Following up With the “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” Stars | Beverly Park, Un Ojo, and Kapuna enter on New Year’s Eve Card
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Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Notes Writer/Media Relations
New Orleans, La (Dec 30, 2022) – The Brendan Walsh barn reports that Pretty Mischievous, winner of the Untapable at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, came out of Monday’s race doing well, as did the Broussard winner Moon Swag, and the 2-year-old colt Banishing, a maiden winner on the undercard.
“Banishing ran a big race,” assistant trainer on the grounds Paul Madden said. “He is a big colt who is coming into himself. Brendan (Walsh) will come in town and watch him work and we’ll make a decision about where next, but possibly in the allowance race on the Lecomte Day undercard or in the Lecomte. As for Pretty Mischievous, she could be even better as a 3-year-old, as she should continue to grow.”
The Cox barn reports all is well with their soon-to-be 3-year-old stars – Jace’s Road (Gun Runner), Corona Bolt (Sugar Bowl), and Dazzling Blue (Letellier) – who were all impressive winners on Monday’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day”.
The Casse barn reports that Determinedly, sent off as the odds-on favorite in the Gun Runner, also came out of the race doing well.
“After stumbling out of the gate he chased Jace’s Road around the track and couldn’t quite hold on for second,” Casse’s assistant trainer on the grounds David Carroll said. “We’ll see where we go next. It’s been a big 2-year-old campaign for him.”
On the worktab Friday Dec 30 from the Cox barn, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies favorite Chop Chop made her second workout over the track. Breezing 4 furlongs in 49.40 seconds, the 5th best of 41. Also, Kentucky Derby runner Tawny Port went 4 furlongs in 50.60 seconds, the 16th best of 41. That is the second local work for the 2022 Ohio Derby (G3) winner.
Beverly Park, Un Ojo, and Kapuna enter on New Year’s Eve Card
Running at his 14th track in 2022, Norm “Lynn” Cash’s Beverly Park will round out his extraordinary year with a start in Race 3 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday, Dec. 31, in a $5,000 starter allowance. Remarkably, this will be the soon-to-be 6-year-old gelding’s 30th start of the season, the most since Twins Miracle ran 33 times in 2016. With the next closest being eight, his 14 wins already this year far exceed any other runner. It is the most wins any horse has had in a single year since Rapid Redux won 19 in 2011.
Who will be waiting for him? A 7-time 2022 winner, Optimal Courage looks for back-to-back victories. As does the Wilson barn’s entry, Glenn’s Jumper, who is running for win number five.
Also worthy of note, the Cypress Creek Equine and Whispering Oaks Farm’s gelding Un Ojo makes his return to racing in the one mile $100,000 Woodchopper on the New Year’s Eve card. Earning a spot in the Kentucky Derby with a 75-1 upset win in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and a second in the Withers Stakes (G3), Un Ojo had to scratch the week prior to the Run for the Roses due to a foot bruise.
Should the race remain on the grass, it will be the Ricky Courville trainee’s first try on that surface, but if Un Ojo’s big late kick translates, he could be dangerous in this spot against a field of fellow 3-year-olds. Colby Hernandez will climb aboard for his first trip on the monocular son of Laoban who lost his left eye in a paddock incident as a foal.
Louisiana Derby also ran Kupuna returns to Fair Grounds in Race 6 on Saturday Dec 31, where trainer Bret Calhoun has entered him in a second-level allowance. Kentucky Derby buzz began around Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Kupuna after he finished second to Cyberknife in a first-level dirt-route allowance race on Feb 19 at Fair Grounds.
Made the 7-5 favorite in the morning line, the son of Hard Spun will face a field of six going 1 mile 70 yards. His main threat is likely the Godolphin homebred Global Sensation who looks to be the lone front-runner in the field. Kupuna has run once since the Louisiana Derby, finishing third in a 7-furlong first-level allowance at Churchill Downs on Nov 25.
Live racing on Saturday, Dec. 31 kicks off at the regular post time of 1:15 p.m. CT. The 10-race card features a quartet of stakes including the $100,000 Woodchopper, $100,000 Pago Hop, and a pair of $100,000 Louisiana Futurities.
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.