Tag: Fair Grounds

Olympiad showed his speed with a record performance in February's Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes. He seeks his third win of 2022 in Saturday's New Orleans Classic. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Olympiad Seeking Another Gold-Medal Performance in New Orleans Classic

There’s a compelling and easy-to-understand reason why Olympiad took an 8/5 morning line favorite status into Saturday’s Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds. That compelling, easy-to-understand reason doubles as a record-setting reason. That’s exactly what Olympiad did the last time he traveled to Louisiana from trainer Bill Mott’s winter […]

Clairiere returned for the first time since her fourth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff in November with an easy allowance win at Fair Grounds. (Image: Hodges Photography)

Eclipse Finalist Clairiere Returns with a 6 1/2-length Flourish

Clairiere’s 4-year-old debut at Fair Grounds on Wednesday came in an allowance optional claimer. From a class standpoint, it wasn’t the typical race you’d see a multiple graded stakes winner run. But the chance to ride an Eclipse Award finalist brought Eclipse Award-winning jockey Joel Rosario to the Louisiana track. […]

Epicenter's success in winning December's Gun Runner here and finishing second in January's Lecomte at Fair Grounds should serve him well in Saturday's Grade 2 Risen Star. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Risen Star Brings Rising Stars, Rising Stakes to Kentucky Derby Trail

WIth a nod to Winston Churchill, Saturday’s Grade 2 Risen Star signals both the beginning of the end and the end of the Kentucky Derby trail’s beginning. The prelims are over and we’re now at the beginning of the win-and-you’re-in stretch of the Derby trail. That’s because the 1 1/8-mile […]

Olympiad, seen here winning a January Gulfstream Park allowance, is the tepid 3/1 favorite in Saturday's Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds. (Image: Coglianese Photos/G. Sonny Hughes)

Somebody Will Dig Up An Elusive Stakes Win in the Mineshaft

Lost in the Fair Grounds wash of Saturday’s Grade 2 Risen Star and Rachel Alexandra, two respectable preps for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, respectively, is an intriguing Grade 3 race featuring several familiar names — the Mineshaft Stakes. Wondering what happened to Derby dark-horse O Besos? He’s here. […]

Pappacap leads the Kentucky Derby points list with 12. He comes into Saturday's Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds as the 8/5 morning-line favorite. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Derby Points Leader Pappacap Finds Epicenter in the Lecomte Stakes

The Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes gives you current Kentucky Derby points leader Pappacap. It gives you one of the most exciting 3-year-olds in the country, Epicenter. And it gives you recent alumni Triple Crown success. The 1 1/16-mile Lecomte also gives you Derby preps for the first time in three […]

Mandaloun finished second to Medina Spirit in last year's controversial Kentucky Derby. He takes on rival Midnight Bourbon for the sixth time in the Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds Saturday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Cue Round Six for Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon in Louisiana Stakes

The Louisiana Stakes, starring Mandaloun vs. Midnight Bourbon, sounds like deja vu all over again. And again. And again. And again. And, yes, again. This latest duel — the sixth between the newly minted 4-year-olds and 2021 Triple Crown rivals — returns the pair to Fair Grounds and the $150,000 […]

Epicenter captured thi Churchill Downs maiden special weight last month. He is the 5/2 favorite to win the inaugural Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds, Sunday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Inaugural Gun Runner Stakes Provides Epicenter of Week’s Derby Preps

There’s a certain symmetry, a certain karmic presence in Steve Asmussen sending out Epicenter as the 5/2 favorite for the inaugural running of the 1 1/16-mile Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds. Whether Epicenter can follow in the hoofprints of Gun Runner – one of Asmussen’s best horses – remains […]

Roadster roared up from the stretch to win the 2019 Santa Anita Derby. The now-5-year-old returns for the first time in a year with a new trainer in the rade 2 New Orleans Classic Saturday at Fair Grounds (Image: Benoit Photo)

Roadster Returns to a Road Less Traveled: New Orleans

In the summer of 2018, Roadster was one of the hottest juveniles on the Kentucky Derby watch list. He won his debut at Del Mar by 4 ¼ lengths, then won two of his next three races. Through his first four races, Roadster was 3-for-4, with a Grade 1 victory […]

