Surveillance and James Graham triumph in the $100K Duncan F. Kenner Memorial (Hodges Photography)
Fair Grounds Press Release
NEW ORLEANS— Surveillance stayed perfect on Fair Grounds’ main track, winning the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Memorial Stakes by 1 length over Bango in an “off the turf” edition of the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner. That makes it three stakes wins in a row for the New Orleans-loving gray, who captured the $175,000 Thanksgiving Classic and $100,000 Scherer earlier in the meet. The only one of the three stakes scheduled for the grass that was taken off, the Kenner remained at 5 1/2 furlongs on the main.
Surveillance, a 5-year-old owned by Big Chief Racing, Rocker O Ranch, and owner/trainer Keith Desormeaux, ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:04.05, making it two races in a row he got the best of Bango.
“He loves New Orleans, he loves Mardi Gras, he loves Gumbo,” Desormeaux. “He broke his maiden on the grass in hand, so running on it today would have been no deterrent. We have no choice now. The next sprint stake here is on turf (Colonel Power, Feb. 18). There are no more dirt stakes for older sprint horses here, so he’s got to be a grass horse now.”
Longshot Sign of War grabbed the lead making the first call in :22.51, but was soon overtaken by Yankee Seven who clocked in at :45.85. At the top of the stretch, it was Bango who took over the lead, but after traveling wide near the back Surveillance came charging and he was followed by Manny Wah. Surveillance dove inside of Bango and battled on by, while Manny Wah stayed wide and got up for third. Perhaps that move to the inside allowed him to catch Bango by surprise?
“I don’t think it mattered with this guy today,” Graham said. “He’s not the easiest horse to get along with. He shows you that. Today I knew to keep him covered longer than I have been that he’d kick for me today, and he did. He loves this place (Fair Grounds) and he loves his boss (trainer Keith Desormeaux) and we get along together. He’s been fabulous since he’s been here. Everything has gone forward.”
After letting Surveillance go at 7-1 in the Scherer, bettors knew better this time around, betting him to even money, paying $4.20, $2.20 and $2.10. Yankee Seven, Bolder, and Sign of War completed the order of finish.
With a record of 6-3-5 from 26 starts, Surveillance adds $60,000 to make his career winnings $466,367.