Mineshaft, Louisiana, Stall & Colonel Power Previews


Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Notes Writer/Media Relations
[email protected]
Chad Schexnayder contributed to this report
Photo: @hodgesphoto


Louisiana Derby Preview Day – Saturday, February 19


Six stakes have been carded by racing secretary Scott Jones and his crew for Saturday’s “Louisiana Derby Preview Day”, including the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) presented by Lamarque Ford and its sister race, the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra presented by Fasig-Tipton. The top four finishers in those two events will earn qualifying points (50-20-10-5) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) respectively.

Starting with the Albert M. Stall Memorial (race 9 at 3:55 p.m. CT, the “All Stakes Late Pick Five” covers the final five races on the card (9-13) and there will be a $500,000 guaranteed pool. First post is scheduled for noon CT.


Miles D, Olympiad Invade for Mineshaft

Full Field to Take Advantage of Missing Monsters

New Orleans, LA (February 15, 2022)—The saying goes something like when the cats away the mice will play.

The two Fair Grounds-based big cats – Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon – are enroute halfway across the globe to renew their rivalry for a $20 million purse in the Saudi Cup later this month.

Left behind for the $250,000 Mineshaft (G3) are more than a few mice with big plans for a party in the Big Easy Saturday evening.

Vying for favoritism will be Olympiad (3/1) and Miles D (7/2) – a pair of late developing 3-year-olds who hope their best days as older horses start right here at Fair Grounds.

Olympiad, owned in partnership by Robert Clay’s Grandview Equine, Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stable LLC, and Larry, Nanci and Jamie Roth’s LNJ Foxwoods, figures to be part of the pace under Junior Alvarado.

The Speightstown colt trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott had a rough trip two starts back in the Cigar Mile (G1) but still managed to finish fourth. He made his four-year-old debut in demanding fashion winning an allowance race by open lengths at Gulfstream on Jan. 15.

Sporting an identical 6-3-1-1 record as his adversary Olympiad is Peter Brant and Bob LaPenta’s Miles D. Trained by Chad Brown, Miles D has done all his racing in New York but ships over from Brown’s winter base in Florida for this assignment.

“This horse has done well,” Brown said. “He ran late in the year over at Aqueduct and put up a very nice win against a very talented horse (Speaker’s Corner). He’s wintered well and now it’s time to get his 4-year old season started. The race came up deeper than I thought it would. He’s going to really have to fire off the layoff to beat these horses.”

Team Valor International sends over a major threat to the field with Untreated (9/2) for Todd Pletcher.

Tagged with the 10-hole under Luis Saez, the $550,000 Nyquist colt has three wins from five lifetime starts. He ran behind Essential Quality in the Blue Grass last year in his only stakes outing.

All three horses will be looking for their first graded stakes victory in this 1 1/16 miles contest.

Another lightly raced 4-year-old yearning for his first graded stakes win is Fair Grounds connoisseur O Besos. Owned in partnership by Bernard Racing LLC, Tagg Team Racing, West Point Thoroughbreds and Terry Stephens, O Besos owns three wins from five starts in New Orleans, including a third place finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2) last year.

 The Greg Foley trainee is listed as 6-1 on Mike Diliberto’s morning line.

Providing a little lagniappe to the field are a pair of 7-year-olds in CPK Stables’ Midcourt and Charles Fipke’s well-traveled Title Ready.

Midcourt exits California where he has spent his entire 18-race career piling up $613,195 in earnings with a 6-3-4 record. He John Sheriffs-trained gelding only raced twice in 2021 and will be looking for his first graded stakes win since capturing the San Pasqual (G2) back in Feb. of 2020.

Title Ready won his only start at Fair Grounds last year when rallied to win the Louisiana Stakes (G3) for Dallas Stewart. The More Than Ready gelding has not been himself since traveling to Dubai for the 2021 World Cup resulted in an 11th place finish.

After taking the summer off, he returned to run third in an allowance race at Churchill Downs before off the board finishes in a listed stakes at Oaklawn Park in Dec. and the Pegasus World Cup (G1) last month.

