Olympiad Scores a Perfect 10 in Mineshaft — No Looking Back for Cavalry Charge in The Fair Grounds — AL Stall and Colonel Power recaps
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Olympiad Scores a Perfect 10 in Mineshaft
Speightstown colt shaves .01 off the track record
New Orleans, LA (February 19, 2022) – The expectations were high for Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables and LNJ Foxwoods’ Olympiad entering Saturday’s $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and his performance left onlookers wanting more.
Sent off as the 1.00-1 favorite under jockey Junior Alvarado, the 4-year-old son of Speightstown broke alertly and sat the perfect, pressing trip outside the unexpected pacesetter Silver Prospector through even fractions of 24.18, 48.11 and 1:12.48. He took the lead from his stubborn foe at the top of the stretch, and extended his margin of victory to 2 ¼ lengths under the wire, stopping the timer in 1:42.01 for 1 1/8th miles, shaving .01 off the previous track record set by Pie In Your Eye way back in 1994. It was another length back to Miles D in third.
“That’s the kind of horse that makes your work very easy,” Alvarado said. “He leaves the gate, you nudge him a little bit, and he takes you for a nice ride the whole way. The longer stretch (at Fair Grounds) helped him today. He’s a horse that needs more than a 1/16th mile stretch run to pick it up and he proved that today.”
Not once on the lead past the opening quarter or half mile in any of his career route races, Silver Prospector unexpectedly landed on the front end early from post two.
“He broke well, he put himself there,” jockey Joel Rosario said. “He enjoyed what he was doing, really comfortable. I thought it was an honest pace. Turning for home I thought we had him, but he got beat by a nice horse today.”
It was the first career graded stakes win in the promising career of the lightly raced Olympiad, who now boasts a career resume of 7-4-1-1 with $348,440 in the bank. — Kristufek
No Looking Back for Cavalry Charge in The Fair Grounds
Brown’s French-import Adhamo gamely comes head short
Out front and in style, going 1 ? mile Cavalry Charge won the 36th running of the $150,000 Fair Grounds (G3). There was some redemption for this West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook, and Robert Masiello 35.30-1 longshot, who captured his first stake in graded company after finishing 9th last out in the Colonel Bradley against a few of the same rivals.
“That’s his style,” trainer Dallas Stewart said of the forwardly placed run. “We ran into a wet turf course last time and we ran into trouble. But today Brian (jockey Hernandez) rode him well, and he knows him really well.”
In second but vying for the lead with Two Emmys (3.20-1) through the 24.79 first call while running on the rail, Cavalry Charge forged to the lead, holding it through a 49.70 half and 1:14.10 three-quarters. He extended the advantage to 2 ½ in the stretch, dug in bravely and fought off a late surge from Adhamo, Halo Again, and the 2.70-1 post time favorite Santin with less than a length separating the top-four. Finishing up in 1:53.06 for nine furlongs on firm going. “He was running hard,” jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said. “With horses in a graded race like that behind us you know they’re going to be coming at him like they did. He’s gutsy and he fought it out until the end.”
The win in The Fair Grounds boosted Cavalry Charge’s earnings up to $394,956 from a 16-5-2-2 record. – Kilroy
Brian Hernandez Jr., jockey of Cavalry Charge
“You have to give all the credit to Dallas Stewart and his crew,” Brian Hernandez Jr. said. “Coming off the race Cavalry Charge ran last time, he had the confidence to run him back here today. He sent out a live horse today, all I had to do was get him in position. Once I got him into position under the wire the first time, knowing the horse like I do, I thought he’d be tough to beat. He was there for us today.”
Dallas Stewart, trainer of Cavalry Charge
“I want to thank West Point Thoroughbreds and everybody here with them. We’ve had kind of an up-and-down day today. But they fight hard. “If he keeps going forward, we’ll be right here in the big one [The Muniz] at the end.”
