Ron Faucheux, James Graham and Evelyn Benoit's Brittlyn Stable locked up titles for leading trainer, jockey and owner, respectively, at the Fair Grounds, where the 2021-2022 meeting concluded Sunday, Mar. 27.
A native of Louisiana, Faucheux won his second consecutive training championship at the New Orleans oval, sending out 43 winners, a total 10 greater than Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox. Faucheux won three stakes at the meet.
James Graham won 72 races during the meeting to reign as champion jockey for the third straight season and fourth overall. Among the highlights of the season were the 27-1 upset of Call Me Midnight (Midnight Lute) in the GIII Lecomte S. in January. Mitchell Murrill, who rode his 1,000th career winner in February, brought up a total of 62 winners to fill second spot.
Benoit's Brittlyn Stables was represented by no fewer than 22 winners at the meet at a win rate of 33%, all–remarkably–sired by Star Guitar. It was the first leading owner title for Brittlyn. Chester Thomas's Allied Racing Stable was second with 14 victories.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Ida (late August/early September) offered plenty of challenges for racing officials, but , as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, business was solid due to the tremendous support from both horseman and bettors alike.
“The damage to the barn area, parts of the facility and the loss of the infield tote board due to Hurricane Ida leading into our meet caused some challenges, but we are New Orleans, and we are resilient,” Fair Grounds Senior Director of Racing Jason Boulet said.
“We are extremely proud of everyone who came together to put out a great product on a day-in, day-out basis and as always, we are extremely grateful to the horseman for their continued support throughout the meet. The return of the fans after a difficult, prolonged stretch with the COVID-19 pandemic brought renewed energy to the racetrack, and we look forward to what should be a very special 2022-23 season.”