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© Lou Hodges Photography
By Martha Claussen
NEW ORLEANS, LA—AUGUST 9, 2019—Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots kicks of its 2019 Quarter Horse meet on Friday, August 16.
Post time for the ten-day live racing season is noon (Central) with a busy opening weekend on hand. Friday’s features include the $40,000 Treme (G3) for accredited Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds going 350 yards; the $25,000 Gentilly Dash at 250 yards and the $40,000 Audubon for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at the distance of 350-yards.
On Saturday, August 17, the program will be focused on trials for the LQHBA Sale Futurity (RG1).
Jose Sanchez, III was the leading trainer at Fair Grounds last summer with eight wins, including a victory by Amending The Bar in the $434,538 LQHBA Sale Futurity. The filly by 2018 leading first crop sire Five Bar Cartel was purchased for $6,500 at the 2017 LQHBA Yearling Sale by owner Julio Ramirez.
"We qualified four for the final," said Sanchez. "A few of them had some trouble, but she got clear and ran a great race. It was a blessed day for us."
Sanchez expects to have five juveniles compete in the August 17 trials.
"None of them have stepped up yet, but some of our 2-year-olds needed a little more time to get bigger and mature," he added.
Other conditioners set to run this season in the "Big Easy" include Kenneth Roberts, Sr., Robi Meche, Lanny Keith, Miguel Rodriguez, Kenneth Weeks, Martin Trejo, Heath Taylor Trey Ellis and Wendy Garcia.
John Hamilton was the leading rider at Fair Grounds in 2018 and will return, along with LQHBA co-leading jockeys Everardo Rodriguez and Luis Vivanco as well as Luciano Duenez, Gilbert Ortiz, Antonio Alberto and Eddie Sanchez.
Additional stakes this season include the $25,000 Faubourg St. John at 870 yards on August 24; and the $25,000 Esplanade on August 31. The final of the LQHBA Sale Futurity will highlight the closing day card on Saturday, September 7 along with the $40,000 Lakeview Dash, the $25,000 French Quarter Stakes and the $25,000 DeSaix.
For further information on the Fair Grounds Quarter Horse meet can be found on fairgroundsracecourse.com .