In the six-furlong F.W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes, Euroears battled it down to the wire with Stormin Baghdad as both launched their 4-year-old campaigns and sought consecutive victories. The Langfuhr colt, ridden by Ramsay Zimmerman for trainer Bret Calhoun, edged his rival by three-quarters of a length to take the dirt event for James and Marilyn Helzer in a final time of 1:09.43 after hooking up with Stormin Baghdad to set the pace. Bred in Kentucky by Gary and Bonnie Peterson, he came off a Dec. 2 win on the grass at Fair Grounds and now has four wins to his record. The winners’ share of $60,000 boosted his career earnings to $115,032.
Sent off at odds of 7-2, Euroears paid $9.80, $6.20, and $3.60 to win, while Stormin Baghdad and jockey Miguel Mena returned $5.40 and $3.40 to place, and 2-1 favorite Semaphore Man brought $3.20 under Robby Albarado to show.
In the 1 1/16-mile Louisiana Handicap, Bowman Couch Racing’s Silver Lord made it three consecutive victories as he pressed the pace and took control at the head of the stretch, widening his advantage and holding off the late-closing Prom Shoes and Real Dandy. Under Corey Lanerie, the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song boosted his earnings to $117,412 for trainer Steve Asmussen while finishing the dirt event two lengths in front in 1:43.61.
Barely regarded by the bettors at odds of 14-1, Silver Lord returned $30.40, $13.40, and $7.20 to win. Prom Shoes and jockey John Jacinto brought $12.20 and $6.60 to place, while Real Dandy paid $9.60 with Shaun Bridgmohan to show.
With the fillies racing, Danceroftherealm won the 5 ½-furlong Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Stakes and Jolie the Cat took the one-mile Tiffany Lass Stakes, both getting consecutive victories and first stakes wins.
Danceroftherealm, a 4-year-old King of Kings homebred, boosted her earnings to $174,730 for Richard Lister and trainer Malcolm Pierce while getting her first stakes victory after winning a Dec. 22 allowance over the same distance at Fair Grounds. The only runner in the four stakes races not to come from on or near the lead, she came up the rail under Miguel Mena to win by a half-length and finish in 1:04.59, returning $20, $8, and $4.60. Flying Circle and Manuel Aguilar brought $4.20 and $2.60 to place, while Kindling and Jesus Lopez Castanon paid $5.20.
Jolie the Cat, a 3-year-old Tale of the Cat filly, won her first race off a Dec. 7 maiden victory at the Fair Grounds. Trainer Steve Asmussen saddled yet another winner, this one ridden by James Graham to a 2 ½-length victory in a final time of 1:38.56 for owner/breeder Heligbrodt Racing Stable and co-owner JMJ Racing Stable. She returned $10.40, $5, and $3.60 while Tizaqueena and Jamie Theriot brought $2.80 and $2.20 to place and Highest Class returned $3 to show under Robby Albarado.
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