Populist Politics aims to be Star Guitar's heir
Klaravich Stables' Populist Politics, probably best known as the
hard-knocking runner-up to Brittlyn Stable's Star Guitar on numerous occasions,
is the early favorite to headline next weekend's $150,000 Louisiana Champions
Day Classic when Fair Grounds hosts the 21st renewal of its series of 11 races
restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds on December 8.
|Populist Politics is headed for the Champions Day Classic
(Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography)
The now-retired Star Guitar, of course, became the top Louisiana-bred money
winner of all time last April 1 with a win in the $90,000 Costa Rising Stakes on
Louisiana Derby Day. Populist Politics finished second behind him once again
that day, beaten a head for the victory.
"Hopefully, next weekend, Populist Politics will get the opportunity to show
he's the heir apparent," trainer Tom Amoss said Thursday morning during training
"He's doing well now. He's gotten much better since he developed that little
breathing issue last summer when we had to ease him in that race (the August 4
West Virginia Governors Cup) at Mountaineer. He never really had great airways
before, but hopefully we've gotten that resolved now.
"He had a good work last Sunday (a half-mile in :48) and he ran a good race
at Delta in his last start. He finished second that day (in the Gold Cup on
October 27), but Delta is a real small track with tight turns. The track here at
Fair Grounds has big, wide turns and he likes that a lot better. James
Graham will ride him in the Classic."
Amoss, a native New Orleanian who is a nine-time trainer champion at Fair
Grounds, has gotten off to a fantastic start this season, winning with five of
his seven starters for a 71 percent win ratio over the four-day opening weekend
program. One of those wins was recorded by Jerry Namy's Flashy Campaign last
Sunday, a two-year-old filly who made the first start of her career a winning
"We're very optimistic about her," Amoss said, "and we were very encouraged by
that race, especially since it appeared she might be even better going a
distance of ground."
However, obviously Amoss's most satisfying win this season came in the 87th
running of the $100,000 Thanksgiving Handicap with Maggi Moss's Delaunay on
Somewhat surprisingly, given Amoss's long history of success at Fair Grounds, he
had never saddled the winner of its traditional opening day centerpiece before.
"I've been coming to Fair Grounds on Thanksgiving Day since I was a little kid,"
Amoss said. "My earliest memories of Thanksgiving involve coming out here to the
old clubhouse to celebrate the day with my family. I would always order either
the corned beef or the lamb chops for dinner.
"I used to think I was a real good handicapper, but in reality I actually used
to talk a lot of people off horses that ended up winning. One time I remember
talking my father off a horse that ended up paying $70. After that I learned to
keep my mouth shut."
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