Fair Grounds Barn Notes: Philosophy May Be One To Watch

(Philosophy may be one to watch for later this meet at the Fair Grounds / Hodges Photography & Courtesy of the Fair Grounds)

From Ryan Martin, Fair Grounds Media Team

  • NHC Super Qualifier Set for December 22
  • In The Navy Looks to Keep Up His Consistency in Louisiana Champions Day Turf
  • Ours To Run Looks for Another Stakes Victory in Ladies Sprint
  • Well-Bred Philosophy Draws Off to Victory in Thursday Afternoon Maiden Event


On December 22, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will host a National Handicapping Championship Super Qualifier (details below). The live “Santa Super Saturday” program features six stakes races for contest players to potentially feast on.

When – Saturday, December 22, 2018

Where – Black Gold Room at Fair Grounds

What – NTRA / NHC Super Qualifier Handicapping Contest

  • $1,500 entry fee which $1,000 of that money will be wagered during the contest
  • Contestants must wager $50 Win and Place on 10 races 5 of which must be at Fair Grounds. The other optional track they may play is Gulfstream Park
  • Contest Prize Money (Based on a minimum of 125 entries)
  • First Place: Entry into the 2019 NHC at Treasure Island Las Vegas (Includes hotel stay and $400 airfare reimbursement) plus $10,000 in Cash
  • Second Place:    Entry into the 2019 NHC at Treasure Island Las Vegas (Includes hotel stay and $400 airfare reimbursement) plus $6,000 in Cash
  • Third Place: Entry into the 2019 NHC at Treasure Island Las Vegas (Includes hotel stay and $400 airfare reimbursement) plus $4,000 in Cash
  • 4th – 8th Place: Entry into the 2019 NHC at Treasure Island Las Vegas (Includes hotel stay and $400 airfare reimbursement) plus $1,000 in Cash
  • Ratio for NHC spots will be 1 in 15 entries
  • Contest standings will be determined by wagering winnings from the wagers placed.

How – Register by contacting Emilee Margiotta at 504-948-1150 or emilee.margiotta@fgno.com

Contestants will also receive a complimentary buffet and BRIS Betting Guide and can bring 1 guest with them for the afternoon of racing.

About the NHC: The NHC is world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities, and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals.

Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The most recent NHC offered record prize money and awards totaling more than $2.9 million. #NHC19 will be held February 8-10, 2019, at Treasure Island Las Vegas.

For more information on the NHC visit https://www.ntra.com/nhc/


(In the Navy / Hodges Photography & Courtesy of Fair Grounds)


Kendel Standlee’s In the Navy has appeared to be a much improved horse since switching to the turf and will look to keep his pattern of consistency going when he attempts his third stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Trained by Scott Gelner, the 4-year-old son of Midshipman tried turf for the first time back in September 2017 at Remington Park, where he won for a $15,000 tag. Since then, he has won or placed in eight of his ten career starts on grass including stakes victories against fellow Louisiana-breds in the Louisiana Cup Turf Stakes at Louisiana Downs on August 4 and the Mr. Sulu Overnight Stakes over the local Stall-Wilson Turf Course on November 16, his most recent effort.

“He seems like he always shows up on the turf,” Gelner said. “It seemed like ever since we switched him to the turf just a little over a year ago that’s when he started doing his best running. He did everything right last time. Turning for home it looked like he had a little bit left so hopefully he’ll have a little bit left tomorrow going further.”

In the Navy will see a slight stretch out in distance for the Champions Day Turf, which is a mile-and-a-sixteenth. He went one mile in his last out Mr. Sulu.

Two starts back, In the Navy tried open company in an open company allowance optional claiming race over the turf at Louisiana Downs on September 18, where he lacked enough room in the stretch to make a winning run and was fourth beaten four lengths.

“He had no racing room that day (at Louisiana Downs),” Gelner said. “Nothing opened up for him and it was just bad racing luck.”

In The Navy breaks from post seven as the lukewarm 3-1 morning line favorite under jockey Adam Beschizza.


11-18-2018 Ours To Run with Gabriel Saez aboard won the Happy Ticket Overnight Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir


Colonel Thoroughbreds’ Ours to Run will attempt a fourth stakes victory against Louisiana-bred fillies this year in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Stakes.

The Larry Jones-trained 4-year-old daughter of Half Ours won three stakes this year at three different racetracks. She won the Louisiana-Bred Premier Night Matron Stakes over a sloppy going at Delta Downs on February 10 and three starts late took the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes at Evangeline Downs on May 26 by 4¼ lengths. She returned to racing action in style next out when gliding home to victory in the Happy Ticket Overnight Stakes by 8¾ lengths over the main track at Fair Grounds on November 18.

Despite displaying such dominant ways against her Louisiana-bred counterpart, she will face a tough challenge with the presence of Minit to Stardom, who was a dominant winner against open company at Churchill Downs two starts back.

“(Minit to Stardom) has been coming out of some good races so we probably haven’t faced that kind of toughness before,” Jones said. “She went through her prep well last time, which was her first race off the layoff so we’re proud of the way she got her prep under her belt. We’re hoping for a good day Saturday.”

In the Happy Ticket Overnight Stakes, Ours to Run was guided by jockey Gabriel Saez.

“That was his first time he rode her in a race but she was very professional,” Jones said. “He said that she just did everything that he needed her to do.”

Ours To Run was bred by Clifford Grum and is out of the Mineshaft broodmare Brown Eyed Baby.


(Philosophy romps in MSW event at the Fair Grounds / Hodges Photography & Courtesy of the Fair Grounds)


More promising young talent was put on display at Fair Grounds on Thursday afternoon. This time it was from the barn of trainer Mark Casse when Philosophy showcased a stunning turn of foot to break his maiden over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course by 5¾ lengths under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

Owned by Stonestreet Stables, the 2-year-old son of Speightstown made his second career start in the 5½ furlong turf maiden special weight event. He was sent straight to the front under Bridgmohan and set swift opening fractions but still had more than enough left in the tank to get the job done.

In his first career start, Philosophy was third over the turf course at Keeneland on October 27 behind Corruze and next out winner Bourbon in May.

“He ran very well first time out,” said Casse’s assistant trainer David Carroll. “He was green early on in the race but finished up real well. Florent Geroux rode him that day and if you notice during the last eighth of a mile he didn’t even have to hit him. It was just a hand ride. He came out of that race great.”

Philosophy is out of the French Deputy broodmare Scarlet Tango who also produced Grade I dirt winners Tara’s Tango and Visionaire.

“He’s not a horse that trained well on the dirt,” Carroll said. “He loves to train but his works on the dirt were just very average. He trained very nice for this race. He broke sharp and it was very, very impressive.

“I told Shaun that he should run really well and may look a little bit green,” Carroll continued. “I didn’t expect him to go wire-to-wire with the post. I thought there would be some speed to the inside of him. He’s one of those horses that you have to keep a good hold on him; everything is a game to him. He broke sharp, had his ears going back and forward. Shaun said that he still had to keep his attention because things were going so easy for him. Turning for home I was thinking that it would take a good one to run him down. He came out of the race beautifully and I’m sure we’ll look for a (first level allowance) race for him. He’ll be an exciting horse for the future.

In addition to Tara’s Tango and Visionaire is also a half-sibling to graded stakes winner and three-time Grade I-placed Scarlet Strike.

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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