From Ryan Martin, The Fair Grounds Media Team:
Curtis Green’s Justa Lady edged out Brielle’s Appeal in the final strides of the $75,000 Richie Scherer Memorial Stakes, the Saturday featured event at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots over a firm Stall-Wilson Turf Course.
Guided by jockey James Graham, the 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready was never far from the front throughout the early stages of the five furlong turf sprint and laid just a half-length in second behind Brielle’s Appeal who set opening fractions of 21.49 and 44.28. Just past the quarter pole, Justa Lady challenged Brielle’s Appeal and took command by a half-length, but the pacesetter did not give up too easily and fought gamely to the inside. However, Justa Lady was able to hang on and win by a nose in a final time of 1:03.20. She’s All Skeet was a late closing third.
Completing the order of finish were One Last Shot, Sanity, Wild About Star, Unbridled Courage, Our Valor, On Probation, Deer Valley, Contributing, Boom Bam Bing, Stonefactor and Excessivespending.
The victory was current leading jockey James Graham’s 14th trip to the Fair Grounds winner’s circle this meet.
“This filly has got a lot of heart,” Graham said. “She did everything right and thanks to (Hall of Fame trainer) Steve (Asmussen) for letting me ride her. Things have fallen into place this meet. The horses that I’ve been riding have been running well and they’re leading me on them to ride them and I’m happy about that. I rode a lot of winners for Richie here from when I had the bug to when he passed and he’s sadly missed on the backside. He is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever been around with horses.”
Justa Lady scored her second stakes victory in the Richie Scherer Memorial. In September 2017, she won the Tellike Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Saturday’s victory was also a second straight win for Justa Lady. Last out she triumphed against allowance company over a firm grass course at Remington Park on September 1. The win in the Richie Scherer Memorial Stakes was Justa Lady’s seventh career win in 22 starts and added $45,000 to her lifetime earnings which now stand at $353,745.
Justa Lady rewarded her backers in the form of payouts of $16.60, $7.80 and $5.60 while Brielle’s Appeal returned $6.40 and $8.40. She’s All Skeet paid $7.40.
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Justa Lady is out of the Pulpit broodmare Bet To Win, who was a two-time winner and graded stakes placed.