Fair Grounds Stakes Selections for November 18

November 16th, 2023

A trio of stakes tilts for Louisiana-bred runners will highlight the fine Saturday card at Fair Grounds

Race 5 – Joseph R. Peluso Memorial S. 

A total of nine Cajun-bred juveniles will dash 5 1/2 panels on the main oval to kick off the stakes action. #6 Prodigy Paradise was a professional winner at first asking at Delta Downs for Bret Calhoun and merits respect with likely improvement second time out. The Omaha Beach homebred has posted four useful morning drills in the interim, with the last pair coming over this surface, and the February foal will have Corey Lanerie in the stirrups. 

I also have a bit of interest in recent maiden victor #1 Pop’s Peppysteper, who showed marked improvement with blinkers added last time out. The Carol Castille-trained son of Iron Fist picks up C. J. McMahon and he will be of very good value once again. 

Race 7 – Jacob V. Morreale Memorial S. 

A talented field of nine will go postward in the two-turn test on the main strip. #8 Allnight Moonlight morphed into a different animal when adding blinkers in February as he reeled off four wins with a second in his most recent five attempts on the dirt. The Ransom the Moon colt unsuccessfully ran on the turf in August in his latest offering, but the bay returns to his favored oval and shows a quartet of solid morning drills locally to ready for this test. I expect the bargain $15,000 purchase to force the pace and hang around for a long time under Ben Curtis. 

Race 9 – Larry D. Robideaux Memorial S. 

The boys will dash six furlongs on the dirt in the final black-type tilt of the afternoon, with a massive cast of 13 set to go postward. If #1 Mike J catches a flier out of the gate in his first run since August, then the son of Sky Mesa can be a dangerous commodity for a long time under Aubrie Green. The gray gelding flashed some serious early foot on multiple occasions over the past 12 months, and the four-year-old is dangerous following a bullet morning drill from the gate most recently for conditioner Lee Thomas. The price figures to be healthy, as well.