Surveillance with James Graham aboard wins the Richard Scherer Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds. *Hodges Photography/Amanda Hodges Weir)
“Road to the Derby Kickoff Day”
Fair Grounds Press Release
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Surveillance stayed perfect on Fair Grounds’ main track, winning the $100,000 Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes by 2 lengths over Bango. That makes it two stakes wins in a row for the New Orleans-loving gray, who captured the $175,000 Thanksgiving Classic earlier in the meet.
Surveillance, a 5-year-old owned by Big Chief Racing, Rocker O Ranch, and owner/trainer Keith Desormeaux, ran six furlongs in 1:09.61 to stay perfect from four starts on Fair Grounds’ dirt track. With Surveillance in the Scherer, Spooky Channel in the Diliberto, and Happy American in the Tenacious, James Graham rode three stakes winners on Monday’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” card.
“He’s a bit of a character this fellow,” Graham said of Surveillance. “But he shows up when he’s here. He likes this place and I like riding him here, or anywhere. He quickens late but he does idle a bit once he makes the lead.”
Longshot High Cruise was the quickest from the gate and set fractions of :22.08 and :45.47 as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite Tulane Tryst tracked on his outside. Bango stalked the leader along the rail before making a game move splitting foes to bid for the lead, but he was beat to the front by the outside charging Surveillance who finished off the field with his signature late kick. Bango held on for second as Heart Rhythm improved his position late to come on for third.
For Scherer Memorial, Race 9, forward to 13:50.
“It’s one of those fickle things of nature with horses,” Desormeaux said. “Surveillance just feels more confident here and he must love the way the surface is constructed. It’s great to win a race named for a friend of mine, Richie Scherer, who was also a great sprint trainer. Fair Grounds has a great series of sprint races that we will point to moving forward.”
Surveillance was overlooked to the tune of 7-1 by the bettors, paying $17.80, $6.80 and $4.40. High Cruise, Miles Ahead, Manny Wah and Tulane Tryst completed the order of finish.
With a record of 5-3-5 from 25 starts, Surveillance adds $60,000 to make his career winnings $406,367.
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).