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Daddy Forty Nine, Walking the Beach Will Look for Allowance Spot

Three-year-olds Daddy Forty Nine and Walking the Beach are unlikely to move on to the Jan. 23 Grade III Lecomte Stakes, the first race in Fair Grounds’ Road to the Derby series, after finishing out of the money in Sunday’s allowance feature won by Stay Put.

Trainer Tom Amoss attempted to take the blame for Daddy Forty Nine’s even sixth-place finish, in which the Ghostzapper gelding was in a suitable striking position entering the stretch but flattened out in the final quarter-mile.

“I’d like to see him a little bit more relaxed than he was,” Amoss said. “Unfortunately, that’s probably my fault with the way I trained him. When he runs back look for him to be a more laid-back horse early. It was trainer error and that happens.”

Sunday’s effort ended a four-race winning streak for Daddy Forty Nine compiled at four different tracks: Arlington Park, Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Delta Downs.

Amoss reported that Daddy Forty Nine, owned by the Last Mango Racing Stable (a syndicate led by New Orleans Saints Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel that also includes quarterback Drew Brees and Monday Night Football broadcasters Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski, as well as singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet, among others), came back from the race “fine” and will look for “a spot similar to (Sunday’s), probably in about three weeks or so.”

As for Cobra Cooper Racing’s ninth-place finisher Walking the Beach, trainer Bret Calhoun was still searching for answers as to why the Medaglia d’Oro colt, an easy debut winner at Churchill Downs in November, never fired Sunday.

“It was almost like he just got lost,” Calhoun said. “He broke good and was in good position, but Miguel (Mena, jockey) said he never tried. He came back good. He barely drank any water, cooled out good, was bouncing like he never ran. I don’t have any explanation for his poor performance except maybe second-time out and maybe he got lost a little bit going two turns for the first time. It was a pretty disappointing performance.”

Calhoun reiterated that Walking the Beach had missed some scheduled training in December due to record rainfall that month and wasn’t quite as far along in his conditioning as the trainer had hoped. Nonetheless, nobody foresaw him only beating one horse Sunday.

“I didn’t think he had to win it but I thought he’d run a good race,” Calhoun said. “We’ll just go back in the next two-turn allowance spot now and regroup. We’re not going to go into the Lecomte off that kind of race.”

Upcoming Fair Grounds Post Time Changes
Fair Grounds Race Course has announced that starting January 16, first post time will be changed to 12:40 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and the first race post time on weekdays will be changed to 1:10 p.m.