Bron and Brow Seeks Second Stakes Win in Gary P. Palmisano Memorial
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Winning Romance Shortens Up for Saturday’s Bob F. Wright Memorial
Classic Rematch in the Turf Favors Who Took the Money over Touchuponastar
New Orleans, La (Jan 4, 2023) – Gary Barber’s Bron and Brow enters the 1st running of the $75,000 Gary P. Palmisano Memorial Stakes after showcasing his best effort to date in a second-level allowance on Dec 15. A field of nine Louisiana-breds will take to the court in Saturday’s 6-furlong dirt sprint contest at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Carded as Race 9 with a scheduled post time of 5:15 p.m. CT, the Gary Palmisano is paired with the $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares; both 6-furlong dirt sprints are for 4-year-olds and up. A longtime Louisiana trainer and most recently the paddock judge at Fair Grounds, Gary Palmisano Sr., who passed away last December, was a beloved member of the local racing community. The Bob F. Wright will go as Race 3 at 2:15 p.m. CT. Rescheduled from Louisiana Champions Day, the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf will go as Race 8 (4:45 p.m. CT post time) on the 10-race card.
Trained by Mark Casse, as a two-year-old Bron and Brow rebounded from a gutsy defeat in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile to win the Louisiana Futurity three weeks later, which is about the same amount of time off he has coming into the Palmisano.
“He ran huge in that last one,” assistant trainer on the grounds David Carroll said. “He came out of that race looking super, and we’re hoping he carries that form into the Palmisano.”
Brian Hernandez Jr. keeps the mount after piloting him to the gate-to-wire win in his last. Drawing post No. 2, Mike Diliberto installed Bron and Brow as the 3-1 favorite in the morning line.
Also with early speed and also from the Casse barn, D.J. Stable, Cash is King and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Swot Analysis entered the Palmisano.
“(Swot Analysis) had a nice stretch at Woodbine this year,” Carroll said. “He’s been looking for the right race, and we feel good about him in here.”
Since he last ran at Fair Grounds, the 5-year-old horse had three in-the-money finishes at Woodbine in five starts over the synthetic track. A two-time winner over the local track, Rey Gutierrez will climb aboard Swot Analysis who drew post No. 8.
If you are going to be the statebred sprint champ then you’ve got to beat the champ and that title goes to Big Chopper. When beating a field of 12 in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint by 3 3/4 lengths, the 4-year-old colt trained by Scott Gelner rallied into a pace meltdown. On paper, the Palmisano looks to offer a similar set-up. Tabbed at 4-1 in the morning line, Big Chopper retains the services of Corey Lanerie who will guide him out of post No. 4
Here’s the complete field for the Gary P. Palmisano Stakes from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Win Ya Win (Adam Beschizza, Jose Camejo, 15-1); 2. Bron and Brow (Brian Hernandez Jr, Mark Casse, 3-1); 3. Brian’s Iron Mike (Tim Thornton, Allen Landry, _4-1_); 4. Big Chopper (Corey Lanerie, Scott Gelner, 4-1); 5. Mike J (Pedro Cotto Jr, Lee Thomas, 12-1); 6. Creole Charlie (James Graham, Howard Alonzo, 20-1); 7. Relentless Dancer (Gerard Melancon, Keith Bourgeois, 6-1); 8. Swot Analysis (Rey Gutierrez, Mark Casse, 7-2); 9. Janets Jay Jay (Edgar Morales, Howard Alonzo, 30-1).
The 2022 Shantel Lanerie Memorial winner Winning Romance will shorten up in distance against a field of five in Saturday’s $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial Stakes for 4-year-old and up fillies and mares going 6 furlongs over the main track at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Allied Racing’s 5-year-old Winning Romance is entered by the current meet-leading trainer Bret Calhoun, who also sends out Who Took the Money on the same card in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf (rescheduled from the original Dec 10 date).
Winning Romance finished second to A G’s Charlotte by a neck in November’s Big World Stakes and a nose in the Louisiana Champions Day Distaff. The 5-time winner has run at this distance three times with a 1-1-1 record, but the win came in her 2020 2-year-old campaign.
