Michael Gill, the nation's leading owner, has shipped in 17 horses to winter at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. with trainer Gamaliel Vazquez. It marks the first time Gill has ever had a string of horses stabled on the grounds. "We're testing the waters," said Vazquez. "The competition is tough down here, but hopefully we can do well." Although the stable has yet to start anything through the first three weeks of the meet, Vazquez said that he would enter as early as this week.
"This is such a long and tiring stretch than where we're coming from that I wanted to make sure that their fitness level is where it should be," Vazquez said. "I've gotten a few works in and the horses are really taking a liking to the track." The trainer is hoping to share in Gill's nationwide success and to make Fair Grounds a bigger part of their winter operation. "I've been studying all aspects of the track everyday, from how the two courses are playing to how the jockeys ride over the courses," said Vazquez. "The goal is to get better and better to be able to bring more stock here."