(Two Emmys / Photo Courtesy of the Fair Grounds)

From the Fair Grounds Media Team:

Winner of the 2022 Muniz Memorial (G2) presented by Horse Racing Nation, Wolfe Racing and trainer Hugh Robertson’s Two Emmys returns to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for Saturday’s $100,000 Col E.R. Bradley Stakes. The 7-year-old gelding is scheduled to face seven older rivals (with three also eligibles) going 1 1/16 miles on the Stall-Wilson turf course.

The portable rail will remain set at 34 feet on the turf course and starters will be limited to eight for each the $100,000 Col E.R. Bradley, the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner, and the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz.

The 37th running of the Bradley will go as Race 8 of 14 with a post time of 3:30 p.m. CT. The stakes-laden “Road to the Derby Day” program will get underway at noon CT and also features the the Lecomte (G3) and the Silverbulletday presented by Fasig-Tipton, both prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks that will award 20-8-6-4-2 qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

Two Emmys has been known to be swift to the lead and slow the pace up on the front end. That’s what the 7-year-old gelded son of English Channel did when winning both his graded stakes, including the Mr. D (G1), but he showed a new dimension winning the Outbound Ike Stakes from off the pace at this distance over Hawthorne’s turf course last out. This Hugh Robertson trainee had a new rider in that race, Marcelino Pedroza Jr., who is named to stay on board for the Bradley. The barn reports that Two Emmys continues to improve as he gets older, which can often be the case with English Channel’s progeny. Drawing post No. 3, the Muniz-champion is 5-2 in the morning line.

The Cox barn enters two in the Bradley, and Gaining Ground Racing’s Price Talk gets the 3-1 vote of confidence from morning line oddsmaker Mike Diliberto over Donegal Racing’s Ready to Purrform who gets tabbed at 6-1.

Price Talk is certainly proven over the surface as five of the 6-year-old’s six wins have been over the turf. Claimed for $80,000 over the summer at Belmont, the son of Kitten’s Joy has been in the money in all four starts since joining the Brad Cox barn.

“He’s been a good claim,” Cox said. “I like him. He’s pretty solid. The guys who own him owned Factor This (twice a graded stakes winner at Fair Grounds), so they have some history down here in stakes races. He just came in from Kentucky, and he’s training really well.  He ran last time on the synthetic, but I do think he prefers the turf a little more than the synthetic.”

Drawing post No. 2, Florent Geroux climbs back aboard after piloting him to a winning ride at Remington Park in September’s Remington Green Stakes.

Drawing post No. 5 and made 6-1 in the morning line, it will be the newly turned 4-year-old Ready to Purrform’s first run against older horses.

Current meet-leading trainer Bret Calhoun enters Gentle Soul. Cross-entered in the Louisiana Stakes (G3), this versatile Tapizar 6-year-old has won on turf and dirt. Drawing post No. 9 he will need a horse to scratch to enter. He will be attempting just his second stakes after finishing fourth in December’s off-the-turf Diliberto.

“Ideally we’ll run him on the turf, but he’ll have to draw in (to the Col E.R. Bradley Stakes),” Calhoun said. “Second best thing would be to run against turf horses on the dirt. That’s what it looks like it could be (with the current forecast). Last time out, he ended up on the lead, and that’s not him. There was no speed and he just found himself there. It’s not the trip we needed.”

Here’s the complete field for the Col E.R. Bradley from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Freedom Factor (Emmanuel Nieves, Cesar Govea, 30-1); 2. Price Talk (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 3-1); 3. Two Emmys (Marcelino Pedroza Jr., Hugh Robertson, 5-2); 4.English Channel (Deshawn Parker, Michelle Lovell, 9-2); 5. Ready to Purrform (Corey Lanerie, Brad Cox, 6-1); 6. Sailing Solo (Jareth Loveberry, Louie Roussel III, 10-1); 7. Greyes Creek (Javier Castellano, Paulo Lobo, 6-1); 8. Big Agenda (Luis Saez, Joe Sharp, 6-1); 9 Gentle Soul (Rey Gutierrez, Bret Calhoun, 5-1); 10. American Hero (James Graham, Bernard Flint, 15-1); 11. Business Model (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh, 6-1).

*****

Susan Moulton’s grade 2-winning sprinter Manny Wah enters the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Memorial Stakes looking to turn the tables on two who finished ahead of him in December’s Richie Scherer. For now Big Chief Racing, Rocker O Ranch, and Keith Desormeaux’s Surveillance and Tamaroak Partners’ Bango are hung out on the also-eligible list as an oversubscribed field of eleven entered for the contentious 5 1/2 furlong turf sprint at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Slated as race 11 on Saturday’s 14-race “Road to the Derby Day” card, post time for the 70th running of the Kenner is 5:00 p.m. CT. The program features the Lecomte (G3) and the Silverbulletday presented by Fasig-Tipton, both prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks that will award 20-8-6-4-2 qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

Saturday’s forecast calls for rain in the early evening, which will increase the likelihood that Surveillance and the almost career-millionaire Bango draw in.

