02/12/2017 9:50AM

Mobile Bay passes $1 million in winning Louisiana Premiere Championship

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Mobile Bay, with Diego Saenz aboard, wins the Louisiana Premiere Night Championship on Saturday.

Mobile Bay became a millionaire Saturday night when he held off The Pickett Factor for a length win in the $150,000 Louisiana Premiere Night Championship at Delta Downs. The race was the richest of six stakes on the program; all were restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

Mobile Bay ($3.60) moved to the lead soon after the start, dueling through an opening quarter in 24.31 seconds before racing clear through a half-mile in 48 and six furlongs in 1:12.49. The Pickett Factor tracked the leader and made a run at him in the stretch, but Mobile Bay had more and went on to win the 1 1/16-miles race for 4-year-olds and up on a fast track in 1:44.81.

“I think he likes this track,” winning rider Diego Saenz said. “Big horse, small track, but he handled it all right.”

Mobile Bay, racing on a six-furlong oval, earned $90,000 for his effort. He has now won 10 of 25 starts and $1,006,440. Mobile Bay, a son of Lone Star Special, is owned by Tigertail Ranch and trained by Victor Arceneaux.

Jockey Colby Hernandez, who was aboard Chocopologie in the Championship, was thrown on the final turn. Hernandez was up quickly, according to Delta Downs announcer Don Stevens. The stewards at Delta said Hernandez was then cleared by emergency medical technicians and rode the next race. Chocopologie had to be euthanized due to injury, according to the stewards. Chocopologie's biggest career win came last September, in the $175,000 Governor's Cup at Remington Park. He also ran second in the Grade 2 Super Derby in 2015.

Saenz had a second stakes winner on the card Saturday. He guided Underpressure ($20.80) to a sweeping, two-length win over Magic Vow in the $100,000 Prince for 3-year-olds. Saint's Fan, the 3-5 favorite, finished third. Underpressure had one horse beat early before going on to cover the mile in 1:40.47. The son of Birdstone races for Mallory Greiner and is trained by Chris Richard.

In the Distaff, Big World ($4.20) took the lead into the stretch and kicked clear for a four length win over Illussion Artist. Big World stalked the leaders, launched a bid into the final turn, and went on to cover the mile in 1:38.91.

“On the backside, when I eased her out, I knew I was in pretty good shape,” said winning rider Gerard Melancon, who was aboard for trainer Tom Amoss.

Big World is a daughter of Custom for Carlos, who races for Maggi Moss.

It was Icy Gentleman ($25.80) all the way in the $100,000 Sprint, as he wired his rivals for a three-length win over C U Tiger. Jorge Guzman was aboard for Iron Water Farms Joint Venture and trainer H.B. Johnson, Jr. Icy Gentleman covered five furlongs in 58.46 seconds. He is a son of Yankee Gentleman.

Mr. Al's Gal ($3.80) won the $100,000 Starlet on the front end, rolling by 4 3/4 lengths under Richard Eramia. She covered the mile for 3-year-old fillies in 1:40.89. Justin Jeansonne trains Mr. Al’s Gal for Brittlyn Stable. The winner is a daughter of Salute the Sarge.

Sunny Oak ($4) stalked and rolled for a 3 1/2-length win in the $100,000 Matron. Miguel Mena was aboard for Keith Plaisance and trainer Eddie Johnston. The winner covered five furlongs in 58.30 seconds. She is a daughter of Giant Oak.