Fair Grounds racecourse is renaming the $500,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. II), to be run on March 21, 2004, to the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap, in honor of the track's late director of racing and racing secretary.
Enhancements in purse and graded status over the past four years have made the $650,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds an attractive race for shippers from across the country.
Big money. Big money. Six-hundred thousand dead presidents were on the line in the nine-furlong Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) on March 25 and there were plenty of takers. Top grass horses from each corner of the map swarmed into Fair Grounds like moths attracted to a porch light. Five invaders came from the East Coast and six shipped in from California. The biggest name on the marquee was Centennial Farms' King Cugat, a multiple graded stakes winner, who was making his 4-year-old debut. However, trainer Niall O'Callaghan came to bury Caesar, not to praise him, and he did it with Gary Tanaka's Tijiyr. The Irish-bred, under Robby Albarado, put in a determined finish to cap off a ground-saving trip and seal the upset ($21.40) victory.
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