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 on: November 27, 2014, 09:16:53 PM 
Started by jrstark - Last post by jrstark
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, November 27, 2014) – Maggi Moss' Delaunay once again showed why he is one of the swiftest sprinters in the land as he won his 17th career start and fifth in six Fair Grounds Race Course tries when comfortably consuming six others – including three graded stakes winners – in the 89th running of the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap.  After breaking from the far outside in the seven-hole, the son of Smoke Glacken quickly cleared his opposition and established himself as the fastest in a field flush with possible front-running foes.  Never challenged, Delaunay’s victory was doubtless turning for home as he was eased under the wire a clear victor by seven facile lengths.

Ridden by James Graham for Tom Amoss, Delaunay won his second Thanksgiving after also doing so in 2012.  The Maryland-bred traveled the six-furlong distance in 1:09.05 over a fast track after setting fractions of :21.79, :45.15 and :56.38.  Sent off at as the even-money favorite, Delaunay returned $4, $3.20 and $2.20, and earned $36,000 to boost his career bankroll to $1,056,491.

“He broke well and did everything right,” Graham said.  “Tom said he’d be ready and he was.  He came with bells on.”

Amoss echoed those sentiments.  “It is kind of lost on people that he’s seven and turning eight and runs this well,” he explained.  “He’s easy to train and I can’t take credit for his talent.  He may not be as good as he once was, but he’s a great horse.”

Moss was ecstatic, to say the least.  “It was very emotional,” she said.  “I kept saying I wasn’t nervous and that he owes me nothing.  Then he went in the gate and it was so exciting.  What a great call by (announcer) John Dooley – he made me cry a little.  You never know when you give them time off if they will return to form, but I know him so well that I can watch his face and tell when he’s on his game – and today he was.  Unbelievable job by Tom, too.  (Delaunay) is the most straight-forward racehorse I’ve ever owned.  He’ll stay at the Fair Grounds with Tom and run in the stakes races there. The key really is if you take good care of them, they take care of you.  They reward you when you do that and that’s why it was such an emotional win.  He’ll have a home with me when he’s eventually done racing.”

Roger Braugh, Jr.'s Take It Like A Man, at 10-1, ran gamely up the inside to finish second under Miguel Mena for new trainer Jonas Gibson, who had claimed him for $32,000 at Keeneland last out, returning $7.20 and $4. Windy Hill Farm's Nates Mineshaft, ridden by Antioco Murgia for trainer Anne Smith, chased Delaunay the entirety of the race and had his undefeated five-for-five Fair Grounds record snapped when returning $2.80 to show as the public’s 2-1 second wagering choice.

“I was in a good position and was saving ground,” Mena said.  “He came running and was second best.”

Murgia was equally as humbled by the winner.  “The trip was okay,” he said.  “The plan was to go to the lead, but the other horse was faster.  We couldn't get to the winner at the end.”

Lemon Drop Dream, 2013 Thanksgiving winner Gantry, Rhetorical and Rugged completed the order of finish in front of the holiday crowd.

About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 143rd Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 102nd running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 2014 through March 2015. More information can be found online at

 on: November 27, 2014, 09:12:46 PM 
Started by jrstark - Last post by jrstark
·        Murgia Brings Top Credentials to Local Colony
·        Bullet-working Whyruawesome Returns Sunday
·        Albano Back to Work, Targets 2015 Campaign
·        Poker Player Works Toward Possible Woodchopper Run
Globetrotting Sardinian jockey Antioco Murgia – known as ‘Coco’ to many – will look for his first American stakes victory Thursday afternoon when he hops aboard multiple graded stakes winner Nates Mineshaft in the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds Race Course.  Represented by agent Rob Whitlock, Murgia has quickly gained an amiable reputation with his colleagues.
“He’s not shy and doesn't get intimidated easily,” Whitlock explained.  “He’s also an excellent cook, which is really interesting for a jockey to be when you think about it.  He made a whole dinner for about 10 or so horsemen the other day.”
Murgia’s prowess extends to the racetrack as well and his reputation there is equally rich.  “He’s an excellent judge of pace,” Whitlock said.  “He rode for Godolphin in Europe and Dubai and is really good at listening to a horse.  The other day he convinced (trainer Jeff) Engler to run (eventual winner Battle On) short instead of long and the horse won the race.  That’s something you don’t see a lot of jockeys having the nerve to do.”
The 26-year-old seems to have courage in spades.  As a youth, he grew up riding in the streets in the famous Palio (di Siena) races in his native Italy – an incredibly dangerous event.  He went on to transfer that fortitude to being the rider of Godolphin’s Farhh – a multiple Group I-winning charge considered at the time to be that Dubai-based outfit’s best horse.  Murgia only had one chance to ride him in the afternoon but did so with aplomb when guiding the son of Pivotal to a handy victory in the Thirsk Hunt Cup Handicap in May 2012.  Fahhr would go on to win the Group I Champion Stakes, Group I Lockinge Stakes and twice finish second to the great Frankel.
“He really listens to horses and works with them individually,” added Anne Smith, trainer of Nates Mineshaft.  Murgia and Smith have been teaming up often in the mornings with her Windy Hill Farm-owned private stable, including multiple morning exercises with Nates Mineshaft, and Murgia is also scheduled to ride Smith’s other big horse – the come-backing graded stakes-placed Whyruawesome in an allowance on Sunday afternoon.
A lover of American racing, Murgia had always wanted to come to ride in the United States and is currently fulfilling that aspiration.  Riding his first race in England in 2008, Murgia has won 20 of his 232 American mounts since arriving in the United States last year and has gained the trust of trainers like Smith, Mike Stidham and Eddie Johnston, who all will be giving him a leg up Thanksgiving weekend.

