01/21/2012 4:41PM

Fair Grounds: Gantry by a nose in Gaudin

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Lou Hodges Jr.
Gantry (left) edges Cash Refund in the F.W. Gaudin.

NEW ORLEANS - Gantry proved in the F.W. Gaudin Memorial stakes that he is a better horse right now than Cash Refund - about three inches better.

Two months after winning a photo from Cash Refund in the Thanksgiving Handicap, Gantry did the same thing Saturday in the Gaudin, capturing the $72,000 race by a nose.

"I think this might even have been a hair closer than the last one," said winning trainer Ron Faucheux.

Gantry's two wins this meet were the first stakes victories in the career of 29-year-old Faucheux, a New Orleans Native. The Brittlyn Stables of Evelyn and Maurice Benoit privately purchased Gantry out of New York last fall, and the 5-year-old Pulpit gelding is 2 for 2 since that transaction.

Gantry got a good trip under Richard Eramia, racing in third as rail-drawn Joe Hollywood took a slim lead over Cash Refund. The Gaudin fractions were lively - 21.61 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.59 for the first half - and Gantry threatened to blow by the dueling leaders in the stretch run. But Cash Refund fought back gamely when challenged, drifting out in the stretch while giving Gantry everything he could handle.

"It's disappointing for the horse and everything," said trainer Steve Margolis. "He tries so hard every time."

Gantry, who paid $6.40 to win, was timed in 1:09.56 for six furlongs on a fast track. Joe Hollywood held third, and was followed by Mambo Galliano and Smokethruakeyhole.