Home of the Louisiana Derby

Barn Notes: Monday, February 27


·        Cox Keeping Top Turf Fillies Separated

·        Honorable Duty Points to New Orleans Handicap

·        Zipessa and I’m a Chatterbox Highlight Work Tab



Leading trainer Brad Cox is in the enviable position of having two turf fillies so good that he has to keep them apart in upcoming stakes company and plans to do so. Richard and Bertram Klein’s Cash Control, a multiple graded stakes winner, will come back from a light freshening following a rare off-the-board finish in the $75,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial on Jan. 21 in the $50,000 New Orleans Ladies Overnight Stakes on Apr. 1, Louisiana Derby Day.

Meanwhile, Cox reported that Believe in Bertie, the upstart star of the barn on the strength of setting two Stall-Wilson turf course records in her last two starts – both in local stakes company – will continue her ascension in class in the Grade II $300,000 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day, May 6, at its namesake racecourse.

Cox reported that Believe in Bertie, who enjoys a little time between races, came out of her excellent victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Daisy Devine Stakes in top order. One race prior, she won the $75,000 Pago Hop Stakes in a procession, breaking the course mark while under a hand ride.



DARRS, Inc.’s Honorable Duty will likely continue his ascension through the local handicap ranks, as he points to the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap on Louisiana Derby Day, Apr. 1. The son of Distorted Humor exited his big effort when taking Saturday’s Grade III $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap in top order, according to trainer Brendan Walsh.

After taking the $75,000 Tenacious Stakes on Dec. 17, the Juddmonte Farms-bred passed on the $75,000 Louisiana Stakes on Jan. 21 – the next logical step in the handicap division at Fair grounds Race Course & Slots – to point to the Mineshaft and New Orleans Handicaps.



Empyrean Stables’ Zipessa, last seen finishing a solid fifth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita in early November, worked a half-mile in 51.40 for trainer Mike Stidham. She is pointing toward a campaign that will likely once again involve both the Breeders’ Cup and another shot at the Grade I Beverly D., a race in which she was a smart third in 2016.

I’m a Chatterbox, who is getting class relief in her next race on Saturday, worked five furlongs in 1:01 flat for trainer Larry Jones. The Fletcher and Carolyn Gray homebred is making her long-awaited turf bow in the one-mile event.

Classy Grade II-winning sprinter Holy Boss worked a solid five panels in 1:00.20 for trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Jerry Durant. The swift 5-year-old was an easy winner of the $75,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes last out on Jan. 21.

G M B Racing’s highly regarded Tom’s d’Etat, trained by Al Stall, Jr., worked a bullet five furlongs in 59 flat. Meanwhile a couple barns down another well-regarded Benson-owned colt in Tom’s Ready continued his march to a 4-year-old bow with a half-mile drill in 49.80 for trainer Dallas Stewart.