Risen Star Day
Louisiana Premier Night
Sam F Davis Day
Future Wager Pool 2
Kentucky Derby Points
Master Command and John Velazquez after winning the Mineshaft Handicap
There were five stakes races on Louisiana Derby Preview Day at the Fair Grounds, highlighted by the Risen Star and the Silverbulletday for 3-year-old males and females respectively. Kicking off the stakes action on Saturday were three handicap stakes races for older horses, and under ideal racing conditions in New Orleans, all three races were run in stakes record time.
Northern Scene, Devilment, and Cloudy's Knight pass in front of Black Gold's grave in the infield as the field goes by the first time.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Cloudy's Knight Zimmerman 15.60 6.80 4.80 10 Devilment Meche 4.40 3.60 5 Storm Treasure Velazquez 3.20 Winning Time: 1:49.48 $2 Exacta 3-10 75.20 $2 Trifecta 3-10-5 385.20 $2 Superfecta 3-10-5-2 1646.40
Cloudy's Knight in the winner's circle. Winning trainer James McMullen said, "The owners were gracious enough to let me bring this horse down here this winter. We're just going to soak this up for awhile before we decide what's next, but as for the (Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap-G2), that's absolutely in our sights." Jockey Ramsey Zimmerman added, "He had a perfect trip. He's old enough to know how to relax, so I didn't have to keep a good hold on him. He's a big horse, so we moved out, not to get blocked, and he did the rest. He didn't even seem tired. I could barely pull him up."
Second place finisher Devilment in the post parade. (left)
Beaten favorite and fifth place finisher Fort Prado in the post parade. He won this race last year. (right)
First time by with Sandburr, Master Command, and Welcome Again out front.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Master Command Velazquez 3.40 2.60 2.20 4 Patriot Act Albarado 5.40 3.60 3 Well Said Graham 4.00 Winning Time: 1:42.28 $2 Exacta 5-4 22.20 $2 Trifecta 5-4-3 110.20 $2 Superfecta 5-4-3-1 308.60
Master Command in the winner's circle with his trainer Todd Pletcher on the far left. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "He was going so easy, and when I asked him he responded right away. At the 1/16 pole he began to wander a little but at that point he was much the best." Pletcher added, "Right now, the tentative plan is to run him back in the New Orleans Handicap."
Second place finisher Patriot Act in the post parade. (left)
Third place finisher Well Said in the post parade. (right)
Eventual winner Gaff passes Venomous in the stretch. In the background you can see the grave of Kentucky Derby winner Black Gold.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Gaff Meche 8.00 4.20 3.00 9 Wrzeszcz Melancon 3.80 2.80 2 Santana Strings Talamo 12.40 Winning Time: 1:03.12 $2 Exacta 3-9 26.40 $2 Trifecta 3-9-2 234.20 $2 Superfecta 3-9-2-6 499.80
Gaff in the winner's circle with his trainer Steve Asmussen in the back on the far left. Asmussen said, "Gaff is a real nice horse. It's good to see him getting back to his old form. Dubai (Golden Shaheen) kind of knocked him out of whack, but the last two (races) at the Fair Grounds has brought his form back." Jockey Donnie Meche added, "I just let him settle early and then took him to the outside so he could have free running room and he did everything on his own from there. Turf or dirt? It doesn't matter with this horse."
Risen Star and Silverbulletday Stakes Results
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