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Delta Downs: Guadalupe High out to make Azalea her second stakes in a row
Trainer Ronny Werner gets together with extended family members each Thanksgiving, and for years the dinner conversation has swirled around getting a horse together. Talk has finally become action in the form of Guadalupe High, who on Thursday night will be going for her second straight stakes win when she starts in the $75,000 Azalea at Delta Downs.
The Azalea is a 7 1/2-furlong race run around two turns, and it is restricted to 3-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana. Others set to start include Ante Up Annie, who is seeking her fourth straight win for Valene Farms and trainer Dallas Stewart, as well as the stakes-placed fillies She Loves Runnin’ and Tensas Harbor.
Guadalupe High has won her last two races by more than 10 lengths, among her wins the $125,000 Premiere Starlet at Delta on Feb. 2. She is owned by Werner as well as his mother, Helen Burnett; his uncle, Kenneth Posey; and one of Werner’s longtime clients, Rick Broth.
“At Thanksgiving, we have a big get-together on my mom’s side of the family. It’s like a family reunion each year,” Werner said. “We kind of talk about, ‘One day, let’s get a horse,’ and I finally hit my uncle up and said, ‘Are we doing it or not?’
“My uncle keeps up with [racing] pretty good, likes the races, bets on them. He knows how things go, and of course, he’s really pleased.”
Werner said Guadalupe High was the first Thoroughbred owned by his mother, who has raced Quarter Horses. The filly, by Cuvee and out of the Wild Zone mare Fighting Zone, was a private purchase from her breeder, Janeen Oliver. Guadalupe High won her career debut in a maiden special weight at Evangeline Downs in June. She won a first-level allowance at Fair Grounds three starts later, and in her two-turn debut in the Starlet put up a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 85.
“With her breeding, it’s so-so on stretching, and we were a little concerned about it last time,” Werner said. “Obviously, she stretched out fine, ran a huge race last time, and hopefully, she can do it again.”
Gerard Melancon has the mount Thursday. The pair figures to be prominent from post 2.
“We’re not going to change her style,” Werner said.
Ante Up Annie won the off-the-turf Sarah Lane’s Oates in her stakes debut last month at Fair Grounds. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the mount on the daughter of Majestic Warrior.
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