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Trainer Michelle Lovell Ends Year on High Note

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
Trainer Michelle Lovell, who finished seventh in Fair Grounds’ trainer standings last season, closed out 2011 with two encouraging days last Thursday and Saturday at the New Orleans oval.


Last Thursday, Lovell saddled the first and second place finishers in the day’s finale with the two longest shots on the board – Joe and Gene Walkovac’s Do Dat Blues for a whopping win payoff of $54.40, while a length behind her was Bill and Denise Morrison’s The Bosser at odds of 21.60-1.


“They were both coming off long layoffs since last July,” said Lovell on Sunday. “I didn’t really know what to expect from them.”


On Saturday, Lovell saddled Agave Racing Stable’s Gowhereyougaze to run second by a neck in a $49,000 allowance optional $50,000 claiming event that is expected to serve as a preliminary round for Fair Grounds’ upcoming sophomore series, which begins with the Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 21, continues with the Grade III Risen Star Stakes Feb. 25 and concludes with the $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby April 1.


“We’ll want to try the next condition before we think about stakes races for him,” said Lovell of Gowhereyougaze, “but we’re hopeful this horse will be able to eventually compete at that level.”



A season-high place price of $79.60 was established at Fair Ground in last Friday’s finale when T + L Thoroughbred Farm’s Dorvan, trained by Tom Burwell and ridden by Gabriel Saez, finished second to Louis Barbazon’s Cherokee Outlaw.


Fair Grounds’ season-high exacta price of $1,309 was also recorded in that race.



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