NEW ORLEANS – Gainesway Thoroughbreds' odds-on favorite Small Kitchen broke in full stride to make the pace and drew off late to give Fair Grounds defending jockey champion and current leading rider Rosie Napravnik her fifth winner of the afternoon in Sunday's $49,000 feature.
Small Kitchen's margin of victory at the wire was 7 1/4-lengths in the allowance and $50,000 optional claiming affair that was restricted to sophomore fillies and contested at six furlongs on the main track.
Trained by Mike Maker, the winner returned mutuels of $3.60, $2.60 and $2.40 while remaining undefeated in two lifetime starts and increasing her career earnings to $52,008. She toured the three-quarter-mile distance in 1:09.88 after ticking off early splits of 22.38 and 45.80.
Vinery Stables' Diamante de Fuego finished second, paying $3.40 and $3 while Michael Schroeck's Banded was third, two lengths farther back for a $4.40 to show return.
Napravnik just missed tying the Fair Grounds record of six winners on a card. Her mount in the day's last race finished a fast-closing second and could not get past the longshot 62-1 winner, Wedding Slippers. The record of six in a day is shared by several riders across the track's 140-year history.
Racing resumes Thursday at Fair Grounds with a nine-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m.
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 Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 140th Thoroughbred Racing Season continues through April 1, 2012, highlighted by the $1 million Louisiana Derby for Kentucky Derby hopefuls on April 1. More information can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.
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