Fair Grounds titles go to Geroux, Stidham, Midwest Thoroughbreds
Edited press release from Fair Grounds
Three new faces were crowned meet winners on Sunday at the conclusion of the 144th Thoroughbred racing season at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Jockey Florent Geroux, coming off a career year in 2015, kept his momentum going throughout the winter, capturing the title of leading jockey with 87 wins. Not only did Geroux find his way to the winner’s circle 87 times, he also won his first Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star S. (G2) aboard Gun Runner as well as winning the Fair Grounds H. (G3) and Colonel E. R. Bradley (G3) with Chocolate Ride.
Veteran trainer Mike Stidham landed his first Fair Grounds training title, leading early in the season after a quick start and then maintaining his advantage throughout the final weeks of the season. Stidham led his charges into the winner’s circle 38 times and oversaw the rapid rise of Louisiana-bred Jockamo’s Song, who entered the season as a maiden and exited it as a two-time stakes winner after landing the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint in December and Saturday’s Costa Rising S.
Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds took home top honors as the meet’s leading owners with 16 wins. The team put an exclamation point on their season when winning the Crescent City Oaks with Our Lady Allie on Saturday.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner was named Horse of the Meet after a vote of racing officials and members of the media. The multiple graded stakes winner punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby with an emphatic win in Saturday’s $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby after capturing the Risen Star in February.