Pink Polkadots’ Perfection On the Line in “Black Cat” LaCombe 

Contact: Kevin Kilroy
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New Orleans, La (March 7, 2024) – Having never trailed at any call in her first two starts, Carl R. Moore Management’s Pink Polkadots will put her perfect record on the line against nine 3-year-old peers in Saturday’s $100,000 Allen “Black Cat” LaCombe Memorial at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Tabbed as the 9-5 morning line favorite, Pink Polkadots will be tasked with going about one mile across the Stall-Wilson turf course. The portable rail will be set at 21 feet. 

Scheduled as the penultimate contest on Saturday’s 10-race card, post time for the 17th running of the “Black Cat” LaCombe is 4:45 p.m. CT. 

Winning her debut going wire-to-wire on New Year’s Eve at 14-1 by 3 1/2 lengths, it was easy to doubt that Pink Polkadots had the goods to repeat against winners next out. Trained by Joe Sharp, the Candy Ride filly lined up with seven other sophomores in a first-level allowance on Feb. 1 and put on another impressive gate-to-wire display, scoring again by over three lengths. Jockey Jaime Torres had her wrapped up with 70 yards to go. Drawing the far outside gate of ten for the “Black Cat,” Pink Polkadots will be reunited with Torres for her class test.

Full of Run Racing II, Cold Press Racing, and Frank Silva’s Pursuit of Liberty has more seasoning than the favorite but she has yet to run as a sophomore. Made 8-1 in the morning line, the Brad Cox trainee won two of her four juvenile races, but failed to class up in November’s My Trusty Cat Stakes, finishing fifth going seven panels in the slop at Delta Downs. In her last start, on the same Dec. 31 card as Pink Polkadots, the half-sibling to Demolition Duke came from off the pace to drive clear, winning her lone turf try by almost two lengths. The Constitution filly drew post 7 and will again be piloted by Florent Geroux.  

The Cox barn will also send out James Schurman’s Ms Quality Control, who two races back broke her maiden going two turns across a muddy track. The daughter of Quality Road finished second to Pink Polkadots on Dec. 31 in her last turf try. 

Tom Amoss will walk two fillies over for the LaCombe, as both Gold Standard Racing Stable’s Ba Dee Yah and Joel Politi’s Tipsy Runner will be trying to accomplish a new feat: win going long across the turf. Both tabbed at 8-1, Ba Dee Yah exits a solid third-place finish to Tarifa in a Road to the Derby Day dirt route allowance, while Tipsy Runner has racked up one win and three seconds in her four local tries–all sprinting on the turf.

Amoss has won the last two editions of this stake with Girl Named Charlie in 2023 and Joel Politi’s Kneesnhips in 2022.

Robert LaPenta and Madaket Stables’s Way to Be Marie has one win from her four races, all on the sod. Taking the lead with a furlong to go and finishing the deal for the 1 1/18 miles December maiden win, the Not This Time filly trained by Rob Atras followed up her lone victory with a game second to Pink Polkadots on Feb. 1. Showing steady improvement in each race, Way to Be Marie was tabbed at 5-1 and attracts the services of Brian Hernandez Jr., his first call for Atras.

Here is the field for the “Black Cat” LaCombe in order of post positions (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Ms Quality Control (C.J. Mcmahon, Brad Cox, 5-1); 2. Ba Dee Yah (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 8-1); 3. Lady Helena (Marcelino Pedroza Jr., Cherie DeVaux, 12-1); 4. Doesn’thurttoflirt (David Cohen, Kelly Rubley, 12-1); 5. Way to Be Marie (Brian Hernandez Jr., Rob Atras, 5-1); 6. Smiling Ellie (Ben Curtis, Mark Casse, 12-1); 7. Pursuit of Liberty (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 8-1); 8. Tipsy Runner (Corey Lanerie, Tom Amoss, 8-1); 9. Emily’s Bullet (Jareth Loveberry, Chasey Pomier, 15-1); 10. Pink Polkadots (Jaime Torres, Joe Sharp, 9-5). 


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 16 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 152nd Thoroughbred Racing Season–highlighted by the 111th running of the Louisiana Derby–will run from Nov. 17, 2023 through March 24, 2024. More information is available online at



Girl Named Charlie horse racing at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots