Chess Chief Nails Owendale At The Wire In New Orleans Classic

Last early under Luis Saez, Chess Chief kicked into high gear down the stretch, catching 4-5 favorite Owendale at the wire in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans, La.

Trained by Dallas Stewart for the estate of James J. Coleman Jr., Chess Chief is a 5-year-old son of leading sire Into Mischief who was winning his first stakes in his 23rd career start. He covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.24 on a fast track and paid $12 to win on a $2 mutuel.

Multiple graded stakes winner Owendale, ridden by Florent Geroux for Brad Cox, finished second, beaten a head. Enforceable was a half-length back in third, with Roadster, a G1 winner for Bob Baffert making his first start since being transferred to Michael Stidham’s barn, fourth in the field of seven older runners. Captivating Moon was scratched.

Roadster, with John Velazquez aboard, set the pace with Owendale racing on his right flank most of the way through fractions of :24.11, :48.30 and 1:11.64 for the first six furlongs.

Those two raced as a team into the stretch, with Owendale putting his head in front when they passed the mile marker in 1:36.08. Chess Chief, last early, swung widest of all into the stretch but still had work to do  with a furlong to run. Saez kept to his task, however, and Chess Chief was up in time for the win – his fourth in 23 career starts.


The post Chess Chief Nails Owendale At The Wire In New Orleans Classic appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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