(Fair Grounds starting gate / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Fair Grounds Media Team:
West Point Thoroughbreds, Forge Ahead Stables LLC, and Jerry Caroom’s Room to Finish is a five-time winner, but on Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, she’ll aim for her first career stakes triumph as Mike Diliberto’s 7-2 morning line favorite in the $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes. Restricted to older Louisiana-bred fillies & mares, the Red Camelia is scheduled to be run over about one mile of turf. It is carded as race seven of ten with a scheduled post time of 3:24 p.m. CDT.
An impressive first-level allowance winner in late November, Room to Finish followed up with a game second in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf on December 15. Following a head-scratching fifth place finish in a second-level, open company allowance on the Fair Grounds’ turf on January 25, Room to Finish bounced back with a decisive victory last out, closing from just off the pace to win a conditioned state-bred allowance against many of same turf foes she will meet again on Saturday.
“She’s a really honest mare,” trainer Wayne Catalano said. “She’s been in form lately and we’re really happy with how she’s doing.”
“She doesn’t want to be too close to the pace,” Catalano continued. “She just wants to be left alone and make her own run when she feels like it. She sometimes will get herself closer to the pace but that’s all on her own, she doesn’t like to be asked to do that early on. She didn’t run too well in that race two back where she finished fifth. She was kind of forced to be up there with the first flight and she didn’t like that. She doesn’t like to be rushed. There is some speed in the race (on Saturday) but we’re just going to let her put herself wherever she wants to be and hope she shows that closing kick.”
Colby Hernandez, who currently sits second in the Fair Grounds jockey standings, will be back aboard on Saturday, as the pair break from post nine.
Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro’s Net A Bear will look to score her third career stakes victory in the Red Camelia. Following a win in the Elge Rasberry Stakes at Louisiana Downs in early September, the 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet put in a solid third place finish in an allowance race at Delta Downs in October. She then shipped to Fair Grounds to score a 12-1 upset in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf, 1 1/4th lengths ahead of Room to Finish. Since then, Net A Bear has put in both a third and fourth place finish respectively in her last two starts.
Net A Bear will break from the rail with jockey Tim Thornton aboard, and is listed as the 5-1 second choice on the morning line.
Completing the field for the Red Camelia Stakes (with post, jockey/trainer and morning line odds) are: Mariah’s Galaxy (post two, K. Smith/Arceneaux at 8-1), Tenpins Tempo (post three, Broussard/L. Thomas at 12-1), Eskenformore (post four, Graham/Hodges at 6-1), Marywood (post five, G. Saez/L. Thomas at 20-1), Mi Copa Rebosa (post six, Albarado/ Gelner at 20-1), Tap Dance Star (post 7, Murrill/Modica at 12-1), Hyper Piper (post eight, B.J Hernandez, Jr./David, Jr. at 8-1), Thegrayspider (post ten, Taylor/Shamsie at 20-1), Is Too (post 11, Mena/Johnston at 6-1), and Bermuda Star(post 12, Beschizza/Camejo at 6-1).