Dear Readers—March Update from the Editor:
We have had Duncan Kenner on the brain as of late—as mentioned in recent posts, the Fair Grounds Race Course annually honors him with the Duncan Kenner Stakes, which this year was held in January, and last month marked the anniversary of his birth 204 years ago. The Times staff has also been working on a piece about Kenner that will be published this fall in a New Orleans-based publication, and we will keep you posted when it’s available through an online link. Stay tuned!
Fair Grounds Racing Club News: On to present-day racing action! The Times has been splitting its time between Kentucky and Louisiana, and was in New Orleans to witness the debut of Racing Club filly Efforting, who ran on January 26, 2017. Although she placed second behind stablemate My Miss Chiff–another Into Mischief filly trained by Al Stall, Jr.—it was a solid first run for our girl! She makes her return to the track this Saturday, March 4, in Race 2 at 2:00 p.m., with jockey Colby Hernandez filling in for his brother and regular rider, Brian Hernandez.
Meanwhile, Club colt Excitations, bet down to 1-9 odds, broke his maiden as anticipated in his second race on February 2, beating his competition by 2 ¾ lengths at a 6-furlong distance! Read more about this race here in the Thoroughbred Daily News.
We were remiss, however, in providing an update on his first race from December, which also speaks to his talent. Excitations finished a very game second in his debut on December 16th, losing a stretch duel by only a head to Girvin, the duo finishing 9 ¼ lengths clear of the rest of the field. A very formidable opponent, Girvin went on to win the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes on February 25, a Kentucky Derby prep race that earned him 50 points and put him at the top of the qualifying list ahead of Classic Empire (32 points).
Excitations returns to the track this Sunday, March 5, in Race 7 at 4:23 p.m., an allowance race of 1 mile 70 yards (his first two-turn race), with regular rider Miguel Mena piloting. “It’s the next logical step and he’s training well,” Stall said in Thursday’s Fair Grounds Barn Notes. “He’s a smart, ratable horse. I feel confident he will run well.”
All purse winnings of the Club are donated directly to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Cancer Center, which is the chosen charity of Spendthrift Farms owner B. Wayne Hughes, who so generously provided the Club these quality horses! To date, the two Club horses have earned $41,000 in winnings from their three races. Mr. Hughes himself will be in New Orleans this weekend to see the horses run, and we look forward to providing an update on hopefully two victories!