Ova Charged’s Connections Thinking Big Following Happy Ticket Score

New Orleans, LA (November 18, 2022)—With stable star Ova Charged showing the way and Spirited Beauty chasing her home in second, the Brittlyn Stable Star Guitar fillies filled out the exacta in the 1st running of the 6-furlong $75,000 Happy Ticket Stakes for older Louisiana-bred females, one of three restricted stakes run on the opening day Friday program at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

“She ran to our expectations of just breezing today,” trainer Jose Camejo said after the race. “We’ve been taking our time with her, giving her all summer. She went through a couple things and only worked her a couple times and she showed off today that she is the best Louisiana-bred.”

Not racing since her win last March in the Page Cortez, .30-1 Ova Charged proved she is still the top Louisiana-bred sprinter. The only fraction she didn’t lead was the first as Drop Dead Sexy shot out to the front from the outside post, stopping the quarter-mile timer in 21.78 seconds. Shuffled back after the break, Ova Charged’s rider Jose Rodriguez waited for a lane then prompted her through, quickly making the lead at 45.28, and opening up in the homestretch. Following the entire way, stablemate Spirited Beauty cruised along in second through the stretch, showing energy and shrinking the final gap to two lengths. Snowball came late for third.  Ova Charged cruised under the wire, stopping the clock at 1:11.04.

“I was thinking that if she was able to get in one race over the summer, we would enter her in the Breeders’ Cup (Filly & Mare Sprint), but we decided to just let her be a horse,” Camejo said. “But that’s something we are targeting for next year. Hopefully we keep her sound and she gets in.”

On his first day riding at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, jockey Jose Rodriguez scored a riding triple.

With a 7-6-1-0 record and $264,600 in earnings, Louisiana-bred fillies across the state are saying their prayers tonight that Ova Charged will take her unique talents out of the restricted ranks and into graded stakes waters.


A G’s Charlotte Runs Down Winning Romance in the Big World Stakes

The first stakes win for trainer Patricia West was a sentimental one for the connections. Named after owner Thomas Galvin’s granddaughter, their filly A G’s Charlotte stole the show in the 1st running of the $75,000 Big World Stakes at 1 mile 70 yards for older Louisiana-bred females. 

“It’s been a little bit of a challenge for her,” West said in the winner’s circle. “With her running style she is always chasing fillies and we’ve been waiting for her to get more and more mature. She got there today.”

The set-up was perfect for the 9.90-1 closer to make a late splash. Front runner Cheapskate Diva ran off under Colby Hernandez making the rounds in 23.58, 46.98, and 1:12.65 while leading by as many as 5 lengths. Betting-favorite Winning Romance let her go, but she began to reel her back in little by little, eventually grabbing the lead at the stretch call. A G’s Charlotte’s jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. let her loose at the perfect moment to nail Winning Romance at the wire in 1:43.56, winning by a neck.

“Those were hot fractions today,” Pedroza Jr. said. “Patricia (trainer West) told me to not get her into gear too early because she would make her move. When I put her into gear, she was right, and she got there in time.”

Adding another win for a career record of 11-4-1-2, A G’s Charlotte surely made her namesake proud and maybe she’ll share a portion of her $124,660 lifetime earnings with her, too.            


Free Drop Maddy’s Ferguson Win Sets the Stage for the Rest of her Fair Grounds Campaign

Mansfield Racing’s Free Drop Maddy set the record straight on who is the 2-year-old filly to fear in Louisiana, winning the 1st running of the 5 1/2 furlong $75,00 Donovan L. Ferguson Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths. After two lackluster races at Delta Downs, the talent she displayed breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs could be questioned on paper, but trainer Bret Calhoun knew better.

“She’d been training great,” Calhoun said after the race. “I’m not sure Delta was her best surface. We were pretty confident today, and we had really targeted her for a campaign here this winter.”

Under James Graham, Cced for Steph broke out to the front and took the advantage through the first call in 22.59. Positioned to her immediate outside by jockey Rey Gutierrez, 1.40-1 betting favorite Free Drop Maddy didn’t waste any time taking over after that. She completed the second call in front in 46.51. 29.70-1 longshot Addi Bug made her big move late, flying past runners in the turn but Free Drop Maddy was long gone and had plenty left as she crossed the wire in 1:05.29. Don’tcallmepatsy kept it close early and managed to hang on for third after running in that position the entire race.

Rey Gutierrez piloted three winners on the day.

With 5 races under her belt, Free Drop Maddy racked up win number 2 to go with her 1 second and 2 thirds. That makes an impressive $165,800 earned for this juvenile by Free Drop Billy.

Live racing resumes at Fair Grounds on Saturday with a first post of 1:15 p.m. CT. Three more Louisiana-bred Stakes – the Joseph R. Peluso Memorial (race 5), the Scott’s Scoundrel (race 7) and the Monte Man (race 8) – are featured on the nine-race program.


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.

Horse Racing at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots