Mr. Misunderstood takes the Super Derby Prelude
A very exciting edition of Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs took place on Saturday, August 5. The card featured nine stakes and purses of $ 460,000, was highlighted by the running of the $ 60,000 Super Derby Prelude.
The stakes for 3-year-olds on the Franks Turf Course at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth attracted a competitive field of eight. The added incentive to the winner was a berth to the $ 200,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 9; the richest race of the 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred racing season.
Flurry Racing Stable LLC’s Mr. Misunderstood ($ 7.00) accepted that challenge and handled it with ease, coming off the pace under jockey Chris Rosier to score by 2 ½ lengths. Covering the first-quarter mile in :24.56 and the half-mile in :48.73, Mr. Misunderstood’s final time over the firm turf course was 1.41.88.
“There’s a few years of friendship behind this horse,” said Rosier. “Brad and his team did a great job bringing this horse off a layoff. Staton did his best to get them to leave me on this horse.”
Staton Flurry was on hand to accept the trophy for the $ 130,000 purchase at the Ocala Sale.
“I’m glad we got this guy a stakes win,” he said of his friend Rosier. “The horse ran great; undefeated on the turf and I hope we can keep on rolling in the Super Derby. This feels good!”
Trainer Brad Cox had confidence in the gelded son of Archarcharch, who came into the Prelude undefeated on the turf and rebounded gamely from his loss in the Grade 3, Illinois Derby on April 22. His assistant Ricky Giannini saddled the dark brown gelding.
“We keep trying to make him a dirt horse, but found out in the Illinois Derby that it was not going to happen,” joked Giannini. “He has such a great turn of foot on the turf and relishes that surface. We’ll van back to Churchill Downs, our home base and van back down for the Super Derby.”
Fast Talkin Man, a Texas-bred son of Oratory, trained by Danny Pish, closed for second under rider Luis Quinonez.
“He looked good,” said Pish. “This horse is a deep closer and the fractions did not set him up today. “He always comes home like a monster.”
Magic Vow, a son of Private Vow owned by Evelyn Benoit of Brittlyn Stable, Inc. ran a game third in his turf debut, followed by Cox’s other trainee Royal by Nature. The remainder of the field included Mizztic Tale, Jilotopec, Queeten and Score’s Choice.
The first stakes of the afternoon was the $ 50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings.
Scott Brown’s Aceguitar, a son of noted Louisiana champion Star Guitar, dug in gamely for jockey Ted Gondron. He wheeled back following his runner-up finish in the $ 105,000 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park on July 22.
Aceguitar ($ 240) covered six furlongs in 1:12.47. Drewcitable, under Colby Hernandez, dueled with the winner, but settled for second, followed by Smokin’ Truth and Roaring Star Fire.
A field of seven took to the Franks Turf Course in the $ 50,000 John Henry; one of the two features transferred from Evangeline Downs for the Louisiana Cup Day card.
Big Changes (3.80), was sent off as the heavy favorite, and did not disappoint, winning by a margin of 1 ½ lengths under jockey Diego Saenz. The Florida-bred son of Shipman crossed the wire of the mile and one-sixteenth feature in 1.41.43 over the firm. Trained by Brad Cox, Big Changes won his fourth race and the first stakes of his career.
Paternal Pride, ridden by Richard Eramia, rallied for second followed by multiple-stakes winner Ibaka and West Village.
Sunny Oak, owned by Keith Plaisance turned back eight challengers in the $ 50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
With confident handling by rider Emmanuel Nieves, the 4-year-old filly by Live Oak won by 5 ¾ lengths over longshot Can’t Touch Me under Ashley Broussard. Defending champion Look Into My Eyes was third and Mr. Al’s Gal completed the superfecta.
Sunny Oak ($ 10.80) is trained by Edward Johnston and picked up her sixth win from 15 starts.
A full field of 12 accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares took to the Franks Turf Course in the $ 50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.
Leading Louisiana Downs trainer Joey Foster clinched the win with Illusionofreality, who added her fourth consecutive win of the meet and the first stakes of her career. The 4-year-old filly sired by Yankee Gentleman, is owned by Maury and Leslie Harrington.
With regular rider Alexander Castillo aboard, Illusionofreality ($ 16.40) broke from the far outside post and held off the late charge of Safari Calamari. Her final time for the mile and one-sixteenth turf route was 1:42.56. Post time favorite Inveniam Viam ran third and P Boo completed the superfecta.
Another full field of 2-year-old accredited Louisiana-bred fillies set the stage for an exciting edition of the six-furlong $ 50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Making just the second start of her career, Anton Kobacak’s Emily’s Lollipop became a stakes winner for trainer Scott Gelner. Returning off her maiden race at Prairie Meadows, she took the lead under Diego Saenz, drawing off by a margin of five lengths over longshot Sarah’s Holy Belle. Feisty Embrace ran third and recent stakes winner Janae held for fourth.
Emily’s Lollipop rewarded her supporters with a win payout of $ 18.40.
The $ 50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted a solid field including the winner of the $ 100,000 Louisiana Legends Turf run here on July 17. Berniestrike, bred and owned by James Boyd, scored the upset, under rider Eguard Tejera.
Trained by H. B. Johnson, the 5-year-old Louisiana-bred had not run since December 16, but gamely wore down his rivals. He won by a neck, crossing the wire of the mile and one-sixteenth turf stakes in 1.41.16. Louisiana Legends Turf winner Trust Factor was second with Colby Hernandez up, followed by Fort Pulaski and Sir Genghis.
Sent off at 22-1, Berniestrike, who ran third in the 2016 edition of this stakes, paid $ 46.20 for the victory.
The $ 50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint, a six-furlong main track dash, attracted a full field, but none could match the prowess of Jockamo’s Song (5.20). Owned by Dare to Dream Racing Stable LLC, the son of Half Ours entered this race off a win in the $ 100,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs. Gerard Melancon was the winning jockey, covering six furlongs in 1:10.83 for trainer Michael Stidham.
Nubin Ridge ran second under Ashley Broussard, followed by Icy Gentleman and Sea Vow.
Originally scheduled at Evangeline Downs, the $ 50,000 Opelousas at one mile over the Franks Turf Course was the final feature of the card.
Sister Blues, a 5-year-old daughter of Pioneer of the Nile, was the winner, which was the third stakes win of the afternoon for trainer Brad Cox. Colby Hernandez piloted the mare for Lucky Seven Stable, covering the one-mile turf event in 1:35.93.
Emerald Pond closed for second, over Ski Tune and What a Reward.
The win was the fifth career victory for Sister Blues ($ 2.80), bred by her owner in Kentucky.
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