Delta to host inaugural Fremont Stakes on Saturday
With less than a month left in the 2012-13 thoroughbred racing season at Delta Downs, the track will host the $50,000 Fremont Stakes on Saturday, March 2. It will be Race 2 on the program, which begins at 5:45 p.m.
The stakes is named after another Boyd Gaming property, Fremont Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which opened in 1956 and was purchased by Boyd in 1983.
The race has drawn a field of eight and is restricted to open bred horses that are at least 4 years old and older and have started at least once claiming race at Delta since Oct. 18, 2012. It will be contested at 1 mile.
Starting out of Post 1 will be Dorsey’s Dream, a horse that was claimed for $15,000 in his last start by trainer Kearney Segura, who will have two entries in this race. The 6-year-old has been claimed three times since October but has only won one start in five outings this season. Kevin Smith will ride.
Smack Ridge will start in Post 2 and has won two of his last three races. The 5-year-old was claimed for $30,000 at Remington Park in Oklahoma and brought over to Delta for two starts; he has a win and a third place for leading trainer Karl Broberg. Rider Kirk LeBlanc will get the mount.
In Post 3 will be Promisetomake It for trainer Eldon Hall. The 5-year-old won his last two starts at Delta, and all four of his career wins have come at this track and at this distance. Juan Larrossa rides.
Masculino will have Billy Patin in the saddle for trainer Kearny Segura, who claimed this 4-year-old for $15,000 in his last start, which he won by a neck. The gelding is 4-20 lifetime, and his last two races have resulted in wins.
Post 5 will have Redhotrush, who was also claimed in his last start for $15,000. Trained by Brent Delahoussaye, Tracy Hebert gets the ride on a horse that has won 13 races in 36 starts, with four of those wins at Delta.
The morning line favorite will likely be Hit the Road Lee, who will start in Post 6. Leading rider Gerard Melancon gets the call for trainer Keith Bourgeois, who claimed this horse for $10,000 in November. This 6-year-old has won his last two starts by a combined 9 lengths, which includes winning the Louisiana Premier Night Gentlemen Starter on Feb. 2.
Lemon Sherbert will start in Post 7 for trainer Alan Klanfer, and Randall Toups will get the ride. The 4-year-old has won three of four starts at Delta.
The final slot in Post 8 goes to Hazards of Love, who was claimed for $15,000 by Brent Kennedy in November. Brian Hernandez Sr. will be in the saddle, and the 6-year-old horse has won 10-of-41 career starts, with three of those coming at Delta.
The season will end Saturday, March 23, but an extra day of racing has been added with a full 10-race card coming Wednesday, March 20.
The 46-day quarter horse season will begin April 26 with a first post time of 6:45 p.m. That season will end July 13.
Gerard “Gee Money” Melancon is now pulling away from the rest of the jockey colony as he sits atop of the rider standings with 85 wins in 360 mounts and also leads all jockeys in money earing with $1,882,265. Melancon, who won his 4,000th career race in January, has a win percentage of 24 and finishes first, second or third in 48 percent of his mounts.
Second is Joe Patin Jr., who is injured, with 74 wins followed by Chris Rosier, Diego Saenz, who is also injured, with 62, and Kevin Smith has 52 victories.
Karl Broberg is now 10 wins ahead of Keith Bourgeois in the trainer standings, 49-39, with Sam Breaux third (29), Shane Wilson fourth (27) and Joey Foster fifth (24).
Broberg, who was the leading trainer last season, has a win percentage of 27 in 181 starts, and his horses finish in the Top 3 56 percent of the time.
Road to Kentucky Derby
Ive Struck a Nerve stunned the field of 12 when the 3-year-old Kentucky bred won the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Feb. 23 by a nose at 135-1 odds over Code West.
Trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by James Graham, the horse earned 50 points toward the Kentucky Derby Points standings and is in the top spot with 51. The Top 20 point earners will earn a berth in this year’s Derby, which is Saturday, May 4, at Churchill Downs.
It was the horse’s second win in nine starts, as he last won on Nov. 24 at the Fair Grounds in a Maiden Special Weight attempt. The horse also competed at Delta Downs on Oct. 20 as he finished fourth in the Jean Lafitte Stakes.
The next Derby prep race is March 2 in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in New York. Top challengers in that race will be Overanalyze, Vyjack, Sky Captain, Amerigo Vespucci, Clawback, Elnaawi, Escapefromreality, Ore Pass and Siete de Oros.