A 7-year-old horse by Will Take Charge, Manny Wah has the 9-5 morning-line target painted on his back as he’ll try to win his second Kenner after scorching home to take the 2021 edition in his first ever run on the grass. Winner of the Phoenix (G2) this fall at Keeneland, the Wayne Catalano trainee backed that big run up with an impressive fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, just 2 1/2 lengths behind Elite Power.

“He is doing unbelievable,” Wayne Catalano said. “I can’t explain that last race. I’m excited to get him on the turf course.”

A fan-favorite at Fair Grounds, the story on how Manny Wah got his name is a good one.

“You know that horse named Man o’ War, right?” Catalano said. “When he retired and visitors would come to see him, an old groom who worked on Man o’ War’s farm would ask them ‘who do you want to see, Manny Wah?’ The owner read an article about that and named her horse Manny Wah.”

Drawn in post No. 2 with Corey Lanerie named as his rider, with just five of his 36 starts on the turf, Manny Wah will likely run rain or shine.

Keith Desormeaux’s Surveillance, winner of the Thanksgiving Classic and Richie Scherer already this meet, sits waiting on the also eligible list needing two horses to scratch to draw in. With all five wins coming at Fair Grounds, including breaking his maiden over the turf course, the barn reports the 6-year-old by Constitution is feeling happy and training as well as ever.

Beyond those two, there are a host of runners who could post the upset in the Kenner.

Here’s the field for the Duncan F. Kenner from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Pyron (Declan Carroll, Al Stall Jr., 10-1); 2. Manny Wah (Corey Lanerie, Wayne Catalano, 9-5); 3. Bolder (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen, 9-2); 4. Evan Sing (Colby Hernandez, Al Stall Jr., 6-1); 5. Angaston (Mitchell Murrill, Lon Wiggins, 3-1); 6. Sign of War (Emmanuel Nieves, Cesar Govea, 8-1); 7. Yankee Seven (Aubrie Green, Cesar Govea, 20-1); 8. Kennesaw (Jareth Loveberry, Eduardo Rodriguez, 15-1); 9. My Pal Mattie (Gerardo Mora, Lee Thomas, 4-1); 10. Surveillance (James Graham, Keith Desormeaux, 3-1); 11. Bango (Tyler Gaffalione, Greg Foley, 7-2).

***

With four runners between 3-1 and 4-1, the 2021 Silverbulletday winner Lothenbach Stable’s Charlie’s Penny will be tested as the favorite in the morning line when making her first start in a turf stakes in the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial. With the portable rail set at 34 feet and the field limited to eight runners on the Stall-Wilson turf course, seven older fillies and mares will battle it out going 1 1/16 miles.

Going from sprint to route into December’s Broussard, Charlie’s Penny was bet to odds-on favoritism, but she settled for third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Moon Swag. A proven stalker at any distance, the 5-year-old mare by Race Day almost made her lone turf start a winning at Colonial Downs in August, dashing home to a runner-up performance over 5 1/2 furlongs. Trained by Chris Block, Charlie’s Penny subsequently rattled off two consecutive wins on the dirt before her run in the Broussard. Drawing post No. 2, Jareth Loveberry retains the mount.

The Brendan Walsh barn enters two in the Krantz, both proven on the turf.

Winless in 2022, Godolphin’s Lake Lucerne was 3/4 lengths shy of making her last start of the year a winning one in the Blushing K.D. The 6-year-old mare by Dubawi began her career with trainer John Gosden in England. She’s faced salty stakes company and has run well, but with her closing running style, her success often depends on the trip she can work out when the race kicks into high gear on the turf.

“She hasn’t won a lot of races but she always runs well,” assistant trainer on the grounds Paul Madden said. “She ran well in the Blushing K.D (last out). She’s a filly who has got to make her run on the outside. Around the turn (in the Blushing K.D.) she hit a flat spot and Brian (jockey Hernandez Jr.) tried to push to the outside, but another horse kept him in. It took her a while to get out but when she finally did, she flew home to gallop out in front. She’s one of them who finds a way to get herself beat, but she runs well.”

Tyler Gaffalione will look to see if he is the winning answer while piloting Lake Lucerne from gate No. 3.

The Walsh barn decides to add blinkers for John Gallegos’ My Philly Twirl’s run in the Krantz. The winner of Gulfstream Park’s Sanibel Island Stakes last April finished far back against stakes company on Gulfstream’s synthetic tack in her prior race.

“(My Philly Twirl) is coming in from Florida,” Madden said. “She was a little disappointing in the last one, but she can run. She showed that when winning a stakes down in Florida last year.”

A proven front-runner, My Philly Twirl gets the services of Florent Geroux and will break from post No. 5

Here’s the complete field for the Krantz Memorial (G3) from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, and morning line): 1. Fancy Martini (James Graham, Joe Sharp, 8-1); 2. Charlie’s Penny (Jareth Loveberry, Chris Block, 3-1); 3. Lake Lucerne (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh, 7-2); 4. Carpe Vinum (Rey Gutierrez, John Ortiz, 8-1); 5. My Philly Twirl (Florent Geroux, Brendan Walsh, 6-1); 6. Wave of Goodness (Mitchell Murrill, Armando Hernandez, 4-1); 7. Miss Speedy (Brian Hernandez Jr., Mark Casse, 4-1).