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Graded stakes winner Bell’s the One &
Hotshot Anna should provide a stern test


With only one blemish on her record from seven career starts,  Klein Racing’s Break Even is entered to return to the races on Tuesday as she is set to face eleven others in the $75,000 Mardi Gras Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs over the Stall Wilson turf course at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (Race 8, 3:53 p.m. CT).

The 4- year-old daughter of Country Day launched her career at Fair Grounds more than a year ago. She rattled off consecutive sprint victories locally before testing stakes waters for the first time in the Purple Martini at Oaklawn Park in March. She romped gate-to-wire and was geared down in the final seventy yards that day, more than proving her class

After starting her career a perfect three for three, Break Even would pass her first graded stakes test with flying colors, running away with the Eight Belles Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in May by five widening lengths. Victories in a pair of listed sprint stakes — the Jersey Girl at Belmont and Coronation Cup at Saratoga — would follow, and she suffered her first, and only, career defeat in the Prioress Stakes (G2) in August at Saratoga, setting the pace before succumbing to Royal Charlotte in the final furlong.

Off nearly six months, Break Even has been installed as Mike Dilliberto’s 5-2 morning line favorite with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard.

Reached by phone Friday morning, trainer Brad Cox, who also has another Klein Racing filly in Play On (6-1 ML) entered, was uncertain if Break Even would in fact run in the Mardi Gras Stakes, or be pointed for another spot.

Breaking from post 12, Lothenbach Stable Inc’s Bell’s the One returns to the Fair Grounds turf course for the first time since winning the $75,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial Stakes in March. That two-turn race restricted to 3-year-old fillies marks the only time she’s competed on grass.

An upset winner of the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland in October, the 4-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection was last seen finishing an even fifth in the La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita.

“She came out of the La Brea feeling fine she just had some nicks and cuts on her,” trainer Neil Pessin said Friday morning. “We gave her a little extra time off from training than we usually do and brought her back kind of slow. She’s been doing really well and we’re going to use this race as a prep for the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland (April 4, seven furlongs, fillies & mares, 4-year-olds & up).”

“On Tuesday, I just hope she finishes well,” Pessin continued. “She’s a one run filly so we’ll just sit back like she normally does and if she comes running and wins that’s great, or if she comes running and finishes third that’s just as good. As long as she shows that turn of foot and makes a strong close I’ll be happy.”

On February 17, Bell’s the One breezed a bullet four furlongs in: 47.40, the fastest of 50 others that morning.

“We never ask her in the mornings she always does it on her own,” Pessin said. “We give her a target to run after and around the eighth pole she kicks into gear and always puts in a solid work.”

Bell’s the One will be ridden by Corey Lanerie and is listed at 8-1 on the morning line.

The Hugh Robertson owned and trained Hotshot Anna (9-2 ML), who had a five-race win streak snapped when losing all chance at the start of the Nelson J. Menard Memorial on January 25, drew post eight with James Graham aboard. L T B Inc and Hillerich Racing LLC’s Unbridled Class (8-1 ML), who wired the Menard at longshot odds of 25-1, will reunite with jockey Colby Hernandez for trainer Bernie Flint from post five.

Fair Grounds Mardi Gras schedule finds live racing on Saturday, Monday and Fat Tuesday with a first post of 12:30 p.m. CT. Sunday, February 23 will be dark.   

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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 is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global

Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 13 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 148th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 107 th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 28, 2019 through March 29, 2020. More information can be found online at

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