Owner Evelyn Benoit leads Sunbean to the winner's circle after 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.
Sunbean wins the Premier Championship at Delta Downs
The highlight race of the night was the $200,000 Premier Night Championship, for older horses going 1 1/16 miles. Sunbean was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the field of 9 over 9-2 Hud's Rebellion and 5-1 Populist Politics. 15-1 Hit the Road Lee went to the lead and set fractions of 23.21, 46.84, and 1:11.75 while pressed by Hud's Rebellion and 17-1 Raiseanothergator. Turning for home, Sunbean, who settled in fourth early under jockey Richard Eramia, came out for room to pass the leader, drawing off late to win by 4 lengths over Hit the Road Lee in a new stakes record time of 1:44.04. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to Populist Politics third.
Left: Sunbean in the winner's circle. The Ron Faucheux trainee improved his record to 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 third in 12 starts, earning $498,900 for owner-breeder Brittlyn Stable Inc. The Premier Championship was his sixth career stakes victory.
Right: The trophy presentation for the Premier Championship.
Tensas Harbor 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. 5-2 second choice Mischievous Mama opened up a clear lead early through fractions of 22.67 and 46.96 while chased by 6-5 favorite Guadalupe High. Rounding the turn, Guadalupe High gained a short lead through 3/4 in 1:12.11. 8-1 Tensas Harbor, last through the first 6 furlongs, and 3-1 second choice Little Ms Protocol, 5th early, closed in the late stages to pass the tiring pacesetters. Tensas Harbor under jockey Mark Guidry outfinished Little Ms Protocol by a head in 1:38.63. It was another 1 3/4 length back to favorite Guadalupe High third.
Ide Be Cool after winning the Premer Night Prince Stakes
A field of 7 Louisiana-bred three-year-olds sprinted 7 furlongs around two turns in the $125,000 Premier Night Prince Stakes. Jockey Chris Rosier sent 7-10 favorite Ide Be Cool to the lead immediately and he set a pace of 22.46, 46.41, and 1:12.05 while about 2 lengths clear of 6-1 Dixie Beat in second. Entering the lane, Ide Be Cool opened up on the field and cruised past the post 9 lengths in front of 19-1 Angel Avenger in 1:24.95. It was another 2 lengths back to 2-1 second choice Coteau Rouge third.
The son of Ide out of Bowman's Band mare Cool Climate improved his unbeaten record to 5 wins in 5 starts, earning $264,600 for owner-breeder Henry Ray Dunn.
Closing Report wins the Premier Night Starlet Stakes
The distaff counterpart to the Prince is the $125,000 Premier Night Starlet Stakes, with a full field of 10 three-year-old fillies also sprinting 7 furlongs. 29-1 Nurse Emmielle battled for the lead with 30-1 Hatainsroyalrouj through fractions of 22.49 and 47.15 before Nurse Emmielle tired badly. Hatainsroyalrouj inherited a short lead through 3/4 in 1:13.31, but 6-5 favorite Closing Report and jockey Rosie Napravnik, who stalked the pacesetters in 3rd early, easily took over to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Hatainsroyalrouj in 1:26.90. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to 4-1 second choice Jias Pal third.
Sittin At the Bar wins the Premier Night Matron Stakes
In the winner's circle
The $100,000 Premier Night Matron Stakes featured a field of 8 older fillies and mares sprinting 5 furlongs around 1 turn. 7-1 third choice Wire Me Bessie dueled on the front end with 7-10 favorite Sittin At the Bar through fractions of 22.19 and 45.25. Inside the final furlong, jockey Colby Hernandez asked Sittin At the Bar for run and the favorite powered away to a 2 length win in 57.67. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths from Wire Me Bessie back to 5-2 second choice Fast City third.
A field of 8 older horses went to post in the $100,000 Premier Night Sprint also at 5 furlongs. Jockey Diego Saenz sent 3-10 favorite Heitai to the lead right out of the gate, and he set blistering fractions of 21.49 and 44.01 with 11-1 third choice Knockitdownhard giving chase, unable to keep up. Heitei extended his lead entering the stretch, and finished up 5 lengths in front in a new track record time of 56.69 seconds. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 34-1 Folsom Fire third.
Little Face 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 9 older fillies and mares going 1 mile. 7-10 favorite Little Face set easy fractions of 23.42, 48.44 and 1:13.60 under jockey Gerard Melancon. 7-2 I Love Pickles, third early, attempted to close but Little Face easily held her off by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:39.31. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths back to 12-1 Aubrey's Walk third.
Fifty Acres wins the Premier Night Ragin Cajun Starter Stakes
The $50,000 Premier Night Ragin Cajun Starter Stakes featured a ield of 9 older horses sprinting 5 furlongs. 1-2 favorite Fifty Acres contested the pace under jockey Diego Saenz with 18-1 Wild Reece through fractions of 22.40 and 45.73. In the lane, 43-1 longest shot Kelamon attempted to close but Fifty Acres held him off by a length in 57.94. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Wild Reece third.