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Tetradrachm on Louisiana Derby Trail

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
There’s a new Badge of Silver in town that is starting to shine in 2012, and this one may be on his way to the $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds April 1


That annual Grade II centerpiece of the New Orleans meeting will be run for the 99th time on the current session’s Closing Day, and this colt is a homebred son of 2005’s New Orleans Handicap winner Badge of Silver which goes by the initially awkward-sounding name of Tetradrachm.


Trained by Paul McGee, Tetradrachm broke his maiden last Friday night during Fair Grounds’ initial Starlight Racing program this season. The homebred owned by Mrs. Jerry Amerman won by a neck when going 1 1/16-miles over the main track, and although the newly-turned sophomore paid a $29 win mutuel, his victory came as no surprise to his conditioner.


“He’s been a nice horse for me since I got him and I really expected him to run well the other night,” said McGee during training hours Sunday morning. “He really had a lot of trouble in his first three races (as a 2-year-old in Kentucky). The comments only show him racing wide, but he had a lot more trouble than wide trips. At least I thought he did. I thought his races up there were a lot better than they showed on paper.”


The 2012 Louisiana Derby trail, it should be noted, begins with Fair Grounds’ Grade III Lecomte Stakes on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone Jan. 21 and continues with the Grade II Risen Star Stakes on Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford Feb. 25.


“Right now, we’re hopeful he’s going to be the kind of horse that will compete at that level for us,” said McGee. “I was very pleased with the way he ran the other night.”


Incidentally, although the word “tetradrachm” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the name for a son of Badge of Silver is actually quite apropos, because the tetradrachm was an ancient Greek silver coin that was in wide circulation from 510 to 38 B.C. and its use as a currency spread with the armies of Alexander the Great.



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