Fair Grounds

The `Good' Larry Melancon

Back in the days when I was in high school, I would work in the racing office at Jefferson Downs in the mornings as an entry clerk. This was before the days of computerized databases and electronically keyed-in entries. Entry blanks were bound by red glue as thick pads and filled out in pencil. Each form filled out one by one, as the jockey agents and trainers drifted into the racing office to do business. Entries were made in individual stalls for privacy and usually in a hushed tone so...

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Faucheux, Graham, Godolphin Win Fair Grounds Titles

Racing at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans drew to a close Mar. 28, a meet which saw purses hiked no fewer than three times and featured a typically strong stakes and overnight program supported by a wide swath of horsepeople. Ron Faucheux won his first training title at the Fair Grounds with 40 victories, three better than four-time defending champion trainer Brad Cox, whose successes at the meeting included the GII Risen Star S. with 'TDN Rising Star' Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and the GII Fair Grounds Oaks with 'Rising...

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Mar. 27 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency CASSE UNVEILS WELL-BRED WAR FRONT ON FL DERBY UNDERCARD 1st-GP, $55K, Msw, 3yo, 1mT, 11:30p.m. The blue-blooded WAR BOMBER (IRE) (War Front) makes his career bow in this spot for trainer Mark Casse. The colt is a full-brother to Group 1 winner and Irish highweight Lancaster Bomber, who was twice second at the Breeders' Cup; and a half-brother to French, Irish and German highweight Excelebration (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}); MGSW Mull of Killough (Ire) (Mull of Kintyre); MSW Shivalik Showers (Ind) (Dancing Forever); and...

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Clear Creek Stud to Award Scholarship

Clear Creek Stud will award a $5,000 scholarship to Rhett Sonnier on Fair Grounds closing day Mar. 28. This is an award that Clear Creek Stud sponsors in the name of their clients for a student with Louisiana-based connections to the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse breeding and racing industry. Applications were submitted to and accepted by the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. Sonier is in his third year at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. His family has been involved in the horse industry in Louisiana for generations, breeding,...

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Hot Rod Charlie on to Derby

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) exited his win in Saturday's GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby in fine shape and will ship back to trainer Doug O'Neill's California base Tuesday to prepare for the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby. "Charlie looked great this morning," O'Neill said. "He flies back to California on Tuesday. I love the spacing [six weeks] leading up to the Kentucky Derby. It's ideal. He's proven to travel well. I'm very proud of my nephew Patrick [with co-owner Boat Racing]. He's a real good young man and I'm very excited...

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Colonel Liam Outclasses Rivals in Muniz Memorial

Two years ago, Bricks and Mortar (Giant's Causeway) parlayed a victory in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf into a battling success in the GII Mervin Muniz Memorial S. and--ultimately--a Horse of the Year title. Following in those considerable hoofprints, Robert and Lawana Low's Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) validated odds-on favoritism in the event named in honor of the Fair Grounds' late, beloved racing secretary to continue on a similar trajectory, scoring by a 1 1/2-length margin that belied the ease with which it was accomplished. Away without incident from...

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Oxbow's Hot Rod Charlie Scores Gutsy Win in Louisiana Derby

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), the 94-1 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up, was sent to the front in a heady ride by Joel Rosario, and refused to lose, turning back Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to win going away by two lengths in Saturday's GII TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby. O Besos (Orb) rallied nicely up the rail to just miss second by a head. The 5-2 second choice broke inward and bumped with a rival at the start. He led through fractions of :23.10 and :47.04 with Midnight Bourbon shadowing his every move. Midnight...

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Frosted's Travel Column Turns The Tables on Clairiere in FG Oaks

'TDN Rising Star' Travel Column (Frosted) and the regally bred Clairiere (Curlin) have developed a competitive rivalry as they proceed down the GI Kentucky Oaks trail, with one apiece from their two prior meetings. Saturday's GII Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks was billed as another match race between the two and it was Travel Column who broke the tie with a decisive score over Clairiere. Awarded 2-1 favoritism over her familiar foe, Travel Column came away running from her outside post in this eight-horse affair, but was out-footed to the lead...

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Into Mischief Colt Like a 'Green Wave' At the Fair Grounds

5th-Fair Grounds, $75,000, Msw, 3-20, 3yo, 6f, 1:09.09, ft, 1 1/4 lengths. TULANE TRYST (c, 3, Into Mischief--Desire Street, by Congrats) a firming 7-5 favorite in what looked on paper to be a hot Fair Grounds maiden, built on a big-figure second behind the impressive He's In Charge (Candy Ride {Arg}) on career debut over course and distance Jan. 30 to give trainer Cherie DeVaux a second straight winner on the program following on the race four tally of Three Flamingoes (English Channel). Settled worse than midfield through a fast...

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This Side Up: Seconds Out for the Next Round

No getting away from it: even 107 previous runnings, a million bucks and 170 starting points can't dress up the recent misfortunes of the GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby as a springboard to the first Saturday in May. Maybe that's because it falls between stools, in terms of scheduling, the previous cycle of rehearsals having left trainers scope for one more start before the GI Kentucky Derby. Not many around, nowadays, who'd even be thinking about running again with just six weeks to go. Credit to the Fair Grounds team, then,...

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Mar. 20 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency INTRIGUING MAIDENS FILL LA DERBY UNDERCARD 2nd-FG, $75K, Msw, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 12:48p.m. Three Chimneys Farm and Harrell Ventures teamed up to acquire ROAD BIBLE (Pioneerof the Nile) for $610,000 at Keeneland September and he debuts in this event. The bay is the first foal out of MSW & MGISP Wonder Gal (Tiz Wonderful), who hails from the family of Grade I winner Force the Pass (Speightstown) and MGSW Social Queen (Dynaformer). TJCIS PPs   5th-FG, $75K, Msw, 3yo, 6f, 2:13p.m. Steve Asmussen unveils Sumaya...

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Colonel Liam Headlines Muniz

GI Pegasus World Cup Turf S. winner Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) looms the one to beat in Saturday's GII Mervin Muniz Memorial S. at the Fair Grounds. Breaking his maiden on dirt via DQ in his career bow at Gulfstream last April, the $1.2-million OBS April topper was third next out in the slop there before switching to the grass, winning a Saratoga allowance in July. Fourth in the Saratoga Derby Invitational S. in August, the gray captured the Tropical Park Derby back in Hallandale Dec. 26 and followed suit...

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