The only thing the nation’s reigning
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace
has left to do prior to her 2012 debut in Saturday’s
$150,000 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
is gallop up to the race.
“That work she had Monday (five furlongs in
59.60 on a track rated fast) was exactly what we were looking for,” said
Cindy Jones, wife and invaluable assistant to trainer
Larry Jones during training hours Wednesday morning at Fair Grounds.
“She did it real easy – without being asked for anything extra – but
we’re very pleased with how it went and she came out of it real well.”
Fox Hill Farms, owner of Havre de Grace as
well as Joyful Victory, post time favorite for last spring’s Kentucky Oaks and a projected starter in
Park’s $150,000 Azeri Stakes, will have the Jones’s fighting a war on two fronts Saturday with the juggling act already underway.
and I will both be here at Fair Grounds
for Havre de Grace’s race Saturday,” said Mrs. Jones, “but he went home
for awhile to shower and change before he hauls Joyful Victory up to
Oaklawn this afternoon. The plan is that he will stay up there (at Hot
Springs) tonight, gallop (Joyful Victory) in
the morning and then head back here to Fair Grounds tomorrow afternoon.
York (another valued member of the Jones team) will stay up there at Oaklawn and saddle Joyful Victory this weekend,” she added.
never know what’s going to happen in horseracing,”
concluded Mrs. Jones, “but we’re expecting a winning performance from
Havre de Grace this weekend. “We’re very excited about this race. Havre
de Grace has a bull’s-eye on her back – there’s no doubt about that –
but that’s to be expected considering what she’s
done in her career so far.”
Havre de Grace will join 2009 Horse of the
Year Rachel Alexandra as
the second Horse of the Year in the last three Fair Grounds seasons to
begin her subsequent campaign in the New Orleans Ladies. That filly
finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length,
in the inaugural edition of Fair Grounds’ richest event for older
fillies and mares.
In 1942, Horse of the Year
Whirlaway won the
Louisiana Handicap at the Crescent