One year ago when Windy Hill Farm’s leggy and talented graded stakes-placed juvenile Whyruawesome came to Fair Grounds Race Course to prepare for 2014, his connections had high hopes that they may have a Kentucky Derby candidate.  After training locally and heading to Oaklawn Park to finish an inexplicably listless last in the Smarty Jones Stakes on Jan. 20 (to avoid stablemate Smarty’s Echo who raced in the local Grade III Lecomte two days prior), it was discovered that the chestnut gelding had painful and pestering stomach ulcers.  Given ample time to recover, he returned to the care of conditioner Anne Smith this summer at Arlington International Racecourse.
Since, the son of Whywhywhy has finished a good third in a Sept. 13 allowance at Arlington, failed in a Keeneland turf experiment when eighth on Oct. 5 and then awakened when breaking sharply and changing to front-running tactics in a one-mile Churchill Downs allowance in which he set sharp fractions of :22.53, :45.21 and 1:10.32 and was beaten by a head at the wire at odds of 65-1.
Speed must presumably be what the ulcers were holding back, as such forwardly placed behavior was a departure from the deep-closing, eye-catching way he had broken his maiden upon debut last summer and the mid-pack closing tactics he subsequently used to finish second in last year’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity.  His speed has further been on display since returning to New Orleans, including two consecutive bullet works under jockey Antioco Murgia – four furlongs on Nov. 15 in :47.60 (best of 134) and on Nov. 23 in :47.20 in the mud (best of 24).
“We weren’t even trying (to work that fast), he did it on his own,” Smith explained.   “The rider just went easy and smooched to him – no throwing crosses, no whip – he’s just feeling really good and much better compared to this time last year.  The ulcer medications have really helped him.  He’s such a thinker.  I almost think he internalizes emotionally (when things hurt physically), if that makes any sense.  He’s just much happier right now.”
Smith has not ruled out another attempt on the turf for the sophomore whose pedigree includes grass classic winners and champions Caro, Sky Classic, Nijinsky II and Blushing Groom in his first four generations – but for now she would prefer to take advantage of his newly honed speed.  “I don’t think a surface will make or break his racing career,” she said.  “I would love to try him on the grass again.  Right now, though, I would like to keep him under a mile, if possible.”
Whyruawesome makes his much-delayed Fair Grounds debut Sunday in the eighth race.  He breaks from the rail under Murgia and is scheduled to face eight others, including JMJ Racing Stable’s sharp recent Keeneland maiden winner Hot Hot Heat from the barn of Brad Cox, who already has two wins in as many starts at the current meet – both with Hot Hot Heat’s scheduled pilot Florent Geroux in the irons.
One of the more exciting horses of the 2013-14 Fair Grounds season on the road to the Louisiana Derby has recently resurfaced at the New Orleans oval.  Brereton C. Jones’ Albano worked an easy three furlongs on Nov. 18 as he prepares for what could be an promising 2015 season.
“That was his first work back since the Smarty Jones (Stakes),” trainer Larry Jones said.  “We’re gearing up for the stakes here.”
Last Fair Grounds season, the son of solid miler Istan and half-brother to Grade III Mineshaft Handicap winner and Grade II Louisiana Derby runner-up Mark Valeski won the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes in December and parlayed that into sharp runner-up performances in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes and Grade II Risen Star Stakes.
After a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby necessitated a break, the bay colt rebounded with the best showing of his career when a runaway winner of the Grade III Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park.  That performance earned the improving charge a spot in the Grade I Haskell Invitational – a race in which he finished a distant second to eventual Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern and ahead of subsequent Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Untapable, multiple graded stakes winner Wildcat Red and classic-placed Medal Count.  A perplexing performance next out when third at odds of 7-5 in the Grade III Smarty Jones at Parx constrained another break.
“I think Bayern is a pretty good horse and we ran second behind him,” Jones reflected.  “We did beat Untapable in that race and some of (Albano’s) bad races are a little better than what you may think.  We were a little disappointed in the Smarty Jones when he made his move he normally wins with; I think he just got a little tired from a long campaign and that’s why we gave him a little layoff.  He’s coming back good."
Fair Grounds’ handicap division gets kick-started with the $75,000 Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 17 and progresses to the $125,000 Grade III Mineshaft Handicap on Feb. 21 and ultimately the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap on Louisiana Derby Day, March 28.  In 2013, the Jones-trained Mark Valeski used a similar break-and-return pattern to finish second in the Louisiana and New Orleans, in addition to his aforementioned Mineshaft victory.
Gary and Mary West’s Poker Player continued on the comeback trail with another solid work on Wednesday morning at Fair Grounds Race Course, negotiating five panels in 1:02.60 for trainer Wayne Catalano.  The move was the eighth in as many weeks of four- and five-furlong preparations for the gray Kentucky-bred colt’s first race since an eighth in the Grade III Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 19.
According to assistant conditioner Fernando Canteria, the son of the late Harlan’s Holiday is under serious consideration for the $60,000 Woodchopper Stakes on Dec. 27 at the New Orleans oval.  Over a mile on the turf, the Woodchopper is one of the last stakes of the year restricted to sophomores and in 2013 was won by Martin Racing Stable’s Marchman, who would use the event to catapult him to a solid 2014 in which he won two graded stakes, placed in two others and competed in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Poker Player’s best performance to date was an eye-opening win in the Grade III Bourbon Stakes as a juvenile over the then-Polytrack main surface of Keeneland in which he defeated eventual Belmont Stakes third-place finisher Medal Count and graded stakes winner Bashart.  That performance would earn Poker Player a chance to roll the dice in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – a race in which he finished mid-pack.