Miles D is listed the 122-pound highweight while the rest of the field is tagged with 118 pounds. The Mineshaft is a prep race for the $500,000 New Orleans Classic (G2) to be run on March 26.

With a post time of 4:25 p.m. CST, the Mineshaft will run as the 10th race of the 13-race card.

The field with post position, jockey/trainer and morning line odds is as follows:

Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider’s Sprawl (Post 1, Tyler Gaffalione/Tom Drury, 20/1 ML), off the board last out in Louisiana (G3); Ed and Susie Orr’s Silver Prospector (Post 2, Joel Rosario/Steve Asmussen, 15/1 ML), a win here make his a millionaire; Charles Fipke’s Title Ready (Post 3, Reylu Gutierrez/Dallas Stewart 20/1 ML), last win came in the 2021 Louisiana (G3); Robert Clay’s Grandview Equine, Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stable LLC, and Larry, Nanci and Jamie Roth’s LNJ Foxwoods Olympiad (Post 4, Junior Alvarado/William Mott, 3/1 ML), fourth in the Cigar Mile (G1); Peter Brant and Robert LaPenta’s Miles D (Post 5, Jose Ortiz/Chad Brown, 7/2 ML), third in last year’s Travers (G1); Flying P Stable’s Fort Peck (Post 6, Ramon Vazquez/Robertino Diodoro, 20/1 ML), looking for his first stakes win; C R K Stable’s Midcourt (Post 7, Florent Geroux/John Sheriffs 8/1 ML), multiple G1 placed contender; O Besos (Post 8, Brian Hernandez/Greg Foley 6/1 ML), all three lifetime wins have come at Fair Grounds; Lothenbach Stable’s Happy American (Post 9, James Graham/Neil Pessin, 6/1 ML), just missed in the Tenacious in his last start; Team Valor International’s Untreated  (Post 10, Luis Saez/ Todd Pletcher, 9/2 ML), winner of consecutive allowance races at Aqueduct; Frank Calabrese’s Big Dreaming (Post 11, Jareth Loveberry/Wayne Catalano, 15/1 ML), returns to dirt for the first time since May. – Schexnayder


Group 3 Winner Adhamo Makes The Fair Grounds his North American Debut  

 Top 3 from Bradley face slew of classy turf stars

The top three finishers from the Colonel Bradley enter Saturday’s $150,000 The Fair Grounds (G3) in form, but the waters are much deeper this time around. Stretching out to 1 1/8 miles on the turf, they’ll take on a Chad Brown French import, classy foes with high hopes, and last year’s winner. Eleven total 4-year-olds or older are entered. Race 11, post time is 4:56 pm CT.

Consistently successful importing European turf horses to American winners circles, at first asking no less, trainer Chad Brown enters Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Louis Lazzinnaro’s Adhamo in The Fair Grounds. Making his first start of his 4-year-old season, Adhamo’s four wins came all in a row–two at the end of his 2-year-old campaign and two to kick off as a 3-year old–and culminated in a Group 3 score in the Prix la Force going 1 1/8 miles. Three of those wins came over soft going and one on Chantilly’s synthetic track.

“He trains really solid,” Brown said. “He’s been a nice addition to the stable. I like what I see so far. Since I am sending Zandon (for the Risen Star), I took a look at the rest of the card, and I loved the distance of the race. I feel the course might suit this horse. I’m not sure that he will want to be on rock-hard grounds as he would be maybe at Gulfstream. I am optimistic about the distance and the course might suit him. He’s a fun horse to get started on the card. These first-time in the country horses coming out of our barn seem to be popular horses so I’m happy to bring him over there and participate on the card and I think he’ll give a good account of himself.”

Previously trained by Freddie Head, this Intello colt bred in Ireland by Wertheimer et Frere has been based and raced in France before being sold and transferred to Brown’s barn. Jose Ortiz gets the call and will begin from post six (9/2 ML).

