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Fair Grounds: Amoss has two in wide-open feature
By Marty McGee
If the Sunday card is anything like the Thursday card was at Fair Grounds, you can put down your Daily Racing Forms and just follow the toteboard. Eight out of nine favorites were winners Thursday, and the only non-favorite to prevail was a 5-2 second choice, making for the kind of chalkfest rarely seen.
Thankfully, the percentages say some longer prices are due to start storming home this week at the New Orleans track. If the makeup of the nominal Sunday feature is any indication, that could happen at least once on the last day of the race week. The ninth of 10 Sunday races is scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf and offers a maximum purse of $49,000, with no clear-cut favorite among the 11 entered.
Longtime Fair Grounds denizen Tom Amoss has two of the fringe contenders in the uncoupled duo of Birdie Beats Par and Trelawny, both of whom are entered for the $40,000 claiming option in what otherwise is a second-level allowance.
“Both horses are coming off layoffs and have had a disappointing kind of year,” Amoss said. “We’re trying to see where we are with both of them.”
Birdie Beats Par (post 1, Jansen Melancon) and Trelawny (post 3, Leandro Goncalves) both show an impressive series of breezes when coming off the shelf, but Amoss said not to read too much into those.
“They’re funny horses, because even when they’re not on their best form, their workouts are always good,” he said. “So I honestly don’t know if we’ve learned a whole lot about either one of them in practice.”
Besides the Amoss pair, other viable threats in a race with a wide-open look include Warning Song for the high-percentage team of Maggi Moss and Chris Richard; Southern Region, an intriguing East Coast invader for longtime Maryland trainer Hugh McMahon; Full, exiting a spill-marred race on the Keeneland turf for the vaunted Claiborne Farm and Al Stall Jr.; Santo Gato, sporting sneaky-looking form for Merrill Scherer; and Comisky’s Humor, a fleet 3-year-old gelding making his first start in nearly seven months for Ron Faucheux.
One other allowance is on the Sunday card. Slotted as the fifth race, it’s a statebred turf mile that drew 10 fillies and mares and offers a $41,000 purse.
First post Sunday is 12:40 p.m. Central. After Sunday, the track goes dark for three days before another four-day week ensues Thursday. The highlight of next week is the Louisiana Champions Day on Saturday, Dec. 8.
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