“Winning Romance is doing really well,” Calhoun said. “She is shortening up, so we’ll see how that suits her. She has had two outstanding battles with a quality filly (A G’s Charlotte) and she’ll face another tough filly in here (Ova Charged).”
Drawing post No. 3, Winning Romance will be piloted by her usual suspect, Deshawn Parker.
Brittlyn Stable’s Star Guitar-supreme Ova Charged has turned her last three stakes appearances into public workouts. In the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, she cantered home maintaining a 4-length advantage through the entire stretch. She beat the other three fillies that day, each entered in the Wright: Free Like a Girl, Snowball, and stablemate Spirited Beauty.
Ova Charged’s trainer Jose Camejo has said that if they can keep the 7-time winner healthy, they would like to target the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Sprint next fall, stepping up into graded stakes company along the way. If she wins the Wright, she’ll have all the confidence she needs. But the presence of front-runner Winning Romance could either spoil Ova Charged’s win streak, or demand her to show off the talent all her fans are waiting to witness.
Here’s the complete field for the Bob F. Wright Stakes from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Free Like a Girl (Pedro Cotto Jr., Chasey Pomier, 4-1); 2. Spirited Beauty (David Cohen, Jose Camejo, 8-1); 3. Winning Romance (Deshawn Parker, Bret Calhoun, 5-1); 4. Ova Charged (Jose Luis Rodriguez, Jose Camejo, 2-5); 5. Snowball (Colby Hernandez, Samuel Breaux, 12-1).
An oversubscribed field of nine older males were entered for Saturday’s 1 1/16 miles $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf, including Allied Racing’s Scott’s Scoundrel Stakes winner Who Took the Money. Previously scheduled for Dec 10, 2022, the Turf is carded as Race 8 with a 4:45 p.m. CT post time. With the portable rail set at 34 feet on the Stall-Wilson turf course, starters will be limited to eight runners.
Finishing with a lackluster late kick on the dirt in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic, Who Took the Money will have to come with his best run if he wants to turn the tables on the Classic-winner Touchuponastar. Or maybe simply being back on his preferred surface will be all the Calhoun trainee needs.
“We got away with it a couple times on the dirt but it’s good to get Who Took the Money back on turf, that’s where he’s his best,” Bret Calhoun said. “Last time in the Classic there was lone speed, which always makes it tough for closers. Who Took the Money doesn’t run until he wants to run so that was a tough pace scenario.”
Regular rider Deshawn Parker will break aboard Who Took the Money from post No. 4. Morning lines oddsmaker Mike Diliberto gives Who Took the Money a slight edge as the 7-5 favorite over Touchuponastar at 8-5.
Set-Hut’s Touchuponastar ran a huge race in the Classic, but he was the commanding speed and no one went with him. Still, his 104 Brisnet Speed figure is the field’s best. But what about turf for this Jeff Delhomme trainee? On top Star, Guitar’s progeny have fared better sprinting on turf (16%) versus going two turns (9%). On the bottom, Touchuponastar is out of the Lion Heart dam Touch Magic who has only sent out two winless runners on the turf. Tim Thornton will climb back aboard and guide the new La-bred stand-out from post No. 7.
Here’s the complete field for the Louisiana Champions Day Turf from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Smarty Alex (Alex Castillo, Alexis Claire, 30-1); 2. City Park (Joel Dominguez, Eduardo Ramirez, 20-1); 3. Maga Man (James Graham, Norman Miller III, 15-1); 4. Who Took the Money (Deshawn Parker, Bret Calhoun, 7-5); 5. Budro Talking (Mitchell Murrill, Eduardo Rodriguez, 12-1); 6. Ballinonabudjet (Corey Lanerie, Brad Cox, 7-2); 7. Touchuponastar (Tim Thornton, Jeff Delhomme, 8-5); 8. Charlie G (Brian Hernandez Jr., Lee Thomas, 20-1); AE 9. Play Mo (Colby Hernandez, Jeff Delhomme, 20-1).
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