FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Joe Kristufek
Racing Analyst/Media Relations
UNBRIDLED CLASS SPRINGS THE UPSET
IN NELSON J. MENARD MEMORIAL
A poor start costs favored Hotshot Anna all chance in her bid for six straight wins
New Orleans (January 25, 2020) – Dismissed at odds of 25-1, L. T. B Inc. and Hillerich Racing, Inc.’s 5-year-old Indiana-bred mare Unbridled Class broke on top in the Nelson J. Menard at Fair Grounds under leading rider Colby Hernandez and she never looked back, posting a 2 ¾ length victory in the 5 ½ furlong event on firm turf.
Trained by Bernie Flint, Unbridled Class stopped the timer in 1:03.84. Play On finished second and Change of Control was third.
“She broke really sharp and she has really good early speed,” said Hernandez, who won three races on the card. “After we got to the front, I was kind of just along for the ride. She does it all on her own and just ran them off their feet. Turning for home I knew I had a ton of horse under me and glad we got it done today.”
Sent off as the 3-2 favorite off five consecutive wins, Hotshot Anna lost all chance when she broke awkwardly at the start and then was checked back to last. She finished eighth in the field of 11.
“In the first jump, her head went up, so it was not the start I wanted,” said jockey Santo Sanjur. “We were not able to get a good position after that.”
Off a win in the locally run Pan Zareta last time out, Play On was the public’s 2-1 second choice. She enjoyed a clear, stalking trip, but never seriously threatened the winner.
“She ran good,” said jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. “She was second best today. The horse on the lead got the jump on us turning for home and she never came back to us.”
It was the ninth win in 19 starts for Unbridled Class, who is now three for four on turf. The homebred daughter of Unbridled Express has now banked $367,145.
In other news…
According to his agent Richie Price, jockey Jack Gilligan suffered fractured cheek bones and a broken collarbone as the result of spill in Friday’s ninth race. He is expected to miss six weeks of action. Agent Anthony Martin reports that his rider Shaun Bridgmohan suffered a groin strain as a result of the same accident. He hopes to resume riding next week.
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 is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 13 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 148th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 107 th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 28, 2019 through March 29, 2020. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.
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