No strangers to stakes level success this season, Marquee Prince recorded his second stakes triumph of the Fair Grounds meet in the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes on Saturday.
The race was taken off the turf andrun on a wet track. Marquee Prince stalked the pace set by Spectacular Gem, who set slow opening fractions of 24.35, 48.41 and 1:13.04 while Florent Geroux kept the son of Cairo Prince just to his outside. Around the three-sixteenths pole, Marquee