By Ryan Martin
Gary Broad’s Student Body ($24.80, $14.40 and $10.20) broke sharp from the starting gate and never looked back in Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ Fat Tuesday feature – the $75,000 Mardi Gras Stakes over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.
Guided to victory by jockey Miguel Mena, the daughter of Colonel John wasted no time from the break and went straight to the front setting opening fractions of 22.57, 46.55 and 58.09. In the final furlong, Student Body was confronted by La Dame Blanche but was able to keep her at bay and hung on to win the Mardi Gras Stakes by a neck. La Dame Blanche ($6.20 and $4.40) was second and Excessivespending ($4.20) was third.
Completing the order of finish were She’s All Skeet, Contributing, Golden Days and Miss Southern Miss.
Oxford Comma, who was pulled up at the three sixteenths, was vanned off and humanely euthanized.
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who was unseated as a result of Oxford Comma’s catastrophic injury, was transported to University Medical Center New Orleans for further evaluation. According to agent Anthony Martin, Bridgmohan was complaining of right shoulder pain.
Trained by Chris Davis, Student Body has now won five of her nine lifetime starts and has won over all three surfaces. The Mardi Gras Stakes was her first stakes victory and enhanced her career earnings up to $158,556.
“Chris gave me some instructions and said that there’s no Plan B and to just go,” Mena said. “That’s what we did. We sent her to the front, she likes to be on the lead and when (La Dame Blanche) came to her she fought on and got the job done.”
Davis is familiar with the 5-year-old mare’s bloodlines having trained her half-bother, Student Body Left.
“She’s pretty prolific on dirt and today we got the opportunity to run her on turf and she showed what she can do, she’s a very nice filly,” Davis said. “A lot of synthetic horses usually take to the grass. Not all of them, but most of them. She’s really fast. We’ll see how she bounces out, talk to the clients and go from there.”
Bred in Kentucky by C. Kidder, N. Cole, J. K. Griggs & Linda Griggs, Student Body is out of the Stormy Atlantic broodmare Stormy Antics. She was purchased for $19,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016, where she was consigned by Gainesway.