12/10/2016 7:13PM

Mobile Bay saves ground to win Louisiana Champions Day Classic

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Natalie Glyshaw/Hodges Photography
Mobile Bay (right) makes his winning move under Diego Saenz in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

Mobile Bay and jockey Diego Saenz took the lead nearing the half-mile pole and went on to a 4 3/4-length triumph in the $150,000 Classic, the high point of the Louisiana Champions Day card Saturday at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

The Pickett Factor led from the start before jockey John Jacinto gave up the rail to Mobile Bay and Saenz as the field of six Louisiana-breds made their way into the final turn of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Mobile Bay “put me in a good position to save ground on the turn and we went forward,” said Saenz.

Mageez rallied belatedly near the rail to finish second by a length before The Pickett Factor. Sunbean, the 6-year-old millionaire with two prior Classic wins (2013-14), was never a factor when winding up last.

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Bred and owned by Tigertail Ranch and trained by Victor Arceneaux, Mobile Bay returned $7.40 as third choice after finishing in 1:51.31 over a fast track. It was the ninth win in 24 career starts for the 4-year-old Mobile Bay, a son of Lone Star Special, and lifted his earnings to $916,440. In the 2015 Classic, Mobile Bay finished second to The Pickett Factor.

The $2 exacta (6-2) paid $92.40, the $1 trifecta (6-2-3) returned $134.80, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-2-3-4) was worth $49.80.