Day 2 at Fair Grounds: A visit with the favorites and to Liuzza's
NEW ORLEANS - As I write this six hours after my arrival today at Fair Grounds, there still hasn't been a cloud in sight. It's a truly gorgeous day for racing on this TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) Eve, though the turf will again be given a day of rest ahead of the big allowances and stakes over the weekend.
*Again accompanying Fair Grounds' Michael Adolphson on the backside this morning, we paid a visit to early Louisiana Derby favorite Girvin. Two-for-three following a win in the Risen Star (G2) last month, Girvin appeared in fine fettle, except perhaps at the moment I snapped this:
Trainer Joe Sharp was not too thrilled with his star being displayed on social media with pinned ears, but all blame lies, obviousy, with the amateur paparazzi.
*The Louisiana Derby isn't exactly the land of the blind, but the one-eyed Patch will look to be king at the end of Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby (G1) prep. Trainer Todd Pletcher's recent graduate dives in deep for his first race against winners, but the son of Union Rags earned a 101 BRIS Speed rating for that Gulfstream score and certainly fits on that basis.
In regards to the missing eye, a dirt clod hit the aptly-named Patch last year and could not be saved. He's obviously come through it to become a capable runner so far, though drawing post 1 was not what connections hoped would occur.
*Farrell, expected to be a strong favorite in Saturday's TwinSpires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), was in a laid-back mood in the barn of Wayne Catalano. In a race with little-to-no other speed, she'll undoubtedly try to win the Oaks the way she won the Rachel Alexandra (G2) -- on the lead.
No trip to Fair Grounds would be complete without a stop at Liuzza's by the Track, and their signature BBQ Shrimp Po Boy lived up to the rave reviews for this first time visitor.