02/27/2016 7:33PM

Oscar Nominated scores daylight win in Black Gold

Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography
Oscar Nominated, ridden by Robby Albarado, wins the Black Gold for 3-year-olds by 1 1/2 lengths.

Oscar Nominated yielded the stage when beaten a neck last month in the Keith Gee Memorial, but he got his picture taken and the trophy Saturday in the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Oscar Nominated charged hard into a slow pace in Keith Gee but ran out of ground and was beaten a neck. Saturday, Robby Albarado kept him in closer touch with a much faster tempo and Oscar Nominated won convincingly, taking the lead in midstretch and comfortably holding clear a solid run from One Mean Man for a 1 1/2-length victory. Extra Credit finished another 2 1/4 lengths back for third in the two-turn turf race for 3-year-olds.

Trained by Mike Maker for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Oscar Nominated was claimed for $75,000 out of a winning third start last fall at Belmont. He finished second  in a Churchill allowance race to end his 2-year-old campaign, and after his tough loss last month broke through with his second career win, running 7 1/2 furlongs on a very firm course in 1:29.63 and paying $6.60 as the winning favorite.

Oscar Nominated is a son of the Ramseys’ stallion Kitten’s Joy and out of the Theatrical mare Devine Actress. She was bred in Kentucky.

One Mean Man delivered another solid performance, rallying from farther behind than when he won the Keith Gee.

Hail to the Nile game in Dixie Poker Ace

Hail to the Nile has a famous river in his name, but he seems to run his best the less moisture sits in the Fair Grounds turf course. When the grass began baking during the longer days late last meet, Hail to the Nile ran the two best races of his career, and on a very firm, fast-playing course Saturday, he led most of the way to win the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace for Louisiana-bred turf route horses.

Exiting two turf sprints and breaking from post 1 under Cisco Torres, Hail to the Nile ($25.80) laid down solid splits of 23.74 and 48.01seconds  with Next Event the only horse near him. Next Event moved to challenge midway around the far turn, drew even with Hail to the Nile at the top of the stretch, and appeared to be on his way to victory as he put a head in front before the eighth pole. But Hail to the Nile battled on along the rail, getting back on terms and pushing out to win by 1 3/4 lengths.

McGehee’s Mercy completed an all-longshots trifecta that paid $830.10, following home 11-1 Hail to the Nile and 15-1 Next Event at odds of 14-1. Sunbean, the Louisiana-bred star making his first start in about a year, finished fourth as the 3-1 favorite, looming at the top of the stretch before appearing to tire in his turf debut.

Hail to the Nile, trained for Valene Farms by Sturges Ducoing, won his first stakes race and ran his career record to 5-6-3 from 25 starts. He’s the rare Louisiana-bred by the only living stallion to father a Triple Crown winner, Pioneer ofthe Nile, and was produced by the Fly So Free mare Takeaway for breeder Warren Harang III.