(Needs Supervision prepping well for Rachael Alexandra Stakes / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
By Ryan Martin, Fair Grounds Media Team:
NEEDS SUPERVISION RECORDS FINAL WORK FOR GRADE II RACHEL ALEXANDRA
The excellence displayed by Needs Supervision in her last three starts has also been showcased during morning training. On a brisk Friday morning, trainer Jerry O’Dwyer saw another dazzling work out of the Silverbulletday Stakes winner.
Owned by Howling Pigeon Farm, Madaket Stables, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable, the 3-year-old daughter of Paynter breezed over a fast Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track and went a half-mile in 48.20 with regular rider Joe Rocco, Jr. aboard for the journey.
“I was very pleased with her,” O’Dwyer said. “I had Joe let her gallop out after the wire. She just did everything right. The track was in good condition and she went out like the professional that she is. Joe just sat on her and she took him around there for a little spin.”
The four-furlong breeze was the sixth fastest of 61 recorded works at the distance and was also her final work in preparation for the Grade II $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Saturday, February 16. Needs Supervision will attempt her fourth straight victory in next Saturday’s race, which is the second of three New Orleans preps on the Road To The Kentucky Oaks. Prior to winning the Silverbulletday Stakes, she was a second out maiden winner over the main track at Laurel Park over three next out winners, including stakes winner Fashion Faux Pas. She then defeated graded stakes-placed fillies Meadow Dance and Lightscameraaction at Churchill Downs by five lengths back in November.
The Silverbulletday Stakes gave Needs Supervision 10 points on the Road To The Kentucky Oaks, where she currently sits at No. 8 on the Leaderboard. She would earn 50 more points with a win next Saturday. O’Dwyer got his first stakes win as a trainer when she won the Silverbulletday Stakes.
“She’s done nothing but improve,” O’Dwyer said. “She’s bringing me on a heck of a ride. She’s not a big imposing filly but she’s not small either. She’s just very pretty and very efficient like a ballerina. I wouldn’t swap her for anything else in the country, Maybe it’s sentimental because I had her and picked her out at the sale and got to develop her myself. She’s something special.”
O’Dwyer selected Needs Supervision from the Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale last May for only $55,000 from Hidden Brook’s consignment barn. She is out of the stakes-placed Carson City broodmare Moroccan Rose.
“When you don’t have unlimited funds to play with, you’re always looking for that diamond in the rough,” O’Dwyer said. “It wasn’t just a one man effort. I have lots of people to thank along the way that have lowered her price in order for her to be fair. (Bloodstock agent and pinhooker) Mike McMahon worked with me to help me buy her for the price that I could afford. I’m especially grateful for Howling Pigeon Farm who have supported me. They’ve only had horses for over a year and this is only their third horse.”
A win in the Rachel Alexandra would give O’Dwyer his first graded stakes win as a trainer.
“I would get very emotional especially with friends and family coming in,” O’Dwyer said. “This is what we do it for, hopefully she is my first graded stakes winner but hopefully she isn’t my last either. I just hope that she’s a stepping stone to more to come. It’s all about stepping stones and showing up every day.”
Needs Supervision has walked through the stepping stones and has shown up each day when asked. Next Saturday, O’Dwyer will see what she’s really made of.
Other notable works on Friday morning include Charles Fipke’s Grade I winner Seeking the Soul who breezed a half-mile in 50.40 for trainer Dallas Stewart. The 6-year-old son of Perfect Soul (Ire.) recorded his first work since a runner-up effort in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park and will target the Group 1 $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30 at Meydan Racecourse. Also moving a half-mile for Stewart are two possible entrants for the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes. Both Chase the Ghost and Frolic Morecompleted their works in 48.20. Allied Racing’s Mr. Money drilled through five furlongs in 1:00.20 for trainer Bret Calhoun. The 3-year-old son of Goldencents is targeting the Risen Star Stakes and has not raced since finishing fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November.
(Corey Lanerie and his beautiful family at Churchill Downs / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
SHANTEL LANERIE BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION FUNDRAISER SET FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will host the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser on Saturday, February 9.
The event will be held from 12 p.m. – 6p.m. CT in the Fair Grounds tent near the apron and will have food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for purchase as well as an auction. Live music will be provided by Rick Mocklin and the Southern Voice Band and there also will be a meet and greet with the jockeys from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Items available for auction include but are not limited to:
- White cleats signed by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly
- A Carolina Panthers football helmet signed by former quarterback Jake Delhomme
- A two-night stay at Hotel Monteleone
- A foursome for golf at Lakewood Country Club
- A grandstand box for next racing season
- Two autographed racing saddles
The event is named in honor of jockey Corey Lanerie’s late wife, who passed away from breast cancer in June of last year.
“My wife and I started the foundation in honor of Shantel,” said Shantel Lanerie Foundation founder Rick Mocklin. “She was a remarkable person that was a favorite of everyone. Her and my wife were best friends. We want to raise money to support women that have any stage of
breast cancer. So far, we’ve helped seven women with breast cancer, including one lady who was a single mother that had Stage Four breast cancer. We helped and made sure that they had a great Christmas. This event is to raise awareness for breast cancer and stay true to our mission statement.”
The featured race of the day is named in honor of Shantel Lanerie, where jockey Corey Lanerie will guide the morning-line favorite Elsa.
“It would be very special to win,” Lanerie said. “It would be a special moment to remember her and would just bring back a lot of memories of her being here and being in the winner’s circle. I’m going to have a lot of family here so win or lose I’ll be thinking about her all day.”
The mission statement of the foundation is “Education, Preparation & Dedication to Helping Women.”
(Trainer W. Bret Calhoun / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
W. BRET CALHOUN APPROACHES MILESTONE WIN
Trainer Bret Calhoun is only two victories away from securing his 3,000th career win.
In Friday’s second race, Calhoun, 54, won his 2,998th race with Houston Strong ($8.40, $5.20 and $4.00). He will be represented by two runners in the second race at Sam Houston on Friday evening with Emerald Lady (3-1) and Leather and Lace (9-2).
On Saturday he will race:
Fair Grounds: Fairway Magic (Race 6, 8-1)
Sam Houston: Gold Buyer (Race 3, 4-5)
Delta Downs: Mr. Four Sevens (Race 8, 8-1); Special Blessing (Race 10, 7-2)