With two wins, a grade 1 placing, and a bullet work, Godolphin’s lightly-raced Santin has the PPs of a horse who will likely get bet in half from his 12-1 morning line odds. Making the first start of his 4-year-old season for trainer Brendan Walsh, Santin lost by a neck to Beyond Brilliant last out in the 1⅛ mile Hollywood Derby.

“The Hollywood Derby was his last chance to take on three-year-olds, so we said we sent him out there,” Walsh said. “Of course he was drawn 14 of 14 which wasn’t ideal, but I thought he ran a bang-up race. I think he is a pretty good horse. I think this is a good race to get his year started off.”

Tyler Gaffalione will make his first trip abroad this Godolphin homebrad from post three. Godolphin received both the 2021 Outstanding Owner and Outstanding Breeder Eclipse Awards. 

“He’ll probably improve for us because he is a big growth horse,” Walsh said. “He’s about as fit as he can be at home without running him. We didn’t stop on him very long when you think about it. He ran in California at the end of November, so he wasn’t off for that long. He’s been working great. He put in some real nice pieces of work in Palm Meadows in preparation for this race. I do think he will improve on Saturday. He’s ready to go.”

Making his second-start after being sidelined for a year, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creek Racing Stable’s Largent bypassed a return to the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) in favor of two more works at Palm Beach Downs and a softer spot in The Fair Grounds (G3). The post time favorite in January’s Tropical Turf (G3), Largent finished fourth, but his first time out of the exacta in 11 starts. Installed as the 7/2 second favorite, Largent only made one start in 2021, finishing second by a neck to Colonial Liam in the Pegasus Turf (G1). Named after Seattle Seahawks Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent, Luis Saez will ride this 6-time-winning 6-year-old from post ten with tactical options.

Overcome by his pressers last out in the Colonel Bradley, Hugh Robertson and Wolfe Racing’s Two Emmys led the entire race until the final jump, finishing third by a ½ length. Morning line oddsmaker Mike Diliberto elevates the grade one winner to 3-1 favoritism. Breaking from the far outside in post eleven, he’ll need to repeat the sharp move he made to the front from the outside two back in the Sycamore if he wants the lead. Trainer Hugh Robertson calls on James Graham to guide his four-time winning 6-year-old.

“He doesn’t need to be in front,” Robertson said. “If he’s in front that’s fine, if he’s back a few lengths that’s fine–he ran well here coming from dead last one time going one mile, wove his way through horses. I think he’ll run wherever he gets light. We’ll just have to let Jimmy decide what to do and see how the pace turns out.” 

Winner of the Colonial Bradley last out, Three Diamond Farms’ Forty Under is one-for-one on the turf at the nine furlong distance, winning a second-level allowance last summer at Saratoga while leading at every call. Mike Maker keeps with Mitchell Murrill after he guided Forty Under to the Bradley winner’s circle pressing Two Emmys and slipping by when it counted. He will break from post two (8-1 ML). Just three wins in forty-one starts at Fair Grounds, Maker also sends out stakes-winner Monarchs Glen.

Previously a Woodbine synth-specialist, Willis Horton Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Halo Again tried the turf for the first time, winning the Diliberto in December. His second turf start was equally impressive, though finishing second by a head to Forty Under in the Colonel Bradley.

“Both of his runs this meet have been solid as can be,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “We were a little unlucky to lose the head bob last time [in the Colonel Bradley] but that’s horse racing. We hope to get there first on Saturday.”

Joel Rosario keeps the mount and assuredly has tactical options as he guides Halo Again nine furlongs, the furthest turf distance he’s been asked to go (post seven, 6- ML). 

