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2013 Louisiana Derby Preview Day

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6 of 8

Optimizer wins the 2013 Fair Grounds Handicap
Optimizer

Optimizer wins the 2013 Fair Grounds Handicap at Fair Grounds Race Course

© Steve Queen
A field of 5 older horses (after 7 scratches due to the soft going) went to post for the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (G3), at about 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Optimizer, winner of the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (G3), was sent off as the even-money favorite over 7-5 Willcox Inn and 7-1 Bim Bam. Jose Lezcano sent Willcox Inn to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 24.76, 51.52, and 1:17.00 while stalked by Optimizer. Into the stretch, Optimizer easily passed the pacesetter, getting 1 mile in 1:42.94, and cruised to an easy 2 length win over Bim Bam in 1:56.06. It was just 3/4 length back to 8-1 Two Months Rest third.

Results Chart

Winning jockey Jon Court said, "His performance was as top-shelf as it could possibly have been. Compared to last time it was a little more of an eventful trip. We were in and out trying to find the best part of the track. I did venture down on the inside and I got back to the outside; we were trying to find the firmest spot out there and it's all pretty soft. But he handled it well enough to save some ground and make that move towards the lead down on the inside and that put us in the winner's circle."

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