Proxy finished second in both Fair Grounds Derby preps: the Lecomte and the Risen Star. Can the 7/2 third-favorite break through in the Louisiana Derby? (Image: Hodges Photography)

Louisiana Derby Offers Big, Familiar Names in the Big Easy

Yes, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby has a familiar look to it that goes beyond bringing us familiar names like Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Proxy – and yes, California import Hot Rod Charlie. It’s those first three that give the first of the 170-point Kentucky Derby preps that déjà vu look. […]

Mandaloun won his first two races, including this maiden-breaker at Keeneland last October. He looks to rebound off a disappointing third last out as the 9/2 favorite in the Risen Star Saturday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Risen Star: Your First Win-And-You’re-In Derby Race for 2021

The Risen Star Stakes is, to paraphrase Drew Carey from the old “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” improv show, the race where the points begin to matter. Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds is the season’s first Kentucky Derby prep offering 50-20-10-5 qualifying points to the […]

Senor Buscador brings a flair for the late dramatic to his races. He's come from way back to win both his races, but faces a tougher field in Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. (Image: Dustin Orona Photography)

Señor Buscador Could Make a Late Arrival in Risen Star

Watching Señor Buscador run with a betting ticket in your hand is a trip on an emotional roller coaster. You’re standing there, pinning your ticket-cashing hopes on a drama-king of a horse who lacks any sense of urgency. Until the stretch. That’s when Señor Buscador finds that heretofore lacking sense […]

Midnight Bourbon leads the top four finishers of last month's Lecomte Stakes into this weekend's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. That race gives 50 points to the winner, virtually guaranteeing a Kentucky Derby spot. (Image: Hodges Photography)

Risen Star Brings Rising Derby Points to the Weekend Stakes

This weekend’s stakes races bring us Essential Quality making his 3-year-old debut in one Kentucky Derby prep. They bring us the first win-and-you’re-in Derby prep, and they bring us a Derby prep that gives the winner a berth in the Preakness Stakes. They also bring back Monomoy Girl for her […]

Mandaloun brings a versatile running style into the closer's haven that is the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds. The Into Mischief offspring is the 3/1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby prep. (Image: Coady Photography)

Lecomte Stakes: Kind to Closers, Anything but to Derby Prospects

The Lecomte Stakes takes center stage this week because it’s a Kentucky Derby prep, it’s a Kentucky Derby prep run in mid-January, and because there are some interesting candidates among its 11-horse field. Eventually, the wheat separates from the chaff, and races like the Grade 3 Lecomte start the Derby […]

In a year of amazing moments, Swiss Skydiver's Preakness victory was near the top of the list. The standout 4-year-old returned to the track after a two-month break. (Image: AP Photo)

Swiss Skydiver Returns to Track, Virus Knocks Maxfield Out of Pegasus

As one 2020 standout returned to training, another one returned to the shelf – albeit temporarily. Swiss Skydiver hit the track, running for the first time since November’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, while a report said Maxfield suffered a virus that will keep him out of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. […]

Maxfield showed plenty of tenacity in all three of his races, including this 2019 Breeders' Futurity victory. He's the 8/5 favorite for Saturda's Tenacious Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography)

Tenacious Maxfield Makes Return 2.0 on Perfectly Named Stage

You couldn’t pick a more aptly named race for Maxfield to make his long-awaited return – return 2.0 if you’re keeping track – than Saturday’s Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds. It’s a non-graded stakes and not where you’d expect to find an undefeated colt who was once mentioned near the […]

Fair Grounds offers 51 stakes races on its 76-day winter/spring card. Three Kentucky Derby preps -- the Louisiana Derby, Risen Star, and Lecomte -- headline the meet. (Image: NOLA)

Three Kentucky Derby Preps Headline Fair Grounds’ 2020-21 Stakes Cards

Three key Kentucky Derby prep races headline Fair Grounds Race Course’s 51 stakes schedule for the 2020-21 season, which begins Thanksgiving Day. Those stakes on the Louisiana track carry a combined purse of more than $7 million over the 76-day meet, which runs through March 28. What’s interesting about the […]