Catching My Eye: LA-bred extraordinaires from Fair Grounds, Jan. 5-8

January 11th, 2023

Three stakes winners plus a debut runner caught my eye last week. Each of them bred in Louisiana, and each of them with the talent to potentially face open company going forward.

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023

Let’s start with the debut runner from Ron Faucheux’s barn who ran on Thursday, Kyle Beauty. It didn’t take an expert eye to be awed by this first-time-starter. After setting the pace two wide, Kyle Beauty cruised away in hand around the turn and never looked back to win by 11 3/4 lengths while under wraps for the final furlong.

The son of California Chrome earned an 82 Brisnet Speed Figure. He is in good hands, as Faucheux has won the last two trainer titles at Fair Grounds. Talking with Ron recently, he said he is challenging himself to not bring his runners back too quickly so there is less potential for a bounce, where they aren’t able to run back to their previous effort. The racing schedule and condition book always have their say, but when this three-year-old runner returns, if he takes another step forward, then I don’t care where he was bred, he would deserve a shot against open company.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023

It’s official. Bron and Brow is a real race horse. At least a real sprinter. In winning the 2021 Louisiana Futurity, we knew the talent and promise was there last year, but mentally he didn’t quite have it as a three-year-old. And the attempt at two turns was a bust.

Age and the ultimate equipment change was all it took. That, and being in the quality hands of the Mark Casse barn.

In the first running of the $75,000 Gary Palmisano Memorial on Saturday, Brian Hernandez Jr. gave the son of Gormley a perfect trip, settling just off the pace and finding a nice spot in the pocket, then switching outside to follow stablemate Swot Analysis in the stretch. But it took a gutsy race horse to run down that game foe, and Bron and Brow elevated his game to win, earning a 92 Brisnet Speed figure.

I think he deserves another shot at two turns.

Bron and Brow has run three of his races out of state, so there’s a strong chance he will face open company again, though there are so many La.-Bred opportunities it might not be until after the Fair Grounds meet. I’d back him against open company. He just smoked the best of the La.-bred sprint division.

Who Took the Money’s 2 1/2-length win in the rescheduled $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf reminded me of something: this horse is legit.

He has a really big turn of foot on the turf, and on Saturday he ran a 106 Brisnet Late Pace figure. On the dirt, he’s been successful winning three of his last five races, but jockey Deshawn Parker said it best after the race. “On the turf (his turn of foot) just feels totally different.”

Yeah yeah, he’s just a Louisiana-bred… and trainer Bret Calhoun says they will keep him on the grass in the Louisiana program for as long as they can. But this is Allied Racing’s runner, the connections who brought us the graded stakes winner By My Standards, and I have a feeling that if this stubborn son of Street Boss matures mentally to work in tandem with his rider and not only according to his own whims, they’ll take on open horses at some point. And I’ll be cutting in line at the windows to bet him.

With the scratch of Ova Charged and Snowball, Free Like a Girl just beat two foes on Saturday but she deserves a mention for all she has accomplished. The recently turned four-year-old has finished second to Society, Butterbean, and Ova Charged. She is versatile, running well sprinting and routing. But most importantly, she has gotten paid.

With the win in Saturday’s $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial, Free Like a Girl, who was purchased for just $5,500 as a yearling, moved into the top 20 on the all-time Louisiana-bred earnings list with $748,128 with a record of 22-10-7-3. Trainer Chasey Pomier has done excellent work campaigning this El Deal filly across the country and keeping her sound through so many races.