Red Route One Reels in Touchuponastar in New Orleans Classic

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  • I’m Very Busy Magnificent in the Muniz
  • Delahaye Grabs First Stakes in the Benson

New Orleans, La (March 23, 2024) – Eighth of nine in the early going of the $500,000 New Orleans Classic (G2) presented by Relyne GI by Hagyard, the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Red Route One scraped the paint on the backstretch, picked off horses one by one, switched off the heels of the pacesetter Touchuponastar in the stretch and rattled home to win by two lengths in a final time of 1:49.14 for the nine furlong distance on a fast track.

Pressed hard by the 2.50-1 lukewarm favorite Best Actor throughout, the Louisiana-bred Touchuponastar, campaigned by Set Hut Stables of former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme and brother and trainer Jeff, set fast early fractions of 23.16 and 46.87. The duo took their battle into the far turn as Louisiana Stakes winner Money Supply and Red Route One inched closer, stride by stride. Touchuponastar, the 2.60-1 close second choice, eventually disposed of Best Actor (5th), but he could not fend off the late charge of Red Route One, who rallied off the leader’s heels mid-stretch before kicking away in the end. It was another 1 ½ lengths back to Money Supply in third.

“That was very good,” jockey Joel Rosario. “I tried to save ground and he did it very well. Down the stretch I had to come out a little bit, but he did everything wonderfully.”

It was the first win since last year’s West Virginia Derby (G3) in August at Mountaineer and only the second graded stakes score in the career of Red Route One. Well managed from the start, the well-traveled 4-year-old now boasts a career record of 18-4-4-2 with earnings of $1,507,425. He is the sixth leading earner for the stud sensation Gun Runner, with four of those trained by Asmussen — Echo Zulu, Gunite and Society being the others. 

“He’s another incredible homebred of Winchell Thoroughbreds,” Asmussen said. “He’s campaigned a lot, traveled a lot. When given the opportunity he will show up. Joel (jockey Rosario) gave him the right trip for the horse. He got a nice set up today but he was good enough to take advantage of it.”

As the 4.90-1 third choice in the field of nine, Red Route One returned $11.80, $5.20 and $2.80. Touchuponastar paid $4.60 and $3.20 while Money Supply paid $3.60 to show.


I’m Very Busy Magnificent in the Muniz

Overcoming the far outside post of 13 older males entered in the Muniz Memorial (G2) presented by Horse Racing Nation, Team Hanley, Richard Schermerhorn, and Paul Braverman’s I’m Very Busy produced a magnificent late kick to win the event by 3 3/4 lengths. Second last-out to international star Warm Heart in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), with the win in the Muniz the 4-year-old trained by Chad Brown has shown all the signs of what could be a stunning campaign.

Piloted by Irad Ortiz Jr., I’m Very Busy traveled the 1 1/18 miles in 1:47.57 over a turf course rated “good.”

Strong Quality led the early charge through opening fractions of :22.80 and :47.33 with Johny’s Fireball hot on his tail. I’m Very Busy found himself settled near the back and traveling in tight quarters a couple paths of the rail. Once tipped out, I’m Very Busy began producing in the clear of the far turn. Having stalked throughout, Gigante busted to the front at the 1/8th pole and briefly appeared to be on his way to the win, but having circled the field, I’m Very Busy unleashed a dominant late effort to prove best. Gigante ran on for second. Webslinger came late for third, while Beatbox got up late for fourth.  

“It was hard with the (far outside) post position,” Ortiz Jr. said. “But we got lucky, saved some ground in the first turn. We wanted to be a little closer, but the horse made it look easy. He’s always been nice. This year he’s probably doing better since he has more experience. Chad has loved this horse since day one to be honest. He always told me to ride this horse because he is so nice, and he was right.”

I’m Very Busy was sent off as the post-time favorite and returned $6.80, $5.00, and $3.40.

From a career record of 9-3-3-1, the Pennsylvania bred Cloud Computing colt tallies $590,450 in earnings.

Delahaye Grabs First Stakes in the Benson

William Lawrence and Three Chimneys Farm’s lightly-raced 4-year-old Delahaye produces late to make the $150,000 Tom Benson Memorial at Fair Grounds her first stakes victory in just her first try. Pressing, passing, and holding off the late charge of Join the Dance by 3/4 length, Delahaye completed the 1 1/16 miles across a “good” turf course in 1:42.76. 

Trained by Chad Brown, Delahaye secured the first of two stakes wins for the barn, along with I’m Very Busy’s dominant Muniz victory. 

Not So Close set the pace, clicking through the opening calls in :23.01 and :48.28 while Delahaye set up shop to her outside. Making her bid in the upper stretch, Delahaye wrestled the lead away from Not So Close at the 1/16th pole and gave enough to earn the victory, though Join the Dance was flying late to earn second. Not So Close hung on for third by a head over fellow forward foe Oeuvre who traveled wide and finished fourth.

“All the credit goes to Chad and his team,” Gaffalione said. “She broke alertly, put herself in a good spot, traveled good throughout and when I asked, finished the job well. She waited a bit at the wire. She’s shown in her past two races that she has ability, and today, she proved it.”

Delahaye returned $9.00, $4.80, and $3.80.

Delahaye’s lifetime record of 4-3-1-0 has earned her connections $194,650. 


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



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