five furlongs in 1:02 flat for trainer Tom Amoss in advance of her start in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on Mar. 26.

Mike G. Rutherford’s homebred Stageplay, fifth last out as the odds-on favorite in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 20, worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 under Florent Geroux for trainer Steve Asmussen.  

Graded stakes winner Albano worked well yet again for trainer Larry Jones and breeder-owner Brereton C. Jones, going five furlongs in 1:01.80.

Classic-placed Ride On Curlin worked a strong half-mile in 48.60 for trainer Billy Gowan and owner Daniel Dougherty. Such was his first work since a disappointing 10th in the Listed Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston.

Jerry Durant’s talented sprinter Holy Boss had his third work back since finishing fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint, going an easy half-mile in 50.20 for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ turf sprint stakes winner Galton worked a half-mile in 48.60 for trainer Tom Amoss – his first move since finishing off the board in stakes company at Sam Houston.

L T B Inc. and Hillerich Racing’s Mizz Money worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 for trainer Bernie Flint. The multiple stakes winner has placed in three consecutive Fair Grounds stakes this season.

G M B Racing’s Tom’s Ready put in another drill for the Grade II Louisiana Derby with a six-furlong move in 1:13.40 for Dallas Stewart.

Hugh Robertson’s Lovable Lyss returned to the work tab since a disappointing sixth in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 20 with a sharp half-mile move in 48.60.

Stonestreet Stables’ Royal Obsession, fourth last out in her stakes debut in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 20, worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Very fast undefeated 2-for-2 4-year-old sprinter Chief Istan shot out a bullet from the gate in 1:00 flat for five furlongs under Florent Geroux, signaling his readiness for his seasonal debut for trainer Larry Jones and owners Sagamore Farm and Brereton C. Jones.

Recent Oaklawn two-turn allowance winner Adore, a well-regarded daughter of Big Brown owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Steve Asmussen, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20.

Talented turf sophomore Tequila Joe, a highly regarded son of Stormy Atlantic owned by Jerry and Ronal Frankel, worked for the second time since finishing unplaced in Keeneland allowance company in October with a three-furlong move in 37.40 for trainer Mike Stidham.


Michael Adolphson | @AdolphsonRacing
Media Specialist, Senior Writer