Kneesnhips Wins Lacombe Boldly Going Where No Horse Has Gone Before

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Kneesnhips Wins Lacombe Boldly Going Where No Horse Has Gone Before
Amoss sweeps Fair Grounds’ 3-year-old turf stakes


New Orleans, LA (March 12, 2022) — Ears pricked and fully extended, Joel Politi’s Kneesnhips paved a new path in winning the 15th running of the $75,000 Allen Lacombe Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. She made her closing bid sixteen lanes wide –wider than any horse has run on Stall-Wilson turf course this meet. Following last Saturday’s win in the Black Gold with the colt Dowagiac Chief, trainer Tom Amoss and jockey James Graham completed the sweep of the two 3-year-old turf stakes. Dowagiac Chief did his running on the lead and Kneesnhips’ score in the fillies division couldn’t be any more different. Like the man after whom the race was named, trainer Tom Amoss’ instructions to James Graham were old school.

“He told me he wanted to be able to high-five me on the outside fence,” Graham said.

The evening sun lit up the pristine grass along the outside fence, and as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolled through the Irish Channel, Graham put Kneesnhips in position for a celebratory feast.

“Fresh ground and a fresh horse — she was happy,” Graham said.

The top three finishers across the line settled in back as sprint-to-route 72.80-1 longshot Taylor’s Wish lead through the first three calls while pressed by Dreamworker, posting fractions of 24.69, 50.72, and 1:16.69 over a turf course rated as good with the rail 17 feet out. Kneesnchips, who saved ground throughout, swung wide from last and rallied off the heels of California Angel down as far wide as the sixteen-path, nearing the outside fence, where trainer Tom Amoss was waiting with his arm outstretched. She rallied in tandem with California Angel, but bested that rival by a length in a final time 1:41.64 for the about one mile distance.

Owner Joel Politi and Amoss have had plenty of reasons to high five before, including with 2019 Rachel Alexandra (G2) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner, Serengeti Empress

“James, an incredible ride and Tom coming off the bench had her ready,” Politi said. “It’s very exciting. A young filly on the grass there’s limitless options. Hopefully, we’ll take her up north and have some fun this summer.”

Despite being the only graded stakes winner in the field, California Angel was somewhat dismissed at 4.90-1. Unsettled early while tossing her head while covered up at the rail, she made her move on the turn for home, fanning to the ten-path. She traded bumps in the stretch, perhaps costing her valuable momentum. She continued on well, only to lose a length decision. After brushing with a foe and starting in the far rear, 1.80-1 favorite New Year’s Surprise made her move to go from eighth at the ¾ pole to third in the stretch. Running well out in the four-path to make her bid for the win, but she was outkicked late, finishing a nose behind California Angel in third.

Kneesnhips displayed progressive 3-year- old form in returning from a four-month layoff to win her first start of the year. She boosted her record to 6-2-0-2 and crossed the six-figure threshold with $105,050. Named for Fair Grounds’ most infamous bon vivant and raconteur, Allen “Black Cat” Lacombe served as publicity director and morning line oddsmaker for decades, and his photo hangs in the press box’s hall of fame.


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 150th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 109th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 25, 2021 through March 27, 2022. More information is available online at

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