Fair Grounds Stakes Recap

New Orleans track features three rich stakes for Louisiana-breds.

December 8, 2012

Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day kicked off with a trio of six-figure stakes for American Quarter Horses, and all three races featured a winner who posted a speed index in excess of 100. In the first race of the day, the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Derby (RG3), Douglas Traylor’s Rocky Mountain Fly made his stakes debut a winning one as he closed late to prevail by a neck as the 7-2 third choice. Trained by Kenneth Roberts Sr. and ridden by Stevie Gillum, the gelding by Panther Mountain sprinted 400 yards in :19.683 for a 103 speed index.

Rocky Mountain Fly, who was bred by SKT Farms Inc., failed to find the winner’s circle in four starts as a juvenile but now has won four times in seven starts as a 3-year-old. The $45,000 paycheck for this effort boosted his bankroll to $80,435. Rocky Mountain Fly is out of the Strawfly Special mare Dealafly, who is also the dam of 2009 Louisiana QHBA Sale Futurity (RG1) winner Dealagame.

Carlos Lozano’s Political Option, who is also trained by Roberts, just missed the victory at odds of 9-1. The Jess Louisiana Blue gelding hit the board in a pair of Restricted Grade 1 futurities last year and pushed his earnings over the $190,000 mark. Favored Coors Select, a gelding by Oak Tree Special who won last year’s Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile (RG2) for owner Polly Coleman, finished a close third.

In the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile (RG2), Gerald Libersat’s homebred Perrys Runaway became the first stakes winner for sire Sir Runaway Dash when he prevailed by a half-length as the 2-1 second choice. Donald Watson rode for conditioner Kevin Broussard and stopped the timer at :17.485 to record a 101 speed index at 350 yards.

This marked the fourth win in six trips to the post for Perrys Runaway, whose only previous stakes effort was a third-place effort in the $1-million Louisiana QHBA Futurity (RG1). His earnings now stand at $181,377. Perrys Runaway is out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Ms Perrys Money. The gray gelding is the third stakes horse and first stakes winner for Sir Runaway Dash, a Grade 1-placed stallion by First Down Dash and full brother to champions Wave Carver and Ocean Runaway. Sir Runaway Dash stands at Tate Farm in Ville Platte, Louisiana.

Coltins Fast Dash, a 25-1 longshot running for owner Jaime Torres, closed to take second with James Magnon’s Bare Naked Martini, a filly by Jet Black Patriot, in third. Ms Jingles, a two-time stakes winner with earnings of more than $450,000, was not a factor and finished last in the field of 12 as the favorite.

The $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic (RG2) featured a huge upset as James Mitchell’s homebred Martini Mountain scored at odds of 47-1 with Danny Lavergne up for trainer Paul Rigdon. Giving sire Panther Mountain two winners on the card, Martini Mountain earned a 105 speed index for a 440-yard sprint in :21.425.

Despite his long odds, this is not the first time Martini Mountain has found success on Louisiana Champions Day. The 6-year-old won the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile in 2008 and has three other stakes victories during his career. His record now stands at 34-8-8-3 with earnings of $393,547.

Oscar Rohne’s La Mos Chingono, a winner of three stakes this year and the runner-up in last year’s Louisiana Champions Day Classic, took second-place once again. The Heza Fast Dash mare has hit the board in 14 of her 17 lifetime starts. There was a deadheat for third between Taylors Toastin Papa and Blue Louisiana Jolla. Even-money favorite JLS Mr Bigtime, the runner-up in the 2010 All American Futurity (G1) and that year's champion 2-year-old gelding, finished a close fifth.