Wonderful Justice with jockey Colby Hernandez aboard outduels Myredwhiteandblue to win the 65th running of the Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds. (Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr).
Fair Grounds News Release
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Blue Diamond Stud Farm’s homebred Wonderful Justice followed up his debut win four weeks ago with a stakes victory, taking the $75,000 Black Gold Stakes by a neck at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Ridden by Colby Hernandez and trained by Brad Cox, Wonderful Justice tended to the pace throughout the 1 1/16 miles over the firm Stall Wilson turf course with the rail out at 34 feet, stopping the timer in 1:49.19 and prevailing over a field of eight 3-year-old males.
“Perfect trip,” Hernandez said. “He broke sharp and sat stalking the 1 horse (Reckoning Force), and then he kicked on. Brad (Cox) did a great job with this horse.
Breaking from the rail, Reckoning Force shot out to the lead and clicked through the opening fractions in :24.71 and :51.83. Loosely pressing in second, Wonderful Justice kept Reckoning Force measured up and made his bid at the sixteenth pole, grinding out the lead. The late-kicker Myredwhiteandblue came flying but could only beat Reckoning Force to the wire. Grade 2 winner and 4-5 post-time favorite Andthewinneris stumbled out of the gate and came on the scene late for fourth.
“He improved in his second start,” Cox said of the winner. “I think he’s got a big future. He’s been improving and developing a lot mentally. I thank the ownership group for giving us an opportunity with him. He has the pedigree for stretching beyond one mile and a sixteenth. There’s plenty of opportunity on the Kentucky circuit and the NYRA circuit and I think he’ll be competitive at the top of that division.”
Bettors let Wonderful Justice go at 6-1, and his backers were handsomely rewarded with $15.00, $7.80, and $5.80.
Mazing Mark, Lord Donegal, Winters Lion, and Tapio rounded out the order of finish.
A perfect two-for-two, Wonderful Justice now has amassed $75,000 in earnings. The son of Justify out of the Giant’s Causeway dam I’m Wonderful was bred in Kentucky by his owners.
Corey Lanerie, jockey of the post-time favorite Andthewinneris (finished fourth): “We got slammed leaving the gate, which kind of knocked him off balance. In the first turn, I think he took another gut punch. But other than that, I worked out a pretty smooth trip. When I got out, I thought I was going to run them down.”