Olympiad Returns to New Orleans Classic, Chasing Records and Victories
The Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds is generating excitement as Olympiad, the 8/5 morning line favorite, steps onto the track. Trained by Bill Mott, Olympiad has a compelling and easy-to-understand reason for his favored status â€“ his record-setting performance in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes. With two wins under his belt in 2022, Olympiad is aiming to secure his third victory this season and fifth overall.
Olympiad’s Record-Breaking Performance
During last month’s Grade 3 Mineshaft, Olympiad showcased his extraordinary speed, leaving the competition behind with a commanding 2 1/4-length victory. What made this win even more impressive was the track-record time of 1:42.01 for the 1 1/16-mile distance. In fact, Olympiad broke Pie In Your Eye’s 28-year-old record by just .01 of a second. These remarkable achievements have fueled the anticipation surrounding Olympiad’s return to the New Orleans Classic.
A Dominant Streak
Olympiad’s recent performances have solidified his status as a force to be reckoned with. In his previous race, he triumphed in a Gulfstream Park allowance field, leaving his rivals more than seven lengths behind. This dominant victory followed his Mineshaft win, further establishing Olympiad as a horse of exceptional talent and speed.
With two consecutive wins under his belt, Olympiad has left no doubt about his capabilities. Out of his seven career races, he has only missed the exacta twice â€“ finishing third in his debut at Saratoga in August 2020 and fourth in last year’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. Even in the Cigar Mile, Olympiad encountered a challenging race scenario as he clipped heels with another horse and got pushed wide. Despite these setbacks, Olympiad’s performance remained commendable, finishing 4 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Americanrevolution.
Jockey Junior Alvarado, who partnered with Olympiad in the Mineshaft, praised the colt’s prowess and ease of riding during the race. Alvarado noted that Olympiad responds well to urging, and the longer stretch at Fair Grounds played to his strengths, allowing him to pick up speed and maintain his momentum until the finish line.
Welcome Proxy and Super Stock: Challengers for Olympiad
The New Orleans Classic won’t be a one-horse show, as Proxy and Super Stock enter the picture as potential challengers to Olympiad’s reign. These familiar names have notable past performances and seek to prove themselves against the formidable favorite.
Proxy’s Journey of Growth and Maturity
Proxy caught the attention of racing enthusiasts during the 2021 Kentucky Derby trail with strong showings in the Grade 3 Lecomte and Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds. However, he faced setbacks, finishing fourth in both the Louisiana Derby and the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. After a 10 1/2-month hiatus, Proxy made a triumphant return to the track, winning a Fair Grounds allowance optional claiming race by a commanding 3 3/4 lengths in his first start as a 4-year-old.
The extended break brought about a positive change in Proxy’s demeanor and performance. Trainer Mike Stidham noted that Proxy has developed both physically and mentally, showing improved work in morning training sessions. The decision to remove blinkers from Proxy’s equipment further contributed to his growth and maturity, as Stidham observed no noticeable benefits from their use in previous races. With these changes and Proxy’s impressive return to form, he poses a significant threat to Olympiad’s dominance.
Seeking Redemption: Super Stock’s Return
Super Stock, known for his 16th-place finish in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, aims to regain his winning form in the New Orleans Classic. Although he hasn’t claimed a graded stakes victory since his impressive upset in the Arkansas Derby last April, Super Stock has secured wins in the Ellis Park Derby and the Zia Park Derby, both Listed Stakes races.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Super Stock encountered a troubled trip in his most recent outing, finishing third in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park. In preparation for the New Orleans Classic, Asmussen observed promising workouts from the colt, instilling confidence in his chances of a successful performance. With a change of scenery at Fair Grounds and the belief that Super Stock is capable of awakening his true potential, Asmussen and his team are eager for a strong showing in this competitive race.
The Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds promises an exhilarating clash between Olympiad, Proxy, and Super Stock. Olympiad’s record-setting performance in the Mineshaft has cemented his status as the favorite, but Proxy’s growth and Super Stock’s redemption campaign make for a thrilling contest. As these talented colts vie for victory, racing fans eagerly await an unforgettable showdown at Fair Grounds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Olympiad’s record in 2022?
Olympiad has had an exceptional start to the year, securing two wins in his two starts in 2022. He first claimed victory in a Gulfstream Park allowance race, winning by an impressive margin of 7 1/4 lengths. This dominant performance was followed by his track-record-setting win in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds.
2. How many wins does Proxy have in his career?
Proxy has displayed his talent and potential throughout his career, accumulating multiple victories. To date, he has secured four wins, showcasing his ability to compete at a high level. His most recent win was an impressive return to racing in a Fair Grounds allowance optional claiming race.
3. What are Super Stock’s notable achievements?
Super Stock gained prominence with his victory in the Arkansas Derby, an upset that showcased his ability to compete against formidable competition. Additionally, he has won both the Ellis Park Derby and the Zia Park Derby, further solidifying his reputation as a talented racehorse.
4. How did Proxy’s training routine change during his break?
During Proxy’s time away from racing, trainer Mike Stidham focused on helping the colt develop both physically and mentally. Proxy’s training sessions underwent modifications to cater to his increased maturity, resulting in more focused and productive workouts at the track. The decision to remove blinkers from Proxy’s equipment also contributed to his growth and improvement.
5. What is Super Stock’s connection to country music star George Strait?
Erv Woolsey, the manager for country music star George Strait, is one of the individuals involved in the ownership of Super Stock. Woolsey, along with Keith Asmussen, works closely with the Asmussen racing family, including acclaimed trainer Steve Asmussen. This connection adds an intriguing element to Super Stock’s racing journey.