NEW ORLEANS – The second running of the $50,000 Keith Gee Memorial features an intriguing field of nine sophomores in the first turf stakes for 3-year-olds on the year at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. At a mile on the Stall-Wilson turf course, the Keith Gee showcased future graded stakes winners One Mean Man and Oscar Nominated filling out the exacta in its inaugural edition.
In 2017, the Gee is topped by a pair of Joe Sharp trainees aiming toward the Triple Crown trail in Brad Grady’s duo Girvin and Cool Arrow. The former was a victor in his lone start on Dec. 16, defeating impressive next-out winner Excitations in 1:10 1/5 for six furlongs, impressing the speed figure aficionados. Brian Hernandez, Jr., is slated to ride from the rail. Cool Arrow exits a gate-to-wire win in the $300,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park on Dec. 11 and has the return call of Luis Saez from post four in what will be his first try on the grass if he starts.
Cheyenne Stable’s Cowboy Culture enters off a course and distance win in first-level allowance company on Dec. 11 in which he was green throughout, yet still proved victorious for meet-leading conditioner Brad Cox. Top jockey Florent Geroux returns to ride the 2-for-2 son of Quality Road from the outside post. Second that day and then a winner five weeks later in identical company, Warner Thoroughbreds and Jim Setzer’s Mike Maker-trained Hot Dad returns on three weeks’ rest and has the return services of James Graham from post seven.
A pair of well-bred colts in Lothenbach Stables’ Neil Pessin trained Holly Field and Carolyn and Fletcher Gray’s Larry Jones-trained Zinger enter the Gee looking to live up to their older siblings. The former is a half-brother to Grade I winner Divisidero and has Shaun Bridgmohan riding from post eight, while the latter is the younger half-sibling of fan favorite and multiple Grade I winner I’m a Chatterbox and will be ridden by Gabriel Saez from post five.
Multiple stakes-placed Warrior’s Kid (Mitchell Murrill, post two) and local maiden winners Red Corvette (Miguel Mena, post three) and Art Imitates Life (David Flores, post six) complete the lineup.
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 145th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 104th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 2016 through April 2017. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.