Shadwell Farm may have bred another runner based on the way the
2-year-old Hawaakom broke his maiden Saturday afternoon at Fair Grounds.
dropping back steadily during the early part of Saturday’s mile and
70-yard test for juveniles, the son of 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil
rallied outside the leaders despite drifting in and drew clear late for a
length and a half score under an attentive ride by jockey Leandro
“I guess you could say he’s my Derby horse now,” joked
his trainer Danny Peitz, speaking from Oaklawn Park Wednesday morning
shortly before embarking on a journey to New Orleans to check on the
string he has stabled at Fair Grounds. “I’ll say that because he’s the
only 2-year-old I have that has won going over a distance of ground.”
kidding aside, Hawaakom – based on his breeding alone – may turn out to
be just that. Despite the fact that he returned a $75.60 win mutuel
last weekend, the homebred has shown consistent improvement in his
“He ran seventh in his first and only other start at
Churchill (Nov. 7),” Peitz said, “but that race was at six furlongs and
I’ve thought all along that this one would be more of a distance horse.
The rider who rode him that day thought he ran very green but said this
colt would show a little more ability when we started to stretch him
“I’m kicking myself for not throwing at least a couple of
dollars on him the other day,” Peitz said. “I thought he’d do better
going two turns, but there I was last weekend just sitting on my hands.
year, I had another son of Jazil named Najjaar who was going to be my
Derby horse,” said Peitz. “He showed a lot of late run in the (Grade II)
Rebel here at Oaklawn but didn’t run that race back when I put him in
the (Grade I) Arkansas Derby. After that I took him to Chicago and he
ran third behind Silver Max in the Arlington Classic, but he put a
little chip in his ankle right after that race and he’s just started
back in his training with his first work last Friday. He can run on
grass or dirt so you may see him coming to Fair Grounds a little later
in the season.
“I don’t know if this colt (Hawaakom) has that
kind of ability or not,” said Peitz, “but right now he’s got to be my
Derby horse. I don’t have any others.”
Was Hawaakom a possibility for the Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 19 at Fair Grounds?
“I’m not sure,” said Peitz, “but I’m definitely not going to say ‘No.’”
What about the colt’s name? What does it mean in Arabic?
have no idea,” Peitz said. “I’m not even sure how to pronounce it. All
the announcers have called it one way and I’ve always pronounced it
differently. I don’t know who’s right. Maybe the way I’ve been saying it
is just me speaking in my ‘Arky-Arabic.’”
STATEN ISLAND-BORN FG
TRACK ANNOUNCER SPEAKS ABOUT HURRICANE SANDY
No one knows more about
hurricanes than native New Orleanians, and their heartfelt response to
both in person and with monetary contributions to the victims of
Hurricane Sandy has always been indigenous to the character of
One member of the Fair Grounds family – track
announcer John G. Dooley – is a native of Staten Island, NY, and
returned home to help his mother Mary Anne ride through that storm.
come to Fair Grounds as the announcer for the first time pre-Katrina
for the 2004-2005 meeting, I knew what kind of damage hurricanes can
do,” said Dooley, who went to Shreveport for the abbreviated Fair
Grounds-at-Louisiana Downs meet the following season. “I knew all too
well the path that Sandy was taking so I went home to my mother’s house
to see her through the coming storm.
“My mother’s apartment
building sits on a hill and my mother’s unit is on the second floor,”
said Dooley, “so we had relatively minor damage. We did lose power for
four days, so of course we had no heat, but other than that, we were
quite lucky compared to a lot of other people on Staten Island.
when we finally did get our power back, ironically, it was an
Alabama-based power company that restored it,” said Dooley. “We got
power back the night before the LSU-Alabama game, and with me being an
avid LSU fan, I was really looking forward to seeing my team beat
Alabama, but you know how that turned out.”
MARK VALESKI BREEZES
HALF-MILE IN 48.20 WEDNESDAY
Brereton Jones’s Mark Valeski, hero of
Belmont’s Grade II Peter Pan last May 12 and runner-up in Fair Grounds’
Grade II Louisiana Derby and Grade II Risen Star Stakes before that,
breezed a half-mile Wednesday morning in 48.20 at Fair Grounds in what
was his third work back since being returned to training this winter at
the Crescent City oval.
Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl, heroine of
Churchill’s Grade II Golden Rod closing weekend at Churchill Downs last
month and a prospective starter in Fair Grounds’ $125,000
Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 19, breezed five furlongs Tuesday in
SEVERAL FG JOCKEYS OFF THEIR SCHEDULED MOUNTS WEDNESDAY
Irish-born jockey James Graham took off his mounts on Wednesday to
return to Ireland to be with his father.
“His father has taken
ill and he’s at the airport right now trying to get back to Ireland,”
said Graham’s agent Britt McGehee. “He’ll probably be gone until Sunday
night and won’t be back riding until next week’s races. He’s doing the
Louisiana-born jockey Mark Guidry texted Fair
Grounds officials Wednesday he was taking off his mounts due to
“fighting a bad cold.”
New Jersey-born jockey Rosie Napravnik,
currently leading the Fair Grounds standings, took off the remainder of
her mounts Wednesday due to “not feeling well” after riding in the
opener aboard a filly who had to be pulled up.