Contributing, Excessivespending Headline Richie Scherer Memorial at the Fair Grounds

(Trainer Tom Proctor will saddle Contributing in the Richie Scherer Memorial at the Fair Grounds on Saturday / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From Ryan Martin / Fair Grounds Media Team:

A highly well-matched field of 14 fillies and mares have been assembled for Saturday’s $75,000 Richie Scherer Memorial, a 5½-furlong event over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.

Joey Keith Davis’ Excessivespending drew the outside and was made the 4-1 morning line favorite by Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots clocker and odds maker Mike Diliberto. Trained by Chris Hartman, the 4-year-old daughter of Shackleford will be in search of her first stakes victory but has found the winner’s circle on five occasions in 20 career starts. Excessivespending enters the Richie Scherer Memorial off of an allowance over the Keeneland turf on October 21 which she won by 2¼ lengths. She has raced three times over the Fair Grounds lawn, including a 3¼-length victory on December 10 in an allowance optional claiming event run at the Richie Scherer’s 5½-furlong distance. Excessivespending will be guided by jockey Ty Kennedy.

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen will be represented by Justa Lady (post 12, 6-1, James Graham), who enters the Richie Scherer off of a win over the turf at Remington Park on September 1 and boasts the highest bankroll in the field with $308,745 in career earnings. Owned and bred by Curtis Green, the 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready has one stakes win on her resume which she earned when taking the Tellike Stakes at Louisiana Downs on September 9, 2017. She followed said winning effort with a second place finish in the Grade III Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland on October 13, 2017 behind six-time stakes winner Morticia.

Heider Family Stables’ Contributing was second in last year’s edition of the Richie Scherer which was won by Rapid Rhythm, and will look to fire off the bench in her first start since February 13, where she was eighth in the Mardi Gras Stakes. Trained by Tom Proctor, the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has found the winner’s circle three times but seeks her first victory in a stakes race. She has placed against stakes company on two occasions in last year’s Richie Scherer Memorial as well as the Pan Zareta Stakes on January 5, where she was beaten 1¼ lengths behind Triple Chelsea. Contributing will break from post ten under jockey Jack Gilligan at 5-1 odds.

Completing the field are On Probation (post one, 20-1, Mitchell Murrill), Wild About Star (post two, 15-1, Colby Hernandez), She’s All Skeet (post three, 12-1, Adam Beschizza), Sanity (post four, 15-1, Corey Lanerie), One Last Shot (post five, 6-1, Miguel Mena),Stonefactor (post six, 20-1, Channing Hill), Unbridled Courage (post seven, 12-1 Gabriel Saez), Deer Valley (post eight, 12-1, Jose Valdivia, Jr.), One Valor (post nine, 15-1, Marcelino Pedroza), Boom Bam Bing (post 11, 20-1, Joe Rocco, Jr.), Brielle’s Appeal (post 13, 6-1, Shaun Bridgmohan).

The Richie Scherer Memorial Stakes is named in honor of the late Louisiana native who campaigned graded stakes winners such as Shires Ende, Minor Wisdom, Mystery Giver and Mr. Vegas, the latter of whom gave him his last graded stakes win in the Grade III Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes in 2012. Scherer’s two younger brothers, Gary and Merrill, are both trainers based on the Fair Grounds backstretch in the winter.

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The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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