April 18, 2019

I’m a Chatterbox does all the talking in Silverbulletday

Last updated: 1/17/15 7:29 PM

I’m a Chatterbox put on a front-running show to enter Oaks calculations
(Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

Saturday’s $125,000

Silverbulletday S.
at Fair Grounds was supposed to be about even-money
favorite Top Decile (Congrats) and unbeaten West Coast Belle (Tapit). Neither
got a word in edgewise, though, as Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s homebred I’m a
Chatterbox (Munnings) proved unstoppable in her first start for trainer Larry
Jones. Running away on the front end, the 8-1 shot turned the Fair Grounds Oaks
(G2) scene upside down and earned 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

“This was our first time running her because she was coming from another
barn, but I didn’t have any game plan,” Jones said, adding a memorable line
about his instructions to new rider Florent Geroux.

“I told Florent ‘ride her like you own her and need the money really bad.'”

Breaking from the rail, I’m a Chatterbox seized control early and established
splits of :23 2/5 and :47 4/5 on the fast track. Jones’s other runner, Divine
Dawn (Divine Park), tracked in second, while Money’soncharlotte (Mizzen Mast)
and West Coast Belle came next in stalking spots. Top Decile, on the other hand,
was fanned out wide on the clubhouse turn from post 9, dropped back, and never

I’m a Chatterbox kept winging through six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 and began to
spurt away into the stretch. Widening her advantage, the chestnut crossed the
wire eight lengths clear and completed the mile and 70 yards in 1:43 1/5. She
sparked a $19.20 win mutuel.

“I had her in a good spot, she was moving easily and got to the front easy,”
Geroux recapped. “She was going pretty fast but she had plenty in the tank left
down the lane.”

Forever Unbridled rallied to head Money’soncharlotte for the runner-up spot.

“She ran boldly,” jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said. “I thought she ran
incredible race. She is coming forward and she ran big. We had a great trip
outside in the clear the whole way and our filly loomed up there turning for
home and she ran incredible race for it being only her third run.”

West Coast Belle suffered her first loss in fourth. Divine Dawn tired to
fifth, followed by Top Decile, Queen’s Ready, Zooming and Slava.

I’m a Chatterbox was originally trained by Ken McPeek, for whom she captured
her October 15 debut at Keeneland. Third in her two-turn bow in an entry-level
allowance at Churchill Downs November 9, she was fourth in the November 29
Golden Rod (G2), beaten eight lengths by West Coast Belle. I’m a Chatterbox
engineered a massive form reversal here, improving her resume to 4-2-0-1,

The Kentucky-bred is a half-sister to the stakes-placed duo of Pegasus Again
(Fusaichi Pegasus) and Lady Bear (Bluegrass Cat). They are out of the multiple
stakes-placed Chit Chatter (Lost Soldier), herself a full sister to multiple
stakes-winning stakes producer Chatter Chatter.

The Silverbulletday was one of a trio of non-graded stakes on “Road to the
Derby Kickoff Day,” which featured the Lecomte (G3) for the three-year-olds and
the Col. E.R. Bradley (G3) on turf.

Hard Aces upset the Louisiana, kicking off a stakes double for trainer Larry Jones
(Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

Earlier, Jones also saddled the winner of the $72,000

Louisiana S.
, but not with 3-5 favorite Albano (Istan). Instead, it was
courtesy of Dreamchaser Thorobreds’ homebred Hard Aces (Hard Spun), the longest
shot on the board at 9-1. Under patient handling by Jose Riquelme, Hard Aces
swept from last of the quintet and drew off by four lengths. Defending Fordubai
(E Dubai) finished second, 2 1/2 lengths to the good of Albano, who was facing
his elders for the first time.

Hard Aces negotiated 1 1/16 miles in 1:44 3/5 to earn his first stakes
victory. The five-year-old was coming off a second in the December 21 Tenacious
over the track, and he now sports a mark of 19-5-3-6, $215,145.

Rounding out the non-graded action, Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Notte d’Oro (Medaglia
d’Oro) made her stakes debut a winning one in the $60,000

Marie G. Krantz Memorial H
. Trained by Mike Stidham, the 9-2 chance rolled
past defending champion Eden Prairie (Mizzen Mast) by a length. The
four-year-old toured 1 1/16 miles on the good course in 1:43 3/5, giving jockey
James Graham a turf stakes double. Graham had successfully piloted String King
(Crowned King) in the Bradley.

The aptly named Notte d’Oro is out of stakes heroine and multiple Grade
2-placed May Night (Gulch), who is also the dam of current Hawthorne Gold Cup
(G2) winner Red Rifle (Giant’s Causeway). Victorious in a course-and-distance
allowance on December 18, Notte d’Oro has earned $111,060 from her 7-4-0-0 line.

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