The remainder of the field with post position, jockey/trainer and morning line odds is as follows: William Sandbrook and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Cavalry Charge (post one, Brian Hernandez Jr./Dallas Stewart, 12-1 ML) finished ninth last out trying stakes company for the first time in the Colonel Bradley; Lloyd Madison Farms’ Major Fed (post four, Florent Geroux/Greg Foley, 12-1 ML), a 2020 Kentucky Derby horse, will be making his first start on the turf after finishing fifth in the Tenacious last out; Michael Hui and WSS Racing’s Monarchs Glen (post five, Junior Alvarado/Mike Maker, 12-1 ML), a stakes-winner, ran seventh in the Colonel Bradley, but a strong third in both the Diliberto and Wright; Lothenbach Stables’ Captivating Moon (post eight, Jareth Loveberry/Chris Block, 20-1 ML) has not raced since July’s Arlington, but won the 2021 Fair Grounds on yielding turf at odds of 43.50-1; Homewrecker Racing’s Point Me By (post nine, Adam Beschizza/Eddie Kenneally, 20-1 ML), winner of the 2021 Bruce D (G1), puts blinkers on after finishing second in the Woodchopper. — Kilroy

Additional Quote:

Trainer Brendan Walsh on Santin

“We had him this time last year in Florida, and we had some issues, and we had to turn him out again,” Walsh said. “When he came back in the fall we were excited about him. And we’ve always thought we’ve loved the horse. And he kinda proved it. There was no turf in Churchill thus I had to send him to Indiana and see how he’d do there. He answered the question there. He went to Keeneland and he won his allowance race against older horses well.”


Pass the Plate Goes For Another Win in Stall Memorial

Full Field of Older Fillies & Mares Battle on Turf


If you like playing darts then trying to handicap the filly and mare turf division at Fair Grounds the past couple of seasons has been your game.

The series usually ends up with different winners each time and handicappers enjoy full fields that tend to produce square-priced winners.

The same should hold true on Saturday when a field of 10 older fillies and mares unite for the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial on the turf course named after the longtime Louisiana Racing Commission chairman.

Lukewarm morning line favorite at 3-1 is Silverton Hill’s Pass the Plate.

The 5-year-old Temple City mare has shown her affection for the Stall-Wilson turf course with a 5-2-0-2 record that includes a last to first dash to win the Marie Krantz Memorial last month.

Trained by Paul McGee, Pass the Plate will be ridden once again by Marcelino Pedroza Jr. who will look for clear sailing once again the stretch.

Three of her rivals from the Krantz pop back up here including the Krantz favorite Abscond for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

Coming off a layoff in the Krantz, Abscond could only muster a sixth place finish. She will look to make amends here under jockey Adam Beschizza and is listed at 7/2 on the morning line.

The lightly raced 4-year-old filly Amiche (5/1) has done little wrong for her connections and will be searching for her first stakes win in this race. Trained by Cherie DeVaux, Amiche ran well to finish second as the favorite against straight 3-year-old fillies in the Pago Hop Stakes in December.  

Pass the Plate picks up four pounds from her win in the Marie Krantz Memorial to carry top weight of 122 pounds. The rest of field will go with 118.

With a post time of 3:55 p.m. CST, the Stall Memorial will be run as the ninth race on the 13-race card. The field with post position, jockey/trainer and morning line odds is as follows:

Silverton Hill LLC’s Pass The Plate (Post 1, Marcelino Pedroza/Paul McGee, 3/1 ML), coming off a nice win in the Marie Krantz Memorial last out; Robert Evans’ Mo Normal (Post 2, Deshawn Parker/Kelly Rubley, 20/1 ML), making her stakes debut; Apogee Bloodstock’s Abscond (Post 3, Adam Beschizza/Eddie Kenneally 7/2 ML), off the board as the favorite last time in the Marie Krantz Memorial; Respect The Valley LLC’s Out of Sorts (Post 4, Luis Saez/Brittany Russell 8/1 ML), races with blinker for the first time; She Can’t Sing (Post 5, Jareth Loveberry/Chris Block 12/1 ML), who stretches out around two turns for the first time in her last 20 starts; Respect the Valley’s Adelaide Miss (Post 6, Colby Hernandez/Brittany Russell, 8/1 ML), likely pacesetter in Stall Memorial; Gary Broad’s Dawn Dancer (Post 7, Jose Ortiz/Christopher Davis, 8/1 ML), ships in from Florida; Backstretch Farm LLC & Manganaro Bloodstock’s Amiche (Post 8, Brian Hernandez Jr./Cherie DeVaux, 5/1 ML), ran second in the Pago Hop last time out; Bradley Thoroughbreds’ I Hear You (Post 9, Tyler Gaffalione/Brendan Walsh, 10/1 ML), going for her first stakes win; Glen Hill Farm’s Drapes (Post 10, Santo Sanjur/James Baker, 10/1 ML), fourth last time sprinting in the Fred Aime Memorial at Fair Grounds. — Schexnayder

