Catching My Eye: La-bred Stakes and Turf Winners from Fair Grounds

February 28th, 2024

The $100,000 Louisiana Stallion of the Year “Star Guitar” Stakes

After eating dirt early and muscling through tight quarters late, Thomas Holyfield’s homebred Brittany’s Dream rallied up the rail to win the $100,000 Louisiana Stallion of the Year “Star Guitar” Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday. Brittany’s Dream’s asserted himself atop the division of three-year-old Louisiana-bred male routers, just as his trainer Shane Wilson had envisioned.

As several got caught in a scuffle out of the gates, two front-runners emerged unscathed as Carpis set out to lead the field of 10 through quick opening quarters. With Spinning Aces in hot pursuit, a duel down the backstretch unfolded as Brittany’s Dream navigated a rail run taking kickback under a strong hold from rider Jose Guerrero. Brittany’s Dream held the rail before delivering a blow to an outer foe to make room and measure up the leaders. Slashing back to the rail at the 1/16th pole, Brittany’s Dream rallied triumphantly.

Wilson said after the race that the son of Always Dreaming had impressed him a ton as soon as he got him to the track as a baby. Though Brittany’s Dream failed to win going six furlongs, true to his pedigree, stretching out has allowed him to step forward. In Saturday’s stake, he earned an 84 Brisnet Speed figure.

The $100,000 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year “Lipstick Junky” Stakes

Valene Farms’ Accommodate Eva proved convincingly she can win going a route of ground, scoring in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year “Lipstick Junky” Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths. 

Powering through tight quarters out of the gate, Accommodate Eva relaxed in midpack and began tracking co-favorite Clearly a Test who stalked the early leader. As the forward group of fillies bunched up at the top of the stretch, Accommodate Eva saw an opening and shot through it to take the lead with a furlong to go. From there, she poured it on under a handride, pulling away by open lengths. For that late kick, she earned a 101 Brisnet Late Pace figure. For the entire effort, she scored a 90. For comparison, Tarifa also ran a 90 Brisnet Speed figure when taking the Rachel Alexandra (G2).

Accommodate Eva’s trainer Dallas Stewart was with Hoist the Gold in Riyadh for the $20 million Saudi Cup. Owner Murray Valene was on hand and said they will consider targeting the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) next. It wouldn’t be the first time they ambitiously spotted this Louisiana-bred daughter of Munnings.

Having broken her maiden going seven furlongs at Keeneland in October, Accommodate Eva was entered going two turns first in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and later in the Silverbulletday, where she failed to contend in either contest. 

Foxxy Cleopatra

Try as they might, they could not catch Foxxy Cleopatra in race 7 on Friday. Trying turf for the first time, the three-year-old sprinter shot out from the gates and never stopped in the allowance race. After stealing a length advantage early, she moved sharply through the turn and stole another. As her 10 rivals set to chase mode, Foxxy Cleopatra had more than enough late to finish what she started. She earned an 85 Brisnet Speed figure.

Now a perfect 2-for-2, Foxxy Cleopatra marked the first of two wins on the card for trainer Larry Rivelli. Jockey Jareth Loveberry scored a hat trick on the day, one of two three-win days this past week.

Flatter Me Silly

At 13-1, Flatter Me Silly took race 9 at Fair Grounds, one of several longshots to get it done on Thursday. Facing trouble early on in the race, jockey Corey Lanerie hit the brakes aboard Flatter Me Silly and positioned at the back of the back. Turning for home, the longshot set to work passing the eight rivals. Gathering steam down the center of the turf course,  Flatter Me Silly rallied to nail Woohoo Jackie Blue just ahead of the wire.

Trained and owned by Neil Pessin, it was the six-year-old’s third win from 15 starts. She earned an 85 Brisnet Speed figure.

Paint Me Perfect

From last to first and over the top at the end, Paint Me Perfect scored a strong win in an allowance race on the turf at Fair Grounds on Thursday, Feb. 15. Backing up the strong effort in her near-miss from December, the filly trained by Steve Margolis earned her second “W” of her career and her trainer’s fifth of the meet—from only 15 starts. Paint Me Perfect was ridden by David Cohen.

Making the last bid for the front proved to be the winning move, and Paint Me Perfect did it against the race flow. Scoring a strong 81 Brisnet Speed figure, more impressive is the 98 Late Pace number she ran. That type of late kick plays nicely against top allowance fields.

Sitting at 16-5-3-2 this meet (31% winners with a $3.64 ROI), Margolis is letting us know yet again that they call him “The Boss” for good reason.