Wednesday, December 10, 2014

STAKES ADVANCE: Louisiana Champions Day Part I

1751 Gentilly Blvd.,   New Orleans, LA 70119




Contact: Brian W. Spencer, Racing Analyst/Racing Communications, 504.948.1233, 



NEW ORLEANS (Wednesday, December 10, 2014) – Rowell Enterprises’ speedy Heitai will take on eight others in defense of his $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint title Saturday at Fair Grounds. The Champions Day Sprint is part of a special added Pick-4 covering races 6-9.


A 15-1 outsider in last year’s Sprint for trainer Karl Broberg, Heitai won going away by seven lengths and has since won seven more races. Heitai enters the Sprint off an opening weekend loss over a muddy track and will seek his 12th lifetime victory. Regular rider Diego Saenz has the call.


Heitai’s main competition may come in the form of William J. Deckwa, Jr.’s Too Dim, the Eddie Johnston trainee who was victorious when the pair met on November 23 at the Sprint’s six-furlong distance. A prototypical “horse for the course,” Too Dim boasts a sharp 5-for-7 record over the Fair Grounds main track and Miguel Mena gets the return call from the outside post.


The up and coming All Owls, trained by Ron Faucheux, will be tested for class as he puts his three-race winning streak on the line. Brittlyn Stable’s three-year old gelding lost the first four starts of his career but has rattled off three eye-catching scores since. Corey Lanerie comes to town to ride in place of the injured Richard Eramia, and the team will break from the rail.


The remainder of the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint field consists of: Gold Appointment (Chester Bonnet), M Dication (Gerard Melancon), Masters Degree (Colby Hernandez), Palmy Bay (James Graham), Top Cat Boogie (Courtney Hernandez), and Warren’s Rebel (Willie Martinzez).


GUADALUPE HIGH SETS SIGHTS ON LADIES SPRINT REPEAT – Ronny Werner, Rick Broth, Helen Burnett and Kenneth Posey’s Guadalupe High, the winner of the 2013 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, will make her first start in more than eight months when she attempts to defend her title in the $100,000 race. Trained by Ronny Werner, Guadalupe High has not been seen since finishing third in the Hallowed Dreams Stakes at Evangeline on April 11. She drew widest of all in the field of ten and will be paired with jockey Miguel Mena.


Capable challengers include Jerry Namy’s Snappy Girl, a speedy Karl Broberg-trained filly who has won stakes races on the dirt and turf and will be ridden by Colby Hernandez, Big Aut Farms’ Afternoon Tango, who was second to Guadalupe High in this race last season for trainer Patrick Devereux and jockey Diego Saenz, and Mike Arnaud & Beth Clavelle’s Wire Me Bessie, a speedy stakes winner who will try to stretch her early pace through six furlongs under Gerard Melancon for trainer Demitrius Faul.


Six other fillies and mares will face the starter in the Ladies Sprint: Nurse Emmielle (James Graham), Lady Grantham (Jamie Theriot), Designer Legs (Francisco Torres), Jias Pal (Brian Hernandez, Jr.), Blessed Immaculata (Corey Lanerie), and Platinum Lady (Robby Albarado).


LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY STARTER HANDICAP DRAWS COMPETITIVE FIELD – The $50,000 Champions Day Starter attracted a field of eight runners under its $12,500 starter allowance conditions.


Greta & Logan Trotter’s contender Candiano is enjoying something of a career renaissance in his 8-year old season, winning twice from four starts since moving into the Keith Bourgeois barn this summer. Candiano’s versatile style will give rider Colby Hernandez options out of the starting gate.


All Right Racing’s Over a Barrel enters the Louisiana Champions Day Starter in fine form, having rattled off five consecutive runner-up finishes for trainer Victor Arceneaux who will remove blinkers from Over a Barrel Saturday in hopes of curing his seconditis. Jockey Diego Saenz will ride after piloting the gelding in his two most recent races.


Double Dip Stables’ Know You Now will make his second start of the meet for trainer Brad Cox after pressing the pace and holding for second behind a sharp winner in his most recent start. Brian Hernandez, Jr. will take the call as the pair break from the rail.


The remainder of the Champions Day Starter field is: Johnny Handsome (Jamie Theriot), Midnight Lure (Courtney Hernandez), The Louisiana Kid (Miguel Mena), Red White and Guru (Gerard Melancon), and Westernator (James Graham).


THREE QUARTER HORSE STAKES KICK OFF CHAMPIONS DAY CARD -- A trio of stakes for Louisiana-bred quarter horses will open the Saturday card. The Grade II Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic for older horses. Jls Speed Horse Ranch’s Jls Mr Bigtime – a career earner of $999,947 – will be guaranteed to pass the $1 million mark in career earnings if he starts in Saturday’s race owing to a purse structure that pays at least 1% to every starter.


The Grade II Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby is for three-year old Louisiana-bred quarter horses and is headlined by T M Ranch’s Ol Time Preacher Man, a winner of $559,873 who took down the Treme Derby at this summer’s Fair Grounds quarter horse meet.


The last of the three quarter horse stakes on the Saturday card will be the Grade II Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile which marks the return to Fair Grounds for Louisiana Jambalaya, the winner of the Grade I LQHBA Sales Futurity in September.


About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 143rd Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 102nd running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 2014 through March 2015. More information can be found online at





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