Jose Ortiz, jockey on Adhamo
“I think the winner had a better trip than me on the inside,” Jose Ortiz said. “He cut the corner there and he beat me there. First time in the country, she ran very good.”
Pyron Runs Down Just Might in the Colonel Power
19-1 Outsider Turns the Tables on the Odds On Favorite
Rallying from last in the field of seven, Ken Copenhaver’s Pyron got up in the final strides to defeat the .70-1 favorite Just Might in Saturday’s $100,00 Colonel Power Stakes.
Just Might controlled the early tempo through fractions of 22.44 and 46.37 and held well to the wire, but Pyron was not to be denied, rallying while seven-wide to win by a half-length under jockey Declan Carroll. It was a neck back to Gray Attempt in third. The final time for 5 ½ furlongs on firm turf was 1:04.60.
“First off, thank you to Mr. Stall,” jockey Declan Carroll said. “These opportunities don’t come often, so it’s very nice to make the most of them when they do. Today he (Pyron) broke sharp but we knew the plan was to make the one run with him, that’s his best running style. We figured that out when we first ran with him here (third in the Thanksgiving Classic). He proved he can run with these horses, and we are very proud of him and I just couldn’t be more thankful.”
Third behind Just Might in both the Thanksgiving Classic on dirt and the Richard Scherer Memorial on dirt this Fair Grounds meet, Pyron turned the tables on Saturday for trainer Al Stall, Jr. He skipped the Duncan F. Kenner last month in favor of some extra time between starts.
“It takes strong legs to dance every dance” Stall said. “This horse has some age on him, so we gave him a little barn breather and he freshened up really well. He looked fabulous in the paddock, was training great. Things just had to go his way. We learned a lot about this horse. The further back the better, just let him fire. They came back to him also, so everything came together at once and that’s what it takes to win these races.”
A two-time stakes winner at the meet, Just Might was disqualified from the Kenner last month for backstretch interference. This heartbreak was similar, but different.
“He was doing everything comfortably,” jockey Colby Hernandez said. “He dug in. He just got caught in the last few jumps. The turf may be favoring horses from off the pace.”
With the win, the 6-year-old son of Candy Ride raised his record to 18-5-2-5 with earnings of $355,925. — Kristufek
She Can’t Sing? But She Can Dance Two Turns!
Block-trained mare edges Pass the Plate by a neck
Making her first attempt at 1 1/16 miles, and her first go at two-turns in her last 20 starts, Lothenbach Stables’ She Can’t Sing scored the 24.50-1 upset victory in the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial.
“I’d like to thank Chris Block (trainer) for this,” Jareth Loveberry said. “We were talking about it the last time she ran that we’d like to stretch her out. The way that she does workouts in the morning and the way she galloped out of the race last time we felt pretty confident that she would stretch out today.”
Never racing more than two-wide, She Can’t Sing saved ground, maneuvered through traffic coming out of the second turn, found the rail again and bursted home. Adelaide Miss comfortably held the lead through the first three calls of 23.67, 48.80, and 1:14.84 before fading back to last. The 2.90-1 favorite Pass the Plate moved early to make the lead down the center of the course at the mile stretch call, edging out second-favorite 3.60-1 Abscond but a neck short of beating She Can’t Sing home in a final time of 1:46.22 for 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf.
Trained by Chris Block and ridden by Jareth Loveberry, She Can’t Sing improves to 27-5-6-4 with $411,938 collected for her efforts. — Kilroy
Jareth Loveberry, jockey of She Can’t Sing
“It got a little hairy there in the second turn but I made the right spot, she had the horse to stay where she was and turned for home it was all her. It feels great.”
Marcelino Pedroza, jockey of Pass the Plate
“She was kinda slow out of the gate. I had to move wide, but she liked that. When I hit her right-handed she went back to the left lead and lost the momentum a little bit. She tried to get back going but she could not hold it and got beat today.”
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.