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Horse Racing News and Results March 28, 2015

Horse Racing News and Results March 28, 2015:

Fair Grounds Oaks – Grade II – 1-1/16 Miles – Three-Year-Old Fillies – Fair Grounds
Perhaps coming as a surprise to no one, the filly I’m a Chatterbox (Munnings – Chit Chatter, by Lost Soldier) won the Fair Grounds Oaks, an important prep race for three-year-old fillies aiming for a start in the Kentucky Oaks. The victory was her third straight after winning last month’s Rachel Alexandra Stakes (GIII) and January’s Silverbulletday Stakes. As a daughter of the brilliant sprinter Munnings, she may be a bit distance challenged when it comes to the 1-1/8 miles of the Kentucky Oaks, but so far she has proven that she can run successfully at 1-1/16 miles. In the Fair Grounds Oaks, I’m a Chatterbox broke well and settled in second to track leader Jugni before taking the lead for her own at the end of the backstretch. Under some strong urging, the chestnut filly finished 2-1/2 lengths in front of Shook Up with Forever Unbridled separating herself from the rest of the field for third.

I'm A Chatterbox Horse

I’m A Chatterbox wins the Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, LA, Saturday, March, 28, 2015. Florent Geroux was the winning jockey. The dome of Holy Rosary Church is shown in the background.
The 3-year-old-filly is owned by Fletcher and Carolyn Gray and trained by J. Larry Jones.
Photo: Amanda Hodges Weir / Hodges Photography

Gulfstream Park Oaks – Grade II – 1-1/16 Miles – Three-Year-Old Fillies – Gulfstream
In another important race for Kentucky Oaks hopefuls, Birdatthewire (Summer Bird – My Limit, by Wagon Limit) came out on top in a field of eight for the Gulfstream Park Oaks. The bay filly made her first appearance in stakes company a winning one by taking the Forward Gal Stakes (GII), and she then lost by only a neck to Ekati’s Phaeton to finish second in the Davona Dale Stakes (GII). In the Gulfstream Oaks, Birdatthewire ran impatiently at the back of the pack. After fighting jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., the whole way, she finally got her way and made an outside bid around the final turn to run by Eskenformoney to win by 1-1/4 lengths. Danessa Deluxe finished third, and Devine Aida, Sweet Swingin, Cristina’s Journey, Ekati’s Phaeton, and Holywell rounded out the order of finish for the fillies in the Gulfstream Oaks.

Birdatthewire Horse

After an eventful trip in the early stages, Forum Racing’s Birdatthewire came flying late to catch Eskenformoney and win the 45th running of the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Photo: Coglianese

Louisiana Derby – Grade II – 1-1/8 Miles – Three-Year-Olds – Fair Grounds
Completing a sweep of the Kentucky Derby prep races for three-year-olds over the Fair Grounds oval, International Star (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) achieved an impressive victory in the Louisiana Derby. Prior to this win, International Star took the Risen Star Stakes (GII) and the LeComte Stakes (GIII). At the start of the Louisiana Derby, Stanford took an easy lead while International Star ran in the back of the pack along the rail. The bay colt moved away from his inside position and took aim at the leader, and the two colts dueled until International Star proved he was the best and won by half a length. Following his appearance in the winner’s circle, rightfully proud owner Ken Ramsey could be heard proclaiming, “Kentucky Derby here we come!”

International Star Horse

International Star with Miguel Mena aboard, wins the Louisiana Derby (Grade II) at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, LA, Saturday, March, 28, 2015.
Photo: by Alexander Barkoff / Hodges Photography

Florida Derby – Grade I – 1-1/8 Miles – Three-Year-Olds – Fair Grounds
In one of the most exciting Kentucky Derby prep races thus far, two of the favorites for the Florida Derby created their own match race. Materiality (Afleet Alex – Wildwood Flower, by Langfuhr) has started only twice in his career, each time as a three-year-old, but he has won both his maiden and the Islamorada Handicap earlier this month. In the Florida Derby, Materiality was content to settle in second behind leader Jack Tripp out of the gate while the even-money favorite and Holy Bull Stakes (GII) winner Upstart stalked the pacesetters in third. Those two hooked up in the backstretch and separated themselves from the rest of the field, but it was Materiality who came out 1-1/2 lengths on top with Upstart settling for second, 12-1/2 lengths in front of third-place finisher Itsaknockout. The Florida Derby victory gave jockey John Velazquez his fourth victory of the day’s card and Todd Pletcher yet another promising Derby colt.

Materiality Horse

In one of the most exciting Kentucky Derby prep races thus far, Materiality and Upstart created their own match race in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 28, 2015.
Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese

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