Charles C. Smith’s 13-time stakes winner String King will attempt to claim his fourth victory in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for his breeder-owner-trainer against a field of nine other Louisiana-bred foes in the 1 1/16-miles grass event. The Turf goes as the sixth race on a 13-race Louisiana Champions Day card presented by Acadian Ambulance.
A six-time winner over the Stall-Wilson turf course, 7-year-old String King won the Turf in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – with his only absence being when he competed and finished second by a nose to Sunbean in the Classic in 2013. A four-time stakes winner in 2015, the Fair Grounds fan favorite will break from the rail under Richard Eramia and carry top-weight of 124 pounds under the allowance conditions. String King’s biggest challenge is likely to come from Ballybrit Stable’s stakes-winning sophomore Gallery, from the Mike Dini stable. A winner of the $95,000 Manila Stakes at Belmont going one mile in July, the well-traveled son of Munnings has kept talented company while competing in open stakes in Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota and Maryland. The chestnut will break from post four under Mitchell Murrill.
The remainder of the Louisiana Champions Day Turf field is comprised of Well’s Gold (Colby Hernandez, post two), Know You Now (Brian Hernandez, Jr., post three), One King’s Man (Florent Geroux, post five), McGehee’s Mercy (Andre Ramgeet, post six), Four Leaf Chief (Gerard Melancon, post seven), Benwill (Marcelino Pedroza, post eight), Hopeful Notion (Miguel Mena, post nine) and Hot Zapper (Jose Riquelme, post 10). Both Know You Now and One King’s Man are cross-entered in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.
Later in the card, the Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds take the stage in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie for fillies (race eight) and $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile (race 11). Each contest is over six furlongs on the main track.
Whispering Oaks Farm’s Cajun Conoseir goes for her third stakes victory in four career starts for trainer Steve Flint. The daughter of Closing Argument was a runaway winner last out in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies at Louisiana Downs, but must overcome a four-month layoff to be successfulwhen she breaks from post three under Gerard Melancon. The likely suspects standing in her way come in the form of Roger G. Smith’s Smittys Cougar and Panic Stable’s Conquest Tiz One. The former, a well-bred daughter of multiple stakes-winning turf sprint mare Smitty’s Sunshine and top Louisiana sire Half Hours, exits a solid victory in statebred allowance company at this trip on Nov. 19 for trainer Ron Faucheux. The latter makes her first start for meet-leading conditioner Mike Stidham after being purchased at Keeneland’s November Sale for $100,000. A maiden in two starts for previous trainer Mark Casse, the daughter of Tiz the One has finished second in both starts, which came in open company at Woodbine and Keeneland, respectively.
The Juvenile pits Ronald Webb’s recent stakes winner Sea Vow, who exits a win in the $150,000 Louisiana Legacy Stakes at Delta Downs on Nov. 21 for trainer Joseph Foster, against the top-three finishers in the local prep for the Juvenile – a course and distance allowance race on Nov. 20 in which Valene Farm’s Eric Heitzmann-trained John’s Luck gamely defeated Double Dam Farm’s Ronda Hutchinson-trained deep closer Mageez and Hernandez Racing Club’s Armando De La Cerda-trained open company maiden winner Este Es.
Source: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots