Oeuvre Takes Command Early To Notch
Fourth Career Stakes Win in the $100,000 Mardi Gras Stakes
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Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Notes Writer/Media Relations
New Orleans (Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023) – Richard Perkins’s homebred Oeuvre lead at every call in the 79th running of the $100,000 Mardi Gras Stakes to rack up her third stakes win of the meet at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and her fourth in a row dating back to the Powerless at Hawthorne. The 4-year-old Illinois-bred beat seven older fillies and mares by 1 1/2 lengths.
Piloted by Jareth Loveberry and trained by Chris Block, Oeuvre completed 5 ½ furlongs in 1:05.76 over the “firm” Stall Wilson Turf Course with the rail remaining 34 feet out.
“It’s all her (Oeuvre),” Block said. “She’s mature and has come into her own. She’s really confident and she relaxes nicely. I didn’t give Jareth (Loveberry) any instructions. I just told him good luck and have some fun out there. Congratulations to Mr. Perkins and thank you so much for putting her in our barn.”
Breaking sharpest in the Mardi Gras was Perfect Happiness, but Oeuvre took command in the early stages to set opening fractions of :22.64 and :47.75. Tracking three-wide was New Boss, who swung into the 7 path in the homestretch to pass Perfect Happiness and assume the role of Oeuvre’s main threat. Goin’ Good followed New Boss and both charged home on the outside willingly but could not make up the open-length advantage Oeuvre had built. New Boss finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over Goin’ Good. It was another 1 length back to Astute.
“There was a little bit more speed to her outside today,” Loveberry said. “She broke comfortably and I didn’t want to get shuffled back too much with the 3 (Astute) sitting inside of me, so I used her a little bit on the backside. She’s able to shut off really easily now as she’s getting more mature and relaxed. When we hit the turn and she switched leads, she dropped the bit and gave me the breath to finish up strong down the lane.”
Perfect Happiness, Miner’s Queen, Minute Waltz, and Aboukir Bay completed the order of finish.
Oeuvre was sent off the 7-5 favorite and returned $4.80. $3.20, and $2.40. In equaling Surveillance with her third stakes score of the meet, she boosted her career record to 16-10-3-2 and earnings to $473,126.
Racing resumes at Fair Grounds on Thursday, Feb. 23 with a 1:15 p.m. CT first post. Scheduled to be contested on Saturday, February 25 are the inaugural runnings of the $75,000 Louisiana Stallion of the Year Half Ours Stakes at 1 mile 70 yards and the $75,000 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year Buttercup’s Song Stakes at one mile – both written for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds and named for two of the great producing influences in Louisiana’s breeding history. Written for fillies, the Buttercup’s Song is slated as Race 6 with a 3:15 p.m. post time. For males, the Half Hours will go as Race 7 at 4:15 p.m.
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.