“Road to the Derby Kickoff Day”
Fair Grounds Press Release
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Juddmonte’s Dazzling Blue fended off pressure early to lead the juvenile fillies from gate to wire in the $100,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, winning by 3 lengths.
Florent Geroux rode Dazzling Blue to victory for trainer Brad Cox. She ran six furlongs over a fast track in 1:11.59.
The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Dazzling Blue ’s earnings to $129,000 with a perfect 2-for-2 record.
Dazzling Blue broke a length slow but was quickly hustled forward to lead the field of eight through a quick opening fraction of :22.18 which cooled off to :46.45 at the 1/2-mile call. Miss Shipman made an outside move to be in second through the turn as Condensation rode the rail near the back and began to make her move in the homestretch. As soon as the field began to bear down on Dazzling Blue, Geroux asked her for more and she re-broke to put all bids to bed and pull away in hand. Condensation rode the rail in for second as Miss Shipman held on for third.
“She felt great,” Geroux said. “The break was a little slow, but she was able to push all the way through. From there she continued on beautifully, and she was able to take some nice deep breaths. She was waiting for horses at the end but when I asked her, she pulled away. I really liked the way she finished up the race.”
For Letellier Memorial, Race 8, forward to 11:48.
Dazzling Blue paid $3.00, $2.60 and $2.40 as the 1-2 favorite. Twice as Sweet, Promise of Hope, Neutralize, Flamand, and Gavinera completed the order of finish.
“Overall, a big effort, she finished up well, kicked away late,” Cox said. “We’ll look to stretch her out a bit after today’s effort. Hopefully she can handle the two turns. Into Mischiefs can handle anything, and she’s out of Curlin mare. A big win for Juddmonte, and we’ll look to keep it going.”
Racing at Fair Grounds is back on Thursday with the first post scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CT and a card of eight races on the dirt. On Saturday, Dec 31, the stakes action picks back up with the $100,000 Pago Hop, $100,000 Woodchopper, the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity (Boys), and the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity (Girls).