Top Three Finishers From Richie Scherer Memorial Clash In Saturday’s Pan Zareta Stakes
By Ryan Martin/Fair Grounds Barn Notes
NEW ORLEANS (January 3, 2018) – A field of 11 fillies and mares will assemble for the Saturday, January 6th featured event at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the $50,000 Pan Zareta Stakes, which is run at a distance of 5½ furlongs over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.
Of the 11 contestants, eight of them last ran in the Dec. 2 Richie Scherer Memorial Stakes which was run in split divisions, including the top three from the second division. The winner of said division was Rapid Rhythm who breaks from post four under Shaun Bridgmohan and is a perfect 6-for-6 over the Fair Grounds lawn. Owned by Robert S. Evans, the 6-year-old daughter of Successful Appeal finished a half-length ahead of fellow Pan Zareta aspirants Contributing and Miss Gossip (Ire) in the Richie Scherer Memorial which was her first victory since a win in the Mardi Gras Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 28. Rapid Rhythm’s other four wins over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course were also at the 5½-furlong distance and came in the Battle of New Orleans Stakes on Dec. 3, 2016, an allowance event on Mar. 10, 2016, a $30,000 claiming race on Feb. 9 and a maiden race on Mar. 5, 2015, which was won at first asking.
The second-place finisher of the Richie Scherer Memorial was Contributing, who races for the Tom Proctor barn and will be in search of her first stakes triumph. The Heider Family Stables LLC-owned daughter of Medaglia d’Oro was beaten only a half-length behind Rapid Rhythm and will be attempting to turn the tables on her. While that performance was her sole start on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, she has quite a bit of experience over the Pan Zareta’s 5½-furlong distance and has run over it six times. Three of those six times resulted in trips to the winner’s circle and include a maiden victory at Laurel Park at first asking in Oct. 2016, an allowance win at Delaware Park on Jun. 3 and another triumph over the Laurel Park lawn two starts ago against allowance optional claiming company. She will break from post seven under Florent Geroux.
Winchester Racing’s Miss Gossip (Ire) finished third beaten a half-length behind Rapid Rhythm and Contributing in the Richie Scherer Memorial. The 5-year-old daughter of Big Bad Bob (Ire) kicked of her career in her native Ireland where she broke her maiden over the turf at Leopardstown third time out before shipping across the pond two starts later. Trained by Andrew McKeever, her first start in the United States was a narrow second in an Arlington Park allowance race in May of last year, however she did not score her first victory in this country until February of last year where she won an allowance race over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course. Following that win, she scored another allowance victory over the Keeneland lawn on Apr. 21 before trying stakes company in Churchill Downs’ Unbridled Sidney Stakes, where she was fourth as the lukewarm favorite. She will break from the two-hole and will be guided by Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Perhaps the biggest competition to the Richie Scherer Memorial top three is Nobody’s Fault, who will be out for revenge following a lack luster effort in that race where she was a distant tenth as the lukewarm favorite. Owned by Lothenbach Stables Inc., the 5-year-old daughter of Blame last found the winner’s circle in last year’s Unbridled Sidney Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 13, which also is her lone stakes triumph to date. She kicked off her career with a pair of victories over the Arlington Park turf when under the care of trainer Chris Block. She broke her maiden on Aug. 9, 2015 at first asking and then fired coming off an 11-month layoff over the Chicago oval in an allowance race. After such an effort, she gave graded stakes company a try in Arlington Park’s Gr. III Pucker Up, but finished 12th and last behind Noble Beauty. She will break from post six under Mitchell Murrill.
The remainder of the Pan Zareta field includes Clairenation (post one, Corey Lanerie, 12-1), Luvin Bullies (post three, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 10-1), One Last Shot (post five, Joe Bravo, 10-1), Aiken To Be (post eight, Marcelino Pedroza, 15-1), Triple Chelsea (post nine, Adam Beschizza, 10-1), Excessivespending (post ten, Miguel Mena, 8-1) and Nite Delite (post 11, Gabriel Saez, 8-1).
Also eligible entrants for the Pan Zareta include Elandess (post 12, Jack Gilligan, 12-1), Go Kart (Ire) (post 13, James Graham, 12-1), Miss Hollywood (post 14, Gabriel Saez, 8-1) and Our Lucky Break (post 15, Jose Riquelme, 12-1).