I’m a Chatterbox dominated the competition and finished with a six-length victory in the Silverbulletday Stakes on Saturday at the Fair Grounds.
With the win, trainer Larry Jones wrapped up his second stakes winner of the day, after Hard Aces came away with the win in the Louisiana Stakes earlier.
“She ran really well, and this was our first chance to race her,” Jones said. “She got off to a pretty good lead early, but when it came time to go, she exploded. It was very exciting to watch.”
With the win, I’m A Chatterbox sets herself up as an early favorite in the New Orleans Oaks.
Dallas Stewart-trained Forever Unbridled finished second in the race, and Money’soncharlotte was third.
Notte d’Oro pulls away for Marie G. Krantz Memorial win
After remaining close to the pack throughout the race, Notte d’Oro pulled away at the end to win the Marie G. Krantz Memorial on Saturday at the Fair Grounds.
The Michael Stidham-trained filly was ridden by James Graham, who came away with victories in both of the stakes turf races Saturday.
“She ran great,” Graham said. “She had a light split at the head of the stretch and came home well.”
The 4-year-old was participating in her first stakes race, and Stidham said he saw a great amount of potential in the filly coming in.
Eden Prairie was second, and 50-1 longshot Hung the Moon was third.
String King steps up to win E.L. Bradley Handicap
Louisiana-bred String King stepped up in class Saturday and awarded owner/trainer Charles E. Smith a victory in the $75,000 E.L. Bradley Handicap at the Fair Grounds.
A three-time winner of the Louisiana Turf Championship, String King, with James Graham board came on at the end to defeat Gentleman’s Kitten, which had led most of the way.
“I’d rather win a race like this than the Kentucky Derby,” said Smith, a Haughton-based breeder who currently has only one other horse in training. “It’s more fun because it’s in front of the home folks.”
String King paid $8.20, $4 and 2.80. Gentleman’s Kitten, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, paid $4.
“That Louisiana-bred was too much horse for me today,” Smith said. “He ran a good race.”
Highball was third.
Hard Aces claims Louisiana Stakes at the Fair Grounds
Hard Aces upset defending champion Fordubai and favored stablemate Albano to win the $75,000 Louisiana Stakes on Saturday at the Fair Grounds.
Hard Aces, the 5-1 third choice who is trained by Larry Jones and ridden by Jose Riquelme, took the lead from Nate’s Mineshaft at the head of the stretch and held off Albano, who was overtaken in the final few yards by Fordubai.
“It’s hard to train a horse for a mile and 1/16 after a long layoff,” Jones said of Albano, the 2014 Lecomte winner who was making his debut as a 4-year-old. “Hard Aces had a more recent race under his belt, which had him a little more prepared. This will make Albano sharper the next time.”
It was the fifth victory in 19 starts for Hard Aces, the 5-year-old son of Hard Spun, but his first since an allowance victory at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 31, 2014.