Even a handicap could not stop Superior Storm from winning the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies for the second year in a row.
Racing over a sloppy track for which she does not care, Superior Storm stalked the pace of Miss Bean Wah, took over at the quarter pole, and went on to a 1 1/2-length victory. Vickies in Town, a 56-1 long shot, finished second, with Hisse rallying for third.
"Her class showed up," said trainer Richard Jackson. "I don't think she handled this off going as well as we'd have liked."
Superior Storm ($3.20) had a closer call on a sloppy track Aug. 1 at Louisiana Downs, when Miss Bean Wah came within a head of beating her. The $100,000 Ladies never really seemed in doubt once Superior Storm made the lead, but neither was she at her best over this sort of racing surface.
"She has a little trouble dealing with this," Jackson said. "That race she won at Louisiana Downs was a track just like this one. She's run real good on a drying track, but slop she just don't handle as well."
Under Robby Albarado, Superior Storm broke near the top and ran along a length behind Miss Bean Wah, who went the opening quarter-mile in 25.17 seconds and a half in 49.99. Superior Storm didn't appear entirely comfortable, but she easily kept up, and when Albarado asked her to go coming off the far turn, she quickly collared the pacesetter. Superior Storm failed to pull away, but she never was threatened, either, stopping the timer in 1:48.44 for 1 1/16 miles.
Superior Storm won for the 14th time in 22 starts and further asserted her dominance over the Louisiana-bred female route division. Jackson, who trains Superior Storm for the Jac Mac Stable, said he planned to next start the Stormy Atlantic filly at Louisiana Premiere Night at Delta Downs in February before taking her to Oaklawn Park. Superior Storm finished second in the Apple Blossom there this past spring, and if the filly continues to do well, Jackson said, she will have a return engagement in the Grade 1 race.
Red Rally roll on by
Red Rally, half of a Merill Scherer-trained entry, demolished his competition in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile, taking over at the top of the stretch and drawing off for an easy win over stablemate Devilish Due.
In steady rain, and near dark despite it being early afternoon, odds-on Red Rally rated just off the pace in the early going before jockey Francisco Torres sent him around the turn. He quickly went by past pacesetters Mr. Wildlee and Jay's Wildcat, and drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths.
Devilish Due was up for second, 4 1/2 lengths in front of Heavenville.
Red Rally covered the six furlongs in 1:11.68 and returned $4 to win.
Owned by Merill Scherer, Dan Lynch, and Ken Sentel, who purchased him at the February 2009 Ocala Breeders Sale for $90,000, Red Rally earned $60,000, taking his bankroll to more that $230,000 from the eight starts of his 2-year-old campaign. Scherer indicated he would probably race next in the at the Fair Grounds in the Louisiana Futurity on Dec. 31.
Jockey Robby Albarado was tossed from his mount, Mr. Wildlee, in the post parade and took off his remaining mounts due to soreness in his back.
- Abram Himelstein
Speedacious made the jump from maiden special weight to the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie look easy as she posted a 12-length victory, going the six furlongs in 1:11.33 over a sloppy track.
Breaking from the nine hole, jockey Carlos Gonzalez had Speedacious three wide into the turn, where she took over, opening up with each stride.
"She relaxed nice and coming for home when I asked her down the lane, she rebroke," said Gonzalez. "I looked behind me and there was no one coming, so I just let her run her race. She ran on her own, really."
Trained by Bret Calhoun, and owned by Carl Moore Management LLC, Speedacious paid $11.20 to win and earned $60,000 for her connections.
Her victory was nearly two-fifths of second faster than the time posted by the 2-year-old colt Red Rally, who won the previous race.
- Abram Himelstein