Fair Grounds Race Course used the spotlight on Louisiana-breds on Louisiana Champions Day to honor the recently retired Happy Ticket, who became the highest earning state-bred in history last month.
Happy Ticket, who started her racing career with nine consecutive wins, has been retired from racing and will be sent to the Greathouse brothers' Glencrest Farm near Midway, Ky.
Stewart Madison's homebred Happy Ticket put in her final major preparation for the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) as she worked five furlongs in 1:03 4/5 on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.
Louisiana-bred mare Happy Ticket, out of the money just once in 17 lifetime starts, leads a field of six to the gate Sunday for the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Happy Ticket, ranked at the top of the nation's distaff division, is set to run in Del Mar's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles Aug. 6.
Happy Ticket, on the short end of narrow decisions in her past two starts, finally won a close one Saturday when she nipped front-running Oonagh Maccool in a stirring finish to capture the $321,900 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Oonagh Maccool and Happy Ticket, two of the brightest stars in the filly and mare division of American racing, square off in Saturday's $300,000-added Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Round Pond should be the favorite in Saturday's $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) on her home track at Oaklawn Park, but Louisiana trainer Andrew Leggio Jr., who saddles Happy Ticket, isn't ready to concede a thing.
Grade I winner Happy Ticket lived up to her billing as she defeated seven overmatched rivals in the $100,000 Louisiana Premiere Night Distaff, one of six stakes events worth $570,000 on Louisiana Premiere Night at Evangeline Downs.
Happy Ticket, who gained a lot of believers after a strong second to Ashado in the Oct. 1 Beldame Stakes (gr. I), had her last workout Wednesday morning for Saturday's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
The Louisiana invader Happy Ticket made short work of the field in Sunday's $250,000 Ballerina (gr. I) for fillies and mares at muddy Saratoga Race Course, pulling away in the final furlong for her 10th win in 11 career starts.
Happy Ticket, a certified hometown star after winning her first eight starts in Louisiana, hits the big time Sunday in Saratoga's $250,000 Ballerina Handicap (gr. I).
Stewart Madison's undefeated Happy Ticket turned back a talented group of fillies and mares, including defending champion and grade I stakes winner My Trusty Cat, with a 3 ½-length victory in the $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on Saturday at Arlington Park.
The prominent team of owner Dr. Glen Warren and trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. made their presence felt on opening day at Fair Grounds as Ole Rebel closed from last to capture Thursday's $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap before an opening day crowd of 7,465.
Louisiana's favorite daughter, Hallowed Dreams, faces a field of 10 boys and one other filly in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint Saturday. Winner of the A.B. Leggio Memorial Handicap just one week ago, Hallowed Dreams will carry 120 pounds, including regular rider Sylvester Carmouche.
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.
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