DQ’d Just Might Returns After Trouncing Kenner Field 

Cowan seeks to prove being placed first no fluke

For Just Might and Cowan, more than the purse money is on the line in the $100,000 Colonel Power. This 5 ½-furlong turf rematch is Cowan’s chance to prove he deserved being placed first by the stewards after bothered on the backstretch and finishing 2 ¾ lengths behind Just Might at the finish line. Race seve on a stakes-laden Louisiana Derby Preview Day card, the highly anticipated showdown is scheduled for 2:56 pm CT.

Michelle Lovell and Griffon Farms’ Just Might has finished first seven out of his last eight races. Visually stunning in the Kenner, Just Might’s dominant performance was all for not after being disqualified by the stewards for drifting over on Cowan on the backstretch. Four races back in the Phoenix (G2) at Keeneland, he looked ready to pass the two horses in front of him before grabbing his quarter and falling back. Besides those two instances of bad racing luck, Michelle Lovell’s 6-year-old homebred has been flawless. Fair Grounds’ leader by earnings with $140,500, the Thanksgiving Classic and Scherer winner was made the 7/5 favorite in the morning line. Regular rider Colby Hernandez retains the mount breaking from post two.

Immediately to Just Might’s inside on the rail is William Heiligbrodt, Corinne Heiligbrodt, Madaket Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Cowan. 

Since finishing second in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), Cowan had only made one start on the turf prior to the Kenner, finishing tenth in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) at Meydan. Trained by North America’s leading trainer by wins, Steve Asmussen, Cowan looks to improve in his second start of his 4-year-old season after encountering trouble last out. Installed as a distant second choice in the morning line at 4-1, there’s little doubt that two turf tries in a row on the same course sets up for an improved effort. The only question is will it be enough. Joel Rosario retains the mount in hopes of answering yes.

The remainder of the field with post position, jockey/trainer and morning line odds is as follows: Claiming Game Racing’s Seven Scents (post three, Reylu Gutierrez/Karl Broberg, 8-1 ML) won the Pulse Power Turf Sprint at Sam Houston last out; Joey Keith Davis and Jackie Rojas’ Gray Attempt (post four, Mitchell Murrill/Chris Hartman, 8-1 ML) looks to rack up his fourth win in his last five starts, his one loss was the only stakes race of the set; Ken Copenhaver’s Pyron (post five, Declan Carroll/Albert Stall Jr., 9/2 ML) finished third to Just Might in both the Scherer and the Thanksgiving Classic; Al Shaqab Racing’s Toro Strike (post six, Luis Saez/Todd Pletcher, 5-1 ML) makes his first start in North America having won four times on the turf, including his last start in the Weathersby Hamilton Supreme Stakes (G3); Jerry Romans Jr. and Maria De Jesus Rios Carlos’ Strike Me Down (post seven, Deshawn Parker/Michell Lovell, 15-1 ML) finished third but was placed second after stablemate Just Might’s DQ in the Kenner; Edward Vaughan’s Inhalation (post eight, Adam Beschizza/Edward Vaughan, 20-1 ML) makes the first start of his 5-year-old season after winning two turf sprints as a 4-year-old and finishing three lengths behind Golden Pal in the Woodford (G2). — Kilroy


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 www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.

12/26/2021 - Just Might and jockey Colby Hernandez go gate to wire to win the 16th running of the $75,000 Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir