Updated on 09/17/2011 10:51AM

Mystery Giver proves superior

Lou Hodges Jr.
Mystery Giver wins the Fair Grounds BC Handicap.

NEW ORLEANS - Mystery Giver can be a picky eater, and his inability to keep weight on his lanky frame has worried his connections. Saturday, he feasted on eight opponents in the $150,000 .

Mystery Giver, winning the Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup for the second straight year, was in a different league on Saturday. Racing in mid-pack behind a moderate pace for much of the race, he and jockey Robby Albarado swung into action turning for home, quickly opened up daylight, and ran alone to the wire. Mystery Giver won by 3 1/4 lengths, while ridden out.

"This horse definitely ran up to our expectations," Albarado said. "When I asked him he gave me a great burst of energy. He won easily and continued to gallop out well after the race."

Dynameaux finished second, a nose ahead of Freefourinternet, as much of the field was part of a blanket finish. Mystery Giver was timed in 1:50.41 for 1 1/8 miles over a firm turf course and paid $5.20.

Mystery Giver, a 5-year-old bred in Illinois by David and Patricia Block, is owned by the Blocks and a partnership that includes other members of their family. One of them is Chris Block, who trains Mystery Giver for much of the year, but when Mystery Giver comes to Fair Grounds, trainer Richie Scherer takes over. Nothing, apparently, is lost in the takeover.

Mystery Giver ran as well here last year as anytime in his career, and he has trained exceptionally over the Fair Grounds main track this winter. Mystery Giver still doesn't attack his food, but Scherer had him packing plenty of flesh on his rangy frame coming into Saturday's race.

Foster's Landing took the early lead, but was supplanted by Royal Spy on the backstretch. Royal Spy tried to control the pace, but was challenged by Dynameaux on the outside. Meanwhile, Albarado sat chilly with a handful of horse. As the leaders jockeyed for position at the quarter pole, Mystery Giver started to roll. He straightened away for the wire full of run, and the race was over.