Heider Family Stables and Craig Bernick’s Tom Proctor-trained Savings Account shipped in and took her back-class straight to the bank for her connections, winning the $50,000 Esplanade Stakes by 1¼ lengths as the 8-5 second choice. Ridden by last season’s meet champion jockey James Graham, the gray 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro rated on the inside, came off the rail while roused at the top of the stretch and won for the fourth time in 15 starts, while returning $5.20, $3.40 and $2.40.
Louis Clarizio’s Eduardo Rodriguez-trained Tiz Lately ($6.60 and $3.60) outran her 10-1 odds under Shaun Bridgmohan and held on for second by a length from Stoneway Farm’s Neil Howard-trained graded stakes-winning even-money favorite Ahh Chocolate ($2.20) after setting fractions of 24.35, 47.59, 1:12.49. Savings Account ran a mile in 1:39.07 and finished up the mile and 70-yard event in 1:43.47 over the muddy and sealed surface. Brian Hernandez, Jr., was aboard Ahh Chocolate.
The $31,260 winner’s purse increased Savings Account’s bankroll to $233,350. Grade I-placed last fall in California, she won her first stakes race.
“I had a beautiful trip. I followed the leader and then tipped her out and ground (Tiz Lately) down,” Graham said. “She’s a nice mare. She’s never been out of good company. Even in her allowance races she’s kept good company.”
“She ran well,” Howard said of Ahh Chocolate, who won the Grade II $200,000 Falls City Handicap last out at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26. “The one-hole always adds a degree of difficulty, but I thought she ran great. We’re happy.
Brooklynsway, Emmajestic and Zeven completed the order of finish.
Source: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots