November 19, 2017

Fair Grounds 2017-18 season ready to break from the gate

Fair Grounds' 146th Thoroughbred season kicks off on Saturday, November 18.

Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and in the racing world that means the Thoroughbreds will soon break from the gate at Fair Grounds in New Orleans for its 2017-18 season.

As has been the case in recent years, Fair Grounds will open up on the Saturday before Thanksgiving (November 18) with racing next resuming on the holiday itself (November 23). The 146th season kicks off with Starlight Racing and a special 3 p.m. (CT) post time. Starlight Racing will also be held on December 29, January 19, February 23 and March 9 with first post at 5 p.m.

The opening day program features four, $50,000 overnight stakes which serve as preps for corresponding Louisiana Champions Day features on December 9. The always festive Thanksgiving Day card will also have a special post time of 11 a.m. Post time for most race days during the meet will be 1 p.m.

Bettors will have ample time to get an early look at all Fair Grounds cards as, beginning with the Thanksgiving program, races will be drawn eight days out. That schedule will be in place at least through the first condition book, which runs through December 10.

The highlight of the meet is Louisiana Derby Day on March 24, featuring the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2), the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), the $400,000 New Orleans H. (G2), and the $300,000 Muniz Memorial (G2), plus other stakes.

Louisiana Derby Preview Day on February 17 includes the $400,000 Risen Star (G2), $200,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2), $150,000 Mineshaft H. (G3), and $150,000 Fair Grounds H. (G3).

Likely 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner will train at Fair Grounds up to his career finale in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (Hodges Photography)

Features on the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day on January 13 will include the $200,000 Lecomte (G3), $150,000 Silverbulletday, and $125,000 Col. E.R. Bradley H. (G3)

Florent Geroux was a runaway winner of the 2016-17 Fair Grounds riding title, beating closest pursuer Robby Albarado 98-61. Those two will join the colony full time following the end of the Churchill Downs fall meet on November 26. Also riding full time in New Orleans this winter will be Corey Lanerie and Joe Bravo, winter mainstays at Gulfstream Park in recent years.

In addition to the hot racing action in the afternoon and occasional evening, morning workouts at Fair Grounds through the early part of January will be of particular interest to fans nationwide as Gun Runner, the presumptive 2017 Horse of the Year, and likely champion older mare Forever Unbridled will both use Fair Grounds as their training base ahead of their expected clash in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on January 27.

Follow Brisnet.com and the TwinSpires.com blog throughout the winter for news and handicapping features on Fair Grounds. Ed DeRosa and James Scully will tag-team providing on-site coverage on Road to the Kentucky Derby Kickoff Day (January 13), Louisiana Derby Preview Day (February 17), and Louisiana Derby Day (March 24).

Brisnet past performances and other handicapping products are now available for opening day.

And here’s a look at the Fair Grounds At a Glance through the final week of the 2016-17 Thoroughbred meet:

 

FAIR GROUNDS AT A GLANCE
Avg. Winning Odds: 4.99 – 1
Favorite Win%: 42%, Favorite Itm%: 78%
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta 81.13
Daily Double 83.29
Trifecta 530.98
Pick 3 469.21
Superfecta 4,448.62
Pick 4 3,518.75
Pick 5 Jackpot 33,316.33
Super High Five 3,988.58
TRACK BIAS MEET(11/19 – 04/02)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 74 34% E Rail/Ins
6.0fDirt 221 36% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 116 28% E Rail/Ins
1 1/16mDirt 19 37% E Inside
Turf Sprint 95 18% P Rail
Turf Routes 160 19% E/P Rail/Ins
TRACK BIAS WEEK(03/27 – 04/02)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 13 23% E Mid/Out
6.0fDirt 5 20% E Inside
1 MileDirt 16 6% E/P Outside
1 1/16mDirt 4 50% E Mid/Out
Turf Sprint 7 43% E/P Middle
Turf Routes 12 17% E Rail/Ins
Who’s HOT, Who’s NOT
HOT TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
’16-‘ 17
Win%
Stall, Jr. Albert M. 11 6 0 0 3.45 3 23%
Stidham Michael 14 6 1 2 4.79 3 17%
Faucheux Ron 8 4 0 0 3.54 1 19%
Ingram Steve 5 3 0 0 27.94 2 16%
Margolis Steve 6 3 0 0 9.72 1 14%
Heitzmann Eric L. 4 2 0 1 11.80 0 14%
Shirer Matt A. 4 2 0 0 10.80 2 19%
HOT JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
’16-‘ 17
Win%
Hernandez, Jr. Brian 14 4 3 1 12.61 2 15%
COLD TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
’16-‘ 17
Win%
Foster Joseph M. 23 0 3 3 17.82 1 17%
Breaux Samuel 19 0 0 1 28.06 0 14%
Gelner Scott 15 0 1 2 16.77 0 13%
Alonzo Howard 14 0 2 2 17.22 0 12%
Daniels Connie L. 10 0 0 0 44.09 0 8%
COLD JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
’16-‘ 17
Win%
Kay Winston R. 13 0 0 1 45.55 0 4%
Martin, Jr. Eddie 13 0 0 0 40.70 0 13%
Clark Kerwin D. 10 0 0 1 38.51 0 13%

 

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