The field for this weekend's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) is similar to the recently concluded Florida Derby (gr. I) in one important way: Both major Kentucky Derby preps drew full fields of promising but unproven 3-year-olds.
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra worked an easy half-mile in :50.40 at Fair Grounds the morning of March 22 in her first timed move since her narrow loss to Arnold Zetcher's Zardana in the New Orleans Ladies March 13.
Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan's Jody Slew is now considered "unlikely" to compete in the March 26 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II).
General Quarters, whose left foot swelled up March 14, is recovering nicely and is still slated to compete in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 27.
Rachel Alexandra was stunned by Zardana, who tackled the reigning Horse of the Year at the top of the stretch and outdueled the heavy favorite to win by three parts of a length in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes.
The connections of Rachel Alexandra admit that the reigning Horse of the Year will not be 100% cranked for her 4-year-old debut, which will come in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes March 13 at Fair Grounds Races & Slots
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra drew post 2 in a five-horse field for her 2010 debut the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes March 13.
Fair Grounds Oaks, Mervin H. Muniz, and New Orleans Handicap purses each reduced to $300,000, with the hope of beginning the 2011 race meet on a positive note.
When Churchill Downs Inc. released its 2009 annual report March 2, it offered a clear picture of the shift in wagering trends from racetracks to online and telephone wagering.
Horse of the Year recorded her first in-company work of 2010, and her second to last scheduled move before an expected start in the March 13 New Orleans Ladies Handicap.
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra had her furthest workout this season Feb. 24 in advance of the March 13 New Orleans Ladies Stakes, breezing a business-like six furlongs in 1:14 over a fast main track at Fair Grounds.
E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred Discreetly Mine took a full field sophomores gate to wire in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 20 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Jody Slew, who trailed the field after six furlongs, streaked down the middle of the racetrack in a determined stretch drive and caught pacesetter Quiet Temper in the final jump to pull an 8-1 upset in the Silverbulletday.
Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra posted her fourth workout of 2010 when she covered five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Fair Grounds while Zenyatta drilled six furlongs in 1:14 over the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park.
HRTV's Gary Stevens and Scott Hazelton will provide onsite coverage of the Risen Star at Fairgrounds; Caton Bredar and Jay Privman will cover the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.
The first three finishers in the Jan. 23 Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds are set to battle again in the Feb. 20 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at the same 1 1/16-mile distance over the New Orleans oval.
Four contenders from the Jan. 23 Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds -- including winner Jody Slew -- are set to meet again in the Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at the New Orleans, La. track Feb. 20.
10 older horses will line up in Saturday's Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. III), headed by recent winners Acting Zippy and Blues Street.
Don Benge's Maximus Ruler, runner-up in the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) last month and an expected starter in this weekend's Risen Star (gr. II) -- both at Fair Grounds -- will miss the race because of a bruise on his foot
Fair Grounds' $300,000 prep race attracts plenty of potential stars; gains some starters from Florida.
The Roman Ruler colt is scheduled to run in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II).
Jockey guides Outfitter to victory in first race Feb. 13 at the Fair Grounds.
In her second work of the week, reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra breezes four furlongs in :50 3/5 Feb. 6 in New Orleans.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will reduce purses for overnight races by 9%, effective Jan. 31, and trim the value of 12 stakes.
Jockey Jamie Theriot won his 2,000th race when he guided Alaina's Aurora to victory in the thirteenth race at Fair Grounds Jan. 23.
James Spence's El Caballo shook off a more than seven-month layoff to earn his first stakes victory, as he rolled to an easy 3 1/4-length win in the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 23 at Fair Grounds.
Mr. and Mrs. William Warren's Denis of Cork, who was third in the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been retired, trainer David Carroll said Jan. 22.
James Spence's El Caballo, a grade II runner-up last year, returns off a seven-month layoff as the 121-pound high weight in the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 23 at Fair Grounds.
Friesan Fire and General Quarters, both starters in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I), will make their 4-year-old debuts Jan. 23 at Fair Grounds.
A new night racing experience with specialty drinks, live music by The Wise Guys, and charbroiled oysters will take place at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans on three Friday nights.
Brittlyn Stable's Star Guitar, the overwhelming 1-5 favorite, romped to a 7 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic Dec. 19.
The Santa Super Saturday program at Fair Grounds Dec. 19, originally scheduled as a five-stakes package, will have four more stakes added.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility.
We caught up with trainer Al Stall Jr. Dec. 14 as his last training set of the day went out and asked him five questions.
Live racing at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots was cancelled Dec. 13 due to unsafe track conditions. The state and track stewards made the final decision about 10:30 a.m. CDT.
The Louisiana Champions Day program at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Dec. 12 was cancelled after the eighth race due to hazardous weather, which included torrential rain and heavy winds.
Brittlyn Stable's Star Guitar is seeking to become the third Thoroughbred in history to win three times on a Louisiana Champions Day program in New Orleans when he goes forward in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has put together a $200,000 stakes race for older fillies and mares in hopes of luring Horse of the Year candidate Rachel Alexandra for her 2010 debut.
Friesan Fire, sent off as the favorite in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), finished third in a Fair Grounds allowance contest in his first race back since the Preakness (gr. I).
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will offer high definition (HD) simulcasts of all of its races when the New Orleans track opens its 2009-10 Thoroughbred meet Nov. 6.
It appears the Louisiana (gr. II) and Florida (gr. I) Derbies will be run on the same day in 2010.
Although Churchill Downs Inc. posted a slight increase in revenue during the second quarter of 2009 despite the depressed economic picture with the U.S., the racetrack operating company's president and CEO said the "results from our racing operations were disappointing."
Churchill Downs Inc. released its second-quarter results after the close of the stock market July 29, with a slight increase in earnings due to its advance deposit wagering system and slot-machine gaming.
Jockey Shane Sellers is set to make his return to racing July 2 after a 4 1/2- year hiatus from the sport when he'll be aboard Ide Ball trained by former rider Mark Guidry in the first race at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.
Despite growth in its online pari-mutuel wagering and Louisiana slots operations, the top executive of Churchill Downs Inc. said May 7 the company is not ignoring its racing properties, but needs legislative help to keep them viable entities.
- By Ryan Conley
Citing the absence of insurance payments received in 2008, Churchill Downs Inc. reported a net loss of $4.8 million in the first quarter of the year, but said a 12% increase in net revenues were attributed to strength in its Louisiana gaming business and on-line wagering operation.
Ruben Munoz, agent for jockey Gabriel Saez, will also handle the book for leading rider John Velazquez at the Keeneland meet that begins April 3.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again notched his first win since taking the Jim Dandy (gr. II) last summer, as he came roaring from off the pace to capture the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) in the slop at Fair Grounds March 14.
At the moment, trainer Hal Wiggins is resisting the temptation to seriously consider racing Rachel Alexandra against the boys. But, if the ultra-talented filly should put on another scintillating performance in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14, Higgins admits the plot would thicken.
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