Rosie Napravnik and Heavy On Themister after winning the Premier Night Championship at Delta Downs
On Saturday, Delta Downs hosted Louisiana Premier Night, a series of 10 stakes races for Louisiana-breds with a total of $1 million in purses. Conditions were excellent with a fast track, overcast skies, and temperatures in the low 60's. The highlight race of the night was the $200,000 Premier Night Championship, for older horses going 1 1/16 miles. Lovely Vin was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10 over 3-1 Heavy On Themister and 9-2 Populist Politics. Jockey Gerard Melancon sent Lovely Win to the lead and he set fractions of 23.23, 47.96, and 1:13.21 while stalked by Heavy On Themister. Entering the lane, Heavy On Themister and jockey Rosie Napravnik gained on the pacesetter, getting the lead at the 1/8 pole and drawing off to win by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:44.37. It was a neck back to late-running Populist Politics third.
Full results chart
The Shawn David trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 15 starts, earning $402,050 for owner-breeder Rebecca Farm and T.J. Dickey.
Little Ms Protocol wins the Premier Night Distaff at Delta Downs
A field of 7 older fillies and mares contested the $150,000 Premier Night Distaff at 1 mile. Jockey Gerard Melancon sent 14-1 Little Polka Dot to the lead and she set fractions of 22.60 and 46.38 while pressed by 2-1 second choice Ladyzarbridge. On the far turn, Ladyzarbridge moved up to take over the lead through 3/4 in 1:13.18, before 7-1 Sunday's Child poked her head in front at the 1/8 pole. However, 4-5 favorite and defending champion Little Ms Protocol, 4th early under Shaun Bridgmohan, closed with a rush through the final 3/16 to win by 1/2 a length over late-runnng 42-1 Esther Carl in 1:38.81. It was another 1/2 length back to Sunday's Child third.
A field of 9 Louisiana-bred three-year-olds sprinted 7 furlongs around two turns in the $125,000 Premier Night Prince Stakes. Jockey Gerard Melancon sent 3-1 favorite Heitai to the lead and he set fractions of 23.16 and 47.56 while stalked by 10-1 Indian Road. Heitai opened up a 2 length lead at the 1/8 pole through 3/4 in 1:12.16 but 5-2 favorite Hero Force, 4th early, rallied late to win by 3/4 length in 1:25.52. It was a long 4 1/4 lengths back to Indian Road third.
Hero Force, a son of Political Force trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $188,710 for owner Robbie Norman.
Guadalupe High wins the Premier Night Starlet Stakes
The distaff counterpart to the Prince is the $125,000 Premier Night Starlet Stakes for three-year-old fillies also sprinting 7 furlongs. 7-2 second choice Guadalupe High was sent to the lead by jockey Gerard Melancon through fractions of 22.70 and 47.24 while a length in front of 27-1 I Dare U Em. At the top of the lane Guadalupe High extended her lead to 5 lengths mid-stretch through 3/4 in 1:12.33, then finished up 6 1/4 lengths in front of late-running 3-5 favorite Sittin At The Bar in 1:25.52. It was another length back to 34-1 Tensas Harbor third.
Wire Me Bessie wins the Premier Night Matron Stakes
In the winner's circle
The $100,000 Premier Night Matron Stakes featured a field of 6 older fillies and mares sprinting 5 furlongs around 1 turn. 5-2 second choice Wire Me Bessie was gunned to the lead by jockey Kerwin Clark through a quarter in 22.36 and half in 45.56 while stalked by 59-1 longes shot Miss Devil Dog. In the lane, Wire Me Bessie opened up on the field, finishing up 5 lengths in front of late-running 6-1 Say Somethin Good in 57.82. It was a neck back to 4-1 Warrior Maid third, while 7-10 favorite Harlie's Dreams was fourth.
Su Casa G Casa wins the Premier Night Sprint Stakes
A full field of 10 older horses went to post in the $100,000 Premier Night Sprint also at 5 furlongs. 33-1 Red Production and 15-1 Top Cat Boogie dueled for the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 21.77 and 45.00 with defending champ and 2-1 second choice Su Casa G Casa stalking them third. Top Cat Boogie led to the 1/8 pole but Su Casa G Casa under jockey Miguel Mena outfinished him to win by 3/4 length in 57.44. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 4-1 Amanecer de Oro third, while 9-5 favorite Yonaguska Storm was 8th.
Hit the Road Lee wins the Premier Night Gentlemen Starter Stakes
The first race of the card was the $70,000 Premier Night Gentlemen Starter Stakes featuring 6 older horses going 1 1/16 miles. 7-2 third choice Hit the Road Lee and jockey Joseph Patin Jr. was allowed an unconested lead of 5 lengths down the backstretch through fractions of 23.67 and 47.95. On the far turn, 8-5 favorite Silent Pipe, second the whole way, moved up to challenge through 3/4 in 1:12.53, but Hit the Road Lee dismissed him easily, drawing off to an 8 1/4 length win in 1:43.53, just 0.33 seconds off the track record set in 1975. It was just a head back to 3-1 second choice Candiano third.
Drinking Fund winner of the Premier Night Ladies Starter Stakes
The distaff counterpart to the Gentlemen Starter is the $70,000 Premier Night Ladies Starter Stakes, with 10 older fillies and mares going 1 mile. 29-1 Cajun Cowgirl dueled for the lead with 34-1 B.J.'s Leroi through fractions of 23.21, 47.54, and 1:13.48. At the top of the lane 7-10 favorite Clever Thirteen closed from 6th to gain a short lead, but 9-2 second choice Drinking Fund, 3rd early under jockey Chris Rosier, rallied past her to win by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:39.46. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to late-running 8-2 Sweet Ruston third.
Dolly Bonz wins the Premier Night Bon Temps Starter Stakes
The second stakes race on Saturday was the $55,000 Premier Night Bon Temps Starter Stakes for older fillies and mares sprinting 5 furlongs. 1-10 favorite Dolly Bonz battled for the lead down the backstretch with 7-1 second choice Secret Pal through a quarter in 21.94 Dolly Bonz and jockey Joseph Patin Jr. pulled ahead by 2 lengths through 3/4 in 45.17, and easily held off late-running 15-1 Patter Flatter by 1 3/4 length in 58.03. It was another 3/4 length back to Secret Pal third.
Tupelo Playboy wins the Premier Night Ragin Cajun Starter Stakes
The $55,000 Premier Night Ragin Cajun Starter Stakes featured a full field of 10 older horses sprinting 5 furlongs. 4-1 second choice My Genius Friend was sent to the lead by jockey Billy Patin through fractions of 21.75 and 45.22, but 25-1 Tupelo Playboy, 6th early under jockey John Jacinto, closed late to win by a neck in 58.27. It was a long 2 1/4 lengths back to 8-5 favorite Wish You Gold third.