Carimba Conserves Winning Kick for Pan Zareta Stretch

Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Notes Writer/Media Relations
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New Orleans, La (Nov. 25, 2023) – After scorching to the lead in her last two races, John Donaldson’s Carimba conserved energy pressing Charlie T through the opening half-mile before surging ahead victoriously in the 58th running of the $100,000 Pan Zareta Stakes. Beating a field of ten 3-year-old and up fillies and mares across Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ Stall Wilson turf course, the lightly-race 5-year-old mare covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.23. 

Goin’ Good again struggled to get out of the gates cleanly but was able to rally a neck ahead of Redifined at the wire, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Medalla Match added value to the gimmicks in fourth.

Carimba is trained by Rey Hernandez. Marcelino Pedroza Jr. returned to the irons after piloting her to a second-place finish in July’s Checkered Flag at Horseshoe Indianapolis. 

“Rey (Hernandez) told me this morning, ‘she doesn’t need to be on the lead, so don’t worry about it. Do your thing and let her relax ahead of the long stretch. Wait as long as you can to make your move,” Pedroza Jr. said. “Turning for home I knew I had plenty of horse. At the 3/16ths pole is when I went on with her and she responded really well. Thank you to Rey and to the owner (John Donaldson).”

Relaxing behind a leader to win her first stakes, the daughter of Kantharos revealed her versatility. At 10-6-2-1 throughout her career, the Indiana-bred made the Pan Zareta her second victory outside her home state and padded her lifetime earnings to $259,019.

After sitting chilly on the board at 5-1 through much of the early betting, the market wised up and sent Carimba off as the 1.90-1 favorite.

Racing resumes on Thursday, Nov. 30 with four days of racing at the regular 12:45 p.m. CT opening post. On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Claiming Crown returns to Fair Grounds, and eight stakes are on the docket worth a combined $1 million in purses.


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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 16 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 152nd Thoroughbred Racing Season–highlighted by the 111th running of the Louisiana Derby–will run from Nov. 17, 2023 through March 24, 2024. More information is available online at



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