(Tenfold at Churchill Downs last summer / Photo by Gene McLean)

12-29-2018 – Adam Beschizza, (yellow cap) aboard Pretty Lady, puts a head in front of Cool Beans with Florent Geroux and Roussalka with Aubrie Green to win the 35th runnng of the Pago Hop Stakes at the Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

By Ryan Martin, Fair Grounds Media Team:


Since calling New Orleans his winter home last season, jockey Adam Beschizza has been anything but a stranger to the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ winner’s circle. This year, the 26-year-old native of Great Britain is knocking on the door of his first riding title since moving to the United States in November 2017.

In his first full season riding in the U.S., Beschizza, fell just a win short of the Fair Grounds jockey title. Beschizza took down three of the first four races on the closing day March 31 card to tie, but Shaun Bridgmohan won the featured 11th race with the even-money favorite Wild About Star to take the crown (66-65).

Last season Joe Sharp and Adam Beschizza won 29.1% of their races as a team (46 for 158). That percentage is down a touch at the current stand (22.7%, 34 for 150), but Beschizza’s business from other barns has picked up considerably. In 2017-18 at Fair Grounds, Beschizza was 19/193 for trainers not named Sharp (9.8%) but this season he’s 28/196 for 14.3%

“I’m hoping it’s this year,” Beschizza said. “I’ve been blessed with many opportunities and it was all thanks to Joe (Sharp) last year getting me hitting the ground running as fast as I did. Things have only progressed and progressed. Hopefully they continue. It’ll be a dream come true, definitely high on my goal agenda to at least get one riding title and  as soon as it happens as quick as it has in the time I’ve been over here would make it that much of a bigger feat.”

On January 27, Beschizza rode the Houston Racing Festival at Sam Houston and James Graham stayed at Fair Grounds. Graham scored a five-bagger and built his lead to six wins. Since that time, Beschizza has won 25 of 103 mounts, outscoring Graham, who’s won 15 of his last 112, by ten to take a 63-59-62 lead entering Saturday’s action.

“If you look at his entry box he’s still pretty live with what he’s got and we still have a few weeks left,” Beschizza said of Graham. “It’s anyone’s race still but it’s nice to be riding nice, live fast horses that are making me look good.”

Entering Saturday’s program, Beschizza is named the rider aboard Kid Creole (Race 2, 8-1), Snapper Bite (Race 2, 9-5, MTO), Vivid Verse (Race 4, Black Gold Stakes, 4-1), Desert Rendezvous (Race 6, 6-1), Bandit Swanson (Race 7, 6-1), In the Navy (Race 8, 6-1) and Youve Got a Friend (Race 9, 10-1).

Tenfold at Churchill Downs

(Tenfold at Churchill Downs last summer / Photo by Gene McLean)


When it comes to campaigning Thoroughbreds, it’s always best to have a Plan B. So when minor setbacks forced graded stakes winnerTenfold out of consideration for a trip to Dubai, owner Ron Winchell’s Racing and Bloodstock Manager David Fiske had a backup plan in place and he’ll get his year started on Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, the 4-year-old son of Curlin breaks from post four in the third level allowance event over the main track and has not raced since running a distant seventh in the Grade I Runhappy Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 25.

“We were hoping to get him back a little earlier than this,” Fiske said. “Plan A was to get him going and possibly and try to wrangle an invitation to Dubai but he spiked a temperature one morning and missed a little training so we were given a small window to work with. There still plenty of year left and a lot of races.”

Tenfold proved to be a high quality sophomore last year when running a close third in the Grade I Preakness Stakes behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. Fifth in the Grade I Belmont Stakes, he went on to take the Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga later that summer. Fiske believes that greater days lie ahead for Tenfold this year and where he goes from Tuesday’s race depends on how he runs.

“We’ll see if we can get past Tuesday and try to map something out,” Fiske said. “He and (Grade II winner) Copper Bullet are kind of looking at the same races so we’ll see what happens Tuesday. Hopefully we can burnish his resume enough this year, but I think he’s already a stallion prospect. If we can do a little more I think he’ll make someone a really nice stallion.”

Tenfold will face the likes of graded stakes winner Hawaakom, recent Fair Grounds allowance winner Casses Story as well as three-time winner Exclamation Point – a half-brother to Eclipse Award winner Classic Empire. He will be guided by Florent Geroux for the event which will go off as Race 5 with a scheduled post time of 2:23 p.m. CT.

Tenfold is the first foal out of the Tapit broodmare Temptress, whose maternal grand dam is 1995 Champion Turf Mare in 1995 Possibly Perfect.