"I love winning. When I stop liking this, I should quit."Peace Rules became only the second horse in the history of Fair Grounds to win the Louisiana Derby and New Orleans Handicap in successive years. Master Derby accomplished the feat in 1975-76.The roughly run first turn also affected Funny Cide, who bumped with Spanish Empire while attempting to escape the rail. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness (gr. I) winning gelding was able to settle off the rail while tracking the leaders, moving up into contention on the far turn. While he lacked the needed response to catch Peace Rules and Saint Liam, he finished gamely to defeat Seattle Fitz."I think he's coming back around, but I was looking for a little more than that," trainer Barclay Tagg said of Funny Cide. "I don't know anything else but to keep training him."The Florida-bred Peace Rules, who was coming off a disappointing fourth-place finish as the even-money favorite in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita Jan. 24, ended a three-race losing streak. He won for the third time in four starts at the nine-furlong distance and is a perfect two-for-two at Fair Grounds."The last time in California, I tried to rate him, but he did not like that," Bailey said. "So today, I let him do what he likes, make the lead, and he was very comfortable through the whole race. I figured I'd let him run at his own pace no matter how fast or slow he was going, and we won."
Peace Rules earned $300,00 for owner Edmund A. Gann with his seventh win in 15 lifetime starts. He boasts career earnings of $2,439,990.Seattle Fitz, the narrow 5-2 favorite over Ten Most Wanted, saved ground at the rail for John Velazquez, but lacked much punch in the lane. Ten Most Wanted, 2003's Travers (gr. I) champion who was making his first start of the year, was able to get to the inside after being knocked wide on the clubhouse turn, but failed to respond in the stretch for jockey Pat Day. He finished fifth, followed by Sir Cherokee, Spanish Empire and Comic Truth."The bump in the first turn that carried him wide seemed to bother him the whole race," Day said. "I urged him down the backside and he responded a little, but he never found his stride. If I can ever figure out how to get around that first turn we'll be in great shape. After that, he was out of the bridle a bit."The third choice in the field of eight, Peace Rules paid $9.20, $4.60 and $3.60. Saint Liam returned $6.20 and $5. Funny Cide's show was $4.60. The $2 exacta was worth $77.80.(Chart, Equibase)
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