 on: November 27, 2014, 08:17:14 PM 
Started by Juicejunkies - Last post by Juicejunkies
BUMP thumbs up

 on: November 27, 2014, 07:58:57 PM 
Started by Billy Streaker - Last post by JoeB
Do people really believe the "stuff" they you really believe sites pick and choose taking Balmoral based on the night of the week.....or the quality of the card?......or how many races they have?......places that take Balmoral......take Balmoral......and places that don't.......don't ......
I agree with you 100 percent - but in defense of the guy who started this thread...mike a got on the microphone before the balmoral card started last nite and told the simulcast audience that handles will be higher this wed nite BECAUSE OF THE 11 RACE CARD (VERSUS THE RECENTLY NORMAL WED 9 RACE CARD) AND BECAUSE MORE OUTLETS ARE TAKING THE SIGNAL OF THE 11 RACE CARD WHILE THEY DONT TAKE THE 9 RACE CARDS...


 on: November 27, 2014, 07:34:11 PM 
Started by Juicejunkies - Last post by Yimmy
Wha?  The guy put 60 witnesses in the Grand Jury, and about 4,000 pages worth of testimony was elicited.  "Too long to read" is different from "lack of transparency."

Here's the rare DA who *doesn't* do the cynical present-one-side-of-the-case-and-get-the-ham-sandwich indicted dog-and-pony show (a major complaint of criminal defendants about prosecutors, btw)... the guy's a big Dem, he's got a mixed-race Grand Jury, he gives them everything, they consider the evidence, and don't indict.  People profess surprise that the grand jury is inquisitorial in nature... uhh, YEAH!!! Nothing new under the legal-beagle sun there.  It's the way it is.

 on: November 27, 2014, 07:28:56 PM 
Started by Billy Streaker - Last post by Juicejunkies
Do people really believe the "stuff" they you really believe sites pick and choose taking Balmoral based on the night of the week.....or the quality of the card?......or how many races they have?......places that take Balmoral......take Balmoral......and places that don't.......don't ......

Sadly it is because of how Chicago otb's work that this misconception happens.   In Chicago the tracks change more often then a normal person changes underwear.   There is even times when only part of a card is shown and wagers accepted.   They run that whole state of gambling in some really odd ways out there.   I couldn't believe it.

 on: November 27, 2014, 06:59:46 PM 
Started by Juicejunkies - Last post by Barry Melrose's Mullet
I feel we should have revoked the evil, racist Fifth Amendment to get this matter right to trial, without any of this *grand jury* foofaraw.

I mean, "no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury..." is STOOPIT and plus Foxx New's is RASCIST PLUS IT MAKE'S FACISM'S LIKE THE KNOTSEA'S.  maroon
I get what you're saying but the lack of transparency of the facts doesn't help heal anything.  Of course the looters and rioters will still loot and riot, they just won't have an excuse.  So next time a white dude goes down by police fire can I break in to someone's safe?

 on: November 27, 2014, 06:55:22 PM 
Started by Barry Melrose's Mullet - Last post by Barry Melrose's Mullet
I know Fan is gonna blast me but when this came across my twitter feed this morning it hurt me, hurt me a lot.  These guys were super heroes to us during their playing careers, now we fear them being the next Junior Seau.  Hopefully Terry Pegula or someone, anyone will step up and give this man work.

 on: November 27, 2014, 06:51:03 PM 
Started by Juicejunkies - Last post by Yimmy
I feel we should have revoked the evil, racist Fifth Amendment to get this matter right to trial, without any of this *grand jury* foofaraw.

I mean, "no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury..." is STOOPIT and plus Foxx New's is RASCIST PLUS IT MAKE'S FACISM'S LIKE THE KNOTSEA'S.  maroon

 on: November 27, 2014, 06:21:37 PM 
Started by Billy Streaker - Last post by HarnessFanDE
Do people really believe the "stuff" they you really believe sites pick and choose taking Balmoral based on the night of the week.....or the quality of the card?......or how many races they have?......places that take Balmoral......take Balmoral......and places that don't.......don't ......

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