The 2012-13 thoroughbred season will come to an end March 23 at Delta Downs, but two stakes races are to be held the final weekend, and both have plenty of talent in them.
A field of nine has been drawn for the $70,000 Gold Coast Stakes on March 22 for older open bred fillies/mares that have started at least once at Delta since Oct. 18, 2012. The race will be 1 mile.
1. Kaminari — Kirk LeBlanc gets the ride for trainer Steve Margolis. This 4-year-old daughter of First Samurai is 2-7 and did win an Allowance race in January at Delta by a neck.
2. Pretty Not — This 6-year-old mare is 4-25, but has hit the board in 5 of 10 starts at Delta Downs. Kevin Smith rides for trainer Pamela Simpson.
3. A Runnin Pop — Juan Larrosa gets the call for trainer H.B. Johnson Jr. This mare has hit the board in 7 of 8 starts at Delta.
4. Amazing Saint — Likely the odds-on-favorite, this 6-year-old mare is a perfect 8-8 at Delta. She was claimed for $30,000 in her last start and has never lost on the Delta surface. Leading trainer Karl Broberg now has her in his stable.
5. Minesave — Miguel Mena comes over from the Fair Grounds to ride this 4-year-old filly for trainer Bret Calhoun. She’s finished third and fourth in her last two starts at Oaklawn Park and now comes back over to Delta where she had a second-place finish in the $70K Orleans Stakes in November.
6. Little Ms Protocol — Trained by Patrick Devereaux Jr., this 4-year-old filly will give Amazing Saint all she wants. She’s won five races in six starts at Delta including the $150,000 LAPN Distaff in February. Billy Patin will be in the saddle.
7. Live Every Day — This 4-year-old filly trained by Bret Calhoun has won two races in four starts at Delta Downs, and Tracy Hebert will get the mount.
8. Esther Carl — Donnie Meche will be back aboard this 5-year-old mare for trainer James Schultz after a second-place finish in an Allowance race Feb. 20. The mare has hit the board in 9 of 10 starts at Delta, but just has one win on the surface.
9. Forgotten People — This 4-year-old filly has won three of four starts at Delta for trainer Bernard Chatters. Nathaniel Puello is back aboard after she ran fifth in a $50,000 stakes race on the turf in Houston.
The final stakes race of the season will come March 23 as a group of eight open bred horses go 1 mile for a shot at $70,000.
1. Redhotrush — Tracy Hebert and this 6-year-old gelding nearly upset the field in the $50K Fremont on March 2 at 14-1 odds but were caught at the finish line by Hit the Road Lee. This runner has one speed — fast.
2. Battle Act — This Louisiana bred was claimed for $12,500 last summer by trainer Shane Wilson and has won two of his last five. Chris Rosier gets the call to ride.
3. Shared Property — Leading rider Gerard Melancon will be in the saddle for trainer Tom Amoss. Melancon rode Hit the Load Lee in its last race, so this is an interesting move for Delta’s top jockey. This 4-year-old gelding won his only start at Delta, which came on a 60-day layoff from Churchill Downs on Dec. 27. The horse is a Grade 3 stakes winner.
4. Hit the Road Lee — This 6-year-old has won his last three starts, two stakes, at Delta. Winner of 7 of 15 at Delta, 8-35 overall, this Louisiana bred was claimed for $10,000 by trainer Keith Bourgeois in November and has since been turned into a winning machine. Colby Hernandez will ride.
5. Masculino — Billy Patin is back aboard this 4-year-old gelding who finished third behind Hit the Road Lee in the $50K Freemont earlier this month. Trainer Kearney Segura claimed this runner for $15,000 in January, but the horse is 0-2 since.
6. Brethren — This 5-year-old Kentucky born runner has one start at Delta, a second-place finish, and comes back over for trainer Steve Asmussen from Oaklawn Park where he ran fourth in the Grade 3, $150K Razorback Handicap. Donnie Meche will ride.
7. Pirate Island — Despite getting a win two races back, this 5-year-old gelding has won only twice in his last 12 starts for trainer Ricky Bourque. Carlos Marquez will be in the saddle.
8. Agent Di Nozzo — Kirk LeBlanc rides for trainer Steve Margolis. This 4-year-old Kentucky bred is 4-10 lifetime and 1-1 at Delta — a sleeper of the field.
Gerard Melancon remains the leader among riders at Delta Downs with 102 wins in 433 rides. Melancon, who has won riding titles in consecutive seasons (2007-09), also has a jockey best $2,255,999 in earnings.
Chris Rosier is second with 87 wins in 590 rides followed by Joe Patin Jr. (75), Diego Saenz (62) and Kevin Smith with 59. Tracy Hebert, who won five races March 15 including four consecutive in Races 4-7, is sixth with 54 wins.
Karl Broberg looks to retain his leading trainer title as he is 10 wins ahead of Keith Bourgeois, 54-44. Broberg has started 213 horses and also leads all trainers in earnings with $982,173. Sam Breaux is third with 35, and Shane Wilson and Joey Foster are tied with 29 victories.