Anstu Stables Inc.’s South Florida-based Blues
Street raided Fair Grounds in New Orleans for the second time this year
with a steady rally down the Stall-Wilson turf course to win Saturday’s 18th
running of the Grade II, $300,000 Mervin Muniz Handicap by 1 ¾ lengths over
longshot Pick Six.
Blues Street, one of three graded stakes wins on the day
for trainer Todd Pletcher, ran 1 1/8 miles over “firm” going in 1:50.10
under jockey Javier Castellano.
Blues Street paid $7.60, $4.40 and $3.20 as the mild 5-2
favorite in the field of 10 older horses. Pick Six, a 30-1 outsider, held
second and returned $17.80 and $12.20. Transduction Gold, sent off at
68-1, was a neck behind the runner-up in third and paid $18.40.
Blues Street, a 6-year-old gelded son of Street Cry, has
rallied to win four consecutive races since mid-November. On Saturday, he
settled off the rail in eighth position, well back of the early leader Jet
Propulsion, who set fractions of :24.18, :49.09, 1:12.84 and 1:37.41 before
fading to fourth. Blues Street circled foes on the turn for home and ran past
Pick Six and Transduction Gold in deep stretch to prevail.
Yate’s Black Cat, El Caballo, Feels All
Right-IRE, Baletti, My Happiness-ARG and Pickapocket
finished behind the top four. Red Alert Day-GB and Stones
were scratched. The latter ran in the New Orleans Handicap and finished sixth.
The $180,000 first-place check pushed Blues Street’s
earnings to $487,178. The Kentucky-bred has won eight of his 22 starts for Stuart
Subotnick’s Anstu Stables.
In February, Blues
Street won the Grade
III Fair Grounds Handicap by 2 ¼ lengths.
Reward Wins $105,000 Duncan F. Kenner
Crack sprinter Cash Reward put delivered $63,000 to
owners Richard, Bert and Elaine Klein following his triumph in
Saturday’s 59th running of the $105,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Cash Reward, a 4-year-old gelded son of 1995 Louisiana
Derby winner Petionville, ran six furlongs over “fast” dirt in a swift
1:09.13 to beat Kensei by three-quarters of a length. Euroears
was another half-length behind in third.
Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the winner for trainer Steve
Cash Reward was forwardly placed from the outset in a
battle for the early lead with Euroears. He gained the edge around the turn,
shook clear from Euroears with a furlong to run and proved to be best.
Cash Reward paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10 as the 3-5 betting
choice in the compact field of five older horses. It was his fifth victory in
six career starts and second stakes win. The Kentucky-bred also won the $75,000
F.W. Gaudin Memorial in January. His career earnings total $213,360.
Cash Reward’s lone defeat was a half-length loss to Grade
I-winning sprinter Capt. Candyman Can last spring in the Matt Winn
Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Runs Away With Crescent
Heavenville crushed his eight Louisiana-bred rivals
with a runaway 6 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s 38th running of the
Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The 3-year-old son of Offlee Wild, owned and bred by Bill
and Corinne Heilgbrodt, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.42 under jockey Shawn
Bridgmohan. Dynapac was second and Pioneering Native finished
Heavenville patiently tracked pacesetter Redsugar
through the early stages of the race. He made his move for the lead around the
final turn, drew even with the leader at the top of the stretch and rolled away
from the field down the lane.
Heavenville, conditioned by Steve Asmussen, paid
$4.60, $2.80 and $2.20 as the 6-5 favorite. He earned $36,000 to push his
career earnings to $217,744. It was his third victory in 12 starts.
Heavenville gave Bridgmohan, Asmussen and the Heiligbrodts
their third wins on the card through the seventh of 13 races on the day. Also,
the Heiligbrodt’s took a one-win advantage over Michael Moreno’s Southern
Equine Stables in the race to be crowned leading owners at the meet, 21
wins to 20. Bridgmohan (75 wins) and Asmussen (66) are the leading jockey and
Workin for Hops Wins Grindstone
Odds-on favorite Workin for Hops dominated
Saturday’s $60,000 Grindstone Stakes with a five-length romp in the 7 ½-furlong
turf race for 3-year-olds.
Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the winner for trainer Mike
Stidham and owners Estrorace LLC. He paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.