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LA Champions Day Features Three Stakes

Fair Grounds offers trio of stakes at $100,000 apiece.

December 14, 2013

Fair Grounds on Saturday kicked off its Louisiana Champions Day card with a trio of stakes for state-bred American Quarter Horses.

In the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Derby (RG3), Jose Guzman’s T Boy C picked up his third and richest stakes victory of the year with a neck win as the 3-2 second choice. Raul Ramirez Jr. rode the Sir Runaway Dash gelding for trainer Miguel Rodriguez.

Breaking from post five in a field of six, T Boy C grabbed an early lead and then battled with Fast Talkin Henry to the wire before stopping the timer at :19.539 for 400 yards. T Boy C, who was bred by Gerald Patin and Curtis Roy, earned $50,000 for the win to push his career bankroll to $232,609 with a record of 14-6-4-2. The gelding also won this year’s Mardi Gras Derby (R) and Vinton Stakes (RG3).

Eric Johnson’s Fast Talkin Henry, winner of the Delta Downs Louisiana Bred Derby (RG2) in July, finished a game second as the favorite. Douglas Traylor’s Dashin Gage, who captured the Louisiana QHBA Sale Futurity (RG1) last year, crossed the wire third.

The $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile (RG2) featured a big upset as The Game Cartel prevailed at odds of 23-1 over runner-up Scooter Prize at 24-1. The $2 exacta returned $1,682.60 after The Game Cartel and jockey Luis Vivanco won by three-quarters of a length in :17.383 for 350 yards. The Game Patriot filly was bred by Robicheaux/Gutierrez/Touchet and runs for Robert Touchet and Robicheaux Ranch Inc. Touchet also trains the first-time stakes winner who last time out won a $20,000 claiming event.

The Game Cartel came into the race with a record of 8-2-3-1 with earnings of $41,075, but she had never run against stakes company. Her winning stakes debut more than doubled her earnings to $86,075.

Ana Alvidrez’s Scooter Prize earned the first stakes-placing of her career with a second-place finish, and Brock Broussard’s Heza Fast Rogue closed well for third.

The $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic (RG2) at 440 yards also featured an upset, as Ivan Alford’s Bipty Dash scored at odds of 6-1 with Alfonso Lujan up for trainer Ricky Long. Bipty Dash, who earlier in the year could have been claimed for just $7,500, earned her eighth victory in her last nine starts and third consecutive stakes win. She clocked the quarter-mile in :21.558. All told, the Heza Fast Dash mare bred by Israel Flores has won 12 of 23 outs with earnings of $202,480. The 4-year-old’s other two stakes wins were the Opelousas Stakes and Billy Montgomery Stakes (RG3), both at Evangeline Downs.

Lanny Keith and Tommy Davis’ T Boy P, who also started the year in the claiming ranks, closed fast to take second at odds of 16-1. Blue Louisiana Jolla, who won this race in 2009 and has competed in it every year since, had an early lead and held on for third for owners Elroy Potts Jr. and Watson Land and Cattle.