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Good And Lucky loves New Orleans

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

He’s probably been more good than lucky over the past year – especially at Fair Grounds – so Laconian Racing Stable, Steve Organ and Josie Carroll’s Good and Lucky has finally been shouldered with the favorite’s mantle at 9-5 in the morning line for Saturday’s $75,000 Louisiana Handicap.

 

He won the 2009 Louisiana Handicap at better than 9-1 and was clearly second best in last year’s Grade III Mineshaft Handicap at almost 8-1, but despite those performances Good and Lucky was still not the favorite when he won this season’s $59,000 Tenacious Handicap by almost two lengths.

 

“For some reason, he just flourishes when he gets down here,” said Ruth Schmidt, assistant to Good and Lucky’s part owner and trainer Josie Carroll during training hours Thursday morning. “He just keeps responding for us, and he’s been training very well coming into this race.

 

“He’s become a lot more versatile as he’s gotten older,” said Schmidt of the 7-year-old gelding. “You used to have to go to the lead with him, but in recent times he has learned to relax. We gave him a nice gallop earlier in the week, so now all we have to do is lead him over Saturday. We’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.”

 

Sand & Cee Stables’ Secret Getaway, second to Good and Lucky in this season’s Tenacious but the winner over that rival in last year’s renewal, is the second choice at 5-2 in Saturday’s Louisiana Handicap morning line.

 

“I was happy with his comeback race (in this season’s Tenacious),” said trainer Mike Stidham on Thursday morning. “I think he fits very well in this race.”

 

However, also entered in Saturday’s Louisiana Handicap is last year’s Grade II Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire, owned by Vinery Stable and Fox Hill Farms and conditioned by two-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Steve Asmussen, as well as last spring’s Grade I Blue Grass winner General Quarters, owned (and trained) by Tom McCarthy. Both those rivals are veterans of last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness but both were taken out of training for surgery following the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

 

Following long layoffs, Friesan Fire returned to finish third behind Good and Lucky in a $100,000 optional claiming race at Fair Grounds Dec. 3 and is 3-1 in Saturday’s Louisiana Handicap morning line, while General Quarters came back to finish second in another optional claiming race at Fair Grounds Dec. 26 and is 6-1 in Saturday’s Louisiana Handicap renewal.

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