Fair Grounds

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Louisiana Derby Should Provide Answers

Louisiana Derby Should Provide Answers

With less than two months until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it is time that some of the highly-touted 3-year-olds begin to answer our questions. Many of those answers will be provided March 8 at Fair Grounds, when nine top challengers will do battle in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).

Daytona Heads Mervyn Muniz Memorial 'Cap

Daytona Heads Mervyn Muniz Memorial 'Cap

Dan Hendricks saddled Daytona to four consecutive stakes victories in the past five months, his most recent being the Feb. 9 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT). In the March 8 Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds, the trainer looks to extend that streak and add another graded win to his runner's resume.

Grasshopper Good to Go in New Orleans

Grasshopper Good to Go in New Orleans

The $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) is shaping up just like the Feb. 9 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) did, and that's fine as far as Neil Howard is concerned. The trainer sends 4-year-old Grasshopper to the March 8 event looking for the same form the colt showed in his Mineshaft victory - and Howard fully expects similar results.

Pyro Early Favorite in Louisiana Derby

Pyro Early Favorite in Louisiana Derby

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, who stamped himself as a leading Triple Crown contender after his win in last month's Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), is the 7-5 morning-line choice in a field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.

Grasshopper Tackles Mineshaft

Grasshopper Tackles Mineshaft

Todd Pletcher trainee Magna Graduate has not scored a win since April 2007 and the Neil Howard-trained Grasshopper has not raced since a second-place finish in the Super Derby Sept. 22. Both are looking for a return to their winning ways in the $150,000 Mineshaft Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.

Better Talk Now in FG Handicap

Better Talk Now in FG Handicap

The ageless Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and a graded-stakes winner each of the last five years, heads the field for the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT), part of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) Preview Day Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds.

Pyro, Z Fortune Head Risen Star

Pyro, Z Fortune Head Risen Star

Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Pyro will make his 3-year-old debut in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9, but don't think the Steve Asmussen trainee lacks experience. Prior to a Feb. 5 move over the Louisiana oval, his last two works were impressive bullets fired in company with 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.

Fair Grounds Winners Pay Well

Fair Grounds Winners Pay Well

The four ungraded $100,000 stakes races at Fair Grounds' "Road to the Derby Kickoff Day" were all about gate-to-wire wins and solid payoffs, as all but one of the winners paid more than $10 while setting or contesting the pace to do so at the Louisiana track Jan. 12.

Blackberry Road Favored in Lecomte

Blackberry Road Favored in Lecomte

Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road may be the 7-2 morning line choice for the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but he'll face two unbeaten runners, a graded stakes winner, and an impressive 9 1/4 length victor when a field of nine heads to the post at the Fair Grounds Jan. 12.

Commentary: Past Posting

By Ed Martin - Sometimes it's good that racing does not command the front page of USA Today's sports section as often as it should.

HRTV to Launch 'RaceDay America'

HRTV to Launch 'RaceDay America'

With the busy winter racing schedule under way, HorseRacing TV will debut a new daily 90-minute show, "RaceDay America," beginning New Year's Day, Jan. 1, at 11:30 a.m. EST.

'Baghdad' to Try Turf in Bonapaw

'Baghdad' to Try Turf in Bonapaw

A winner of five of seven starts this year, Midnight Cry Stable's homebred Stormin Baghdad headlines a field of 13 for the Dec. 22 Bonapaw Stakes, the last of four $100,000 stakes on the inaugural "Santa Sprint Saturday" card at Fair Grounds.

KHRA Studies Past-Posting Incident

KHRA Studies Past-Posting Incident

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority will form a subcommittee to investigate an incident in which wagering on a Fair Grounds race at Keeneland remained available while a race was in progress, officials said Dec. 17.

Fair Grounds Meet Set to Begin

Fair Grounds Meet Set to Begin

Observing its traditional holiday start, Fair Grounds will open its doors Thanksgiving Day, beginning an 81-day meet highlighted by Louisiana Derby day, the richest day in Louisiana racing history, which will feature six stakes worth $2.2 million.

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