After 31 Years, Who Stands Tallest on Louisiana Champions Day?
New Orleans, La (December 9, 2022) – This Saturday, Dec 10 will mark the 32nd edition of Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Beginning in 1991, the best horses, jockeys, and trainers from across Louisiana put on a show for racing fans as owners enter for prestige and a piece of the generous purses. The first Louisiana Champions Day Classic in 1991 offered a purse of $125,000. More than the purses and the black type, bragging rights are on the line, so let’s give credit where credit’s due and take a look at who stands tallest on Louisiana Champions Day, according to our records.
- Blissful Union holds the honor of being the first Louisiana Champions Day Classic winner. They knew that day as the John Franks homebred paid $6.40 to win. Pat Day got the honor in the winner’s circle. In just his fourth year as a trainer, Tom Amoss began signing his name to Louisiana Champions Day history with Blissful Union’s Classic score.
- Speaking of owner John Franks, he has nine Louisiana Champions Day wins to his name. A jaw-dropping five of those came in the Distaff/Ladies Turf, including the first running with Alta’s Princess (1991). Eskimo’s Angel won it twice, (1992 and 1994). Whata Rock (1995). Zuppardo Ardo (1998).
- Who has the most LA Champ Day winners? Brittlyn Stable does with 14 and counting, as Evelyn Benoit sends out her Star Guitar charge on Saturday – Behemah Star in the Classic, Ova Charged and Spirited Beauty in the Ladies Sprint and Win Ya Win in the Sprint.
- How does one owner have 14 Louisiana Day championships? Star Guitar that’s how. Winner of the Juvenile in 2007, the Sprint in 2008, and the Classic three years in a row from 2009 – 2011. A Louisiana legend, to say the least, Star Guitar is Louisiana Champions Day’s winningest horse.
- Of the trainers, the record for the most wins is tight, but Tom Amoss takes the photo with ten wins over Al Stall Jr.’s nine scores. There’s a three-trainer dead heat for third – Eddie Johnston, Bret Calhoun, and Patrick Mouton each have six Louisiana Champions Day wins.
- For the jockeys, it’s no surprise that Robby Albarado, a seven-time winner of the local riding title, gets the honors. Albarado has ridden 21 Louisiana Champions Day winners.
- Among the riders active in the colony, Corey Lanerie leads all with 11 wins.
- Which Hernandez brother has more wins on Louisiana Champions Day, Colby or Brian Jr? It’s close, but Colby’s six trips to the winner’s circle beats out his older brother’s five.
- Three different horses have won the Turf three times. Dixie Poker Ace in 1991 – 1993, Mr. Sulu in 2001, 2004 and 2005, and most recently String King in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
- Leaving his friends and family way too soon in 2021, Miguel Mena certainly left his mark at Fair Grounds and will be remembered for many things, including his seven Louisiana Champions Day victories. RIP Miggy.
There are eight stakes worth a combined $750,000 in purses, and the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Starter kicks off Saturday’s card in race 1 with a 1:15 p.m. CT post time.
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 15 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 151st Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 110th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from Nov 18, 2022 through March 26, 2023. More information is available online at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.