Fair Grounds

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NO 'Cap: Circular Quay Nips Grasshopper

NO 'Cap: Circular Quay Nips Grasshopper

Sometimes change is a good thing. Just ask trainer Todd Pletcher, who not only added blinkers to his struggling 4-year-old colt Circular Quay, but shipped him back to Fair Grounds, the site of his only win in eight previous starts. The moves paid off, as Circular Quay outfought a stubborn Grasshopper in a terrific stretch duel to take the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) by a half-length March 8.

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).

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.

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.

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.

'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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