Jockey Aubrie Green Returns to Fair Grounds, and Quickly Wins on a Pair of Longshots
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Classy Warrant returns in Fair Grounds’ Thursday feature
Walsh barn reports it’s still too early for details on Banishing’s return
New Orleans, La (Jan 25, 2023) – Earlier in January, jockey Aubrie Green moved her tack back to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots from Tampa Bay Downs. She made her first mount a winning one on Friday Jan. 13. Soon after she returned to the winner’s circle on Friday Jan. 20. Nine mounts in, she is 2-1-1, and her horses have been outrunning their odds.
First it was Powderhorn Racing’s Zion, winning at 17-1 for trainer Nathan Hatcher on Jan. 13.
“I wasn’t even supposed to ride the horse,” Green said. “Nathan (Hatcher) told me (Zion) hadn’t been breaking well. He said “I want to put you on because I know you can break this horse hard and get him out of the gates.”
That’s exactly what Green did, breaking him in third and maintaining that spot throughout to put Zion in position to run down Available Star and Coach Kenny.
It was a similar story on Friday, Jan. 20 when Green took the reins of Fifteen Love Back for trainer Cesar Govea. She turned a horse who had been double-digit lengths back through the opening calls of both previous races at Fair Grounds into a well-positioned stalker, no more than four lengths behind through the early calls. Fifteen Love Back won at 12-1.
Riding professionally since 2015 and in the jockey colony at Fair Grounds since 2017, Green has impressed local connections and quickly became a fan favorite. In 2021-2022 she finished 11th in the jockey standings with 25 wins in 232 mounts, earning $717,275.
At Tampa, she rode two winners in 32 mounts but had six seconds and three thirds.
“Tampa was alright, a little slow,” Green said. “There were some really good riders, a big colony.
My agent there, she wasn’t on the grounds. So I decided to head back to (Fair Grounds). I’m sure I’ll be riding for “Bunky” (trainer Corale Richards) and Andrea Ali. I just talked with Shane Wilson and he said he would get with me. I’m just going to be hustling, getting on for everybody I can.”
Green’s agent is the 1998 Fair Grounds’ Hall of Fame inductee, Ronald Ardoin. Spanning a career where he won six riding titles at Fair Grounds, the retired jockey Ardoin won 5,226 races.
One of the Idaho-native’s highest profile mounts on the Louisiana circuit came aboard Pound for Pound. Green won both the 2019 Louisiana Champions Day Classic and the 2021 Star Guitar Stakes aboard the Andrea Ali-trained horse who had over a half-million in career earnings.
Not making an afternoon appearance since July’s Cornhusker (G3), Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Warrant returns Thursday Jan. 26 in race 5 of 8 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Post time is 3:15 p.m. CT for the conditional $80,000 optional claimer written for older horses.
Trained by Brad Cox, Warrant’s last seven starts have been at the graded-stakes level. Pegged at 4-5 in the morning line, Warrant’s main rival is the Bret Calhoun-trained Mailman Money, but any of the five older males entered have run comparable speed figures which should make them competitive. They just haven’t run against as classy of company as the Oklahoma Derby (G3) winner.
Finishing a head shy of Express Train in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) last March, Warrant has 11 in-the-money finishes from 12 starts. The 5-year-old by Constitution has put in eight local works, including going five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Jan. 15, the best of 44 morning works at that distance.
Drawing post No. 2, Warrant will receive the services of jockey Florent Geroux who currently sits at 1,999 career wins.
Five days after being found cast in his stall and scratching from a first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds on Saturday’s “Road to the Derby Day” undercard, the Brendan Walsh barn reports that everything is going well for the Godolphin-homebred Banishing. Walsh made the decision to not run Banishing on Saturday after discovering he had scraped up his hind leg.
“Everything has gone the way we would hope,” Walsh said, adding there is no plan in place yet for when Banishing will return to training or for which race he will be targeting.
The son of Ghostzapper ran a 96 Brisnet Speed figure when breaking his maiden at Fair Ground on December’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” undercard. Looking to make his first start as a 3-year-old last Saturday, as a juvenile Banishing ran only twice, but he has impressed his barn and horseplayers alike, who bet him to 27-1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3.
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.