Chris's Thunder closed though the stretch to win the $60,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Handicap in a blanket finish Saturday at Fair Grounds. Hallowed Dreams, who won her first 16 career races before suffering her first loss this summer, was scratched.
Chris's Thunder was angled out from behind a wall of horses by jockey Shane Sellers in upper stretch and surged in the final sixteenth-mile to win by a neck over Lady Gin. The winner completed the about 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.61 on good turf.
Second betting choice Steal a Heart, who led in deep stretch, finished third, a head behind Lady Gin. 16-1 Sharp Eyes closed late but finished fourth, a nose behind Steal a Heart. Changing Seasons was fifth, followed by Glitters, Fancy Footwear, and Callmeanicepick.
The win was the fifth in the last six starts for Chris's Thunder, the lone loss during that time a second-place finish to Cinemine in the Monique Rene Handicap on dirt at Louisiana Downs. The 5-year-old mare won two allowance races on turf at Lone Star before stepping up to win the $75,000 Miller Lite Stakes. After the Monique Rene, Chris's Thunder switched back to turf and won the $81,000 A.P. Indy Stakes at Keeneland. Chris's Thunder (Rubiano--Charnell's Dream, by Wavering Monarch) was bred in Kentucky by White Fox Farm and is trained by Kelly Broussard. She earned $36,000 for owner Michael Schwartz with the win, her ninth in 30 career starts.
The 6-5 favorite, Chris's Thunder returned $4.40, $3 and $2.20. Lady Gin paid $6.20 and $2.80. Steal a Heart paid $2.40 to show. The winning exacta combination returned $26.80.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Hallowed Dreams didn't make the trip from Evangeline Downs to the Fair Grounds after suffering a bout of colic.
"There'll be another race," he said. "I'm sorry we'll miss that one...We wanted to run."