Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Due Date had one of his best days on
Santa Super Saturday at Fair Grounds when he won the $60,000
Bonapaw Stakes, but the Klein family and trainer
Steve Margolis had an even better one when entrymate
Early Return bested Gold Mark Farm’s
Backtalk by a neck for the runner-up spot.
got in a one-two punch today,” said Margolis, who saddled his first
Fair Grounds winner exactly two years ago on Dec. 18, 2008 and has
become one of the most dominant stakes trainers of the Crescent
City oval’s winter
racing season. “Due Date had an unlucky trip last time (in Churchill
Downs’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint) but he has really come into
his own lately, and he’s getting better as a
5-year-old going on to his 6-year-old season. It’s the same thing with
Early Return – he’s the same age.
give a lot of the credit to Richard,” said Margolis, speaking of owner
Klein. “He always wants to do the right thing with his horses. If
they need some time off, he gives it to them. That’s why they stay
around as long as they do. You have to do the right thing by them, and
he knows that.”
Tony Farina guided Due
Date to his 2 1/2-length tally in the Bonapaw, accomplishing the about 5
1/2-furlong distance over the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:04.24 after
Western Smoke set early
fractions of 22.23 and 46.31 before tiring to 10th position at the wire.
The winner increased his career earnings to $240,788 with his seventh
win in 29 lifetime starts.
The Margolis entry paid $7.40, $6.40 and $4.20 while Backtalk paid $4.60 in third position.
Also of note, favored
Central City, owned by
Preston Stables, who finished fifth in the Bonapaw after pressing the
pace, may still be able to keep his projected date in Dubai in March.
Ronny Werner has always theorized that the Fair Grounds grass may not favor his colt’s running style and has not ruled out the
Dubai trip. Central City was runner-up in the Grade II Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Nov. 6.
ARCHARCHARCH WINS SUGAR BOWL STAKES ON SANTA SUPER SATURDAY –
Robert Yagos’ Archarcharch, the only maiden in the field for Saturday’s
Sugar Bowl Stakes,
eliminated that asterisk from his resume with a courageous 1 3/4-length
victory in Saturday’s 60th anniversary edition of the $60,000 2-year-old
sprint named after
New Orleans’ famed college football game.
“I’ve always thought this might be a good horse because his works were way above average,” said Archarcharch’s trainer
Jinks Fires, who previously saddled Patricia Blass’s
Wildcat Shoes to win the 2003 Sugar Bowl Stakes. “In his only other start he didn’t have the best of trips.”
returned mutuels of $4 and $2.40 in the field reduced to four following
three scratches earlier on Santa Super Saturday. The son
of Arch accomplished the three-quarter mile distance in 1:10.49 and
increased his career earnings to $47,744 with his first win in two
Whispering Oaks Farm’s
Joe Hollywood, ridden by Robby Albarado,
made the pace in the Sugar Bowl with splits of 22:32 and 46.08, could
not stay with the winner but was easily second best, paying
a $2.20 place mutuel while finishing 5 3/4-lengths to the good of
B G Suavecito.
“I knew I had to stay close today because of the small field,” said winning rider
Jon Court of his ride
aboard Archarcharch, trained, incidentally, by his father-in-law. “I
looked over and saw Robby (aboard Joe Hollywood) next to me and I could
tell he had something left in the tank.”
COUNTRY FLAVOR TASTES VICTORY IN TENACIOUS HANDICAP
Jim Tafel’s Country Flavor, unhurried early, rallied boldly to best Zayat Stables’
Z Humor by a neck in the late stages of Saturday’s $60,000
Tenacious Handicap to deny Z Humor’s trainer-jockey tandem of
Steve Asmussen and Shaun Bridgmohan
their fourth wins of the afternoon on Santa Super Saturday at Fair Grounds.
was a tough race, but it set up good for me because there was a lot of
pace in the race and I was able to tuck him in and get comfortable,”
said winning jockey Shane Sellers of the
Country Flavor, who paid $24.40, got the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.74
and increased his career earnings to $179,890 with his fifth win in 15
lifetime starts. David Holloway’s
Dubious Miss finished third behind Z Humor.
FASTATION FASTEST ONCE AGAIN IN LETELLIER MEMORIAL
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Fastation won her fifth straight stakes by capturing Saturday’s $60,000
Letellier Memorial for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs and gave jockey
Shaun Bridgmohan a riding triple and conditioner
Steve Asmussen a training troika on Santa Super Saturday. Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s
Fiscal Policy finished second with Right Time Racing’s
Street Storm getting third.
paid a $4.80 win price, got the three-quarters in 1:11.19, won the race
by 3 1/2-lengths and increased her lifetime earnings to $259,768
with her fifth win in eight career starts. “She’s such an honest filly
and she opted to stay off the speed today,” said Bridgmohan of the
change in running tactics. “She was quite comfortable back there and I
let her do her thing, but she always does what
you want her to do.”
WILDCAT HEIRESS WINS ESPLANADE STAKES
Wildcat Heiress went to the front and was never headed in Saturday’s $60,000
Esplanade Stakes. The daughter of Wildcat Heir made the pace under a relaxed hold by
Corey Lanerie, tallied by
3 1/4-lengths while touring the 5 1/2-furlongs in 1:04.14, and
increased her career earnings to $123,372 with her fourth victory in
Greeley’s Rocket finished second in the Esplanade with Michael Sandlass and Bettye Gabriel’s
Kimbo third. Wildcat Heiress paid $6.60. “All I had to do was make sure I didn’t fall off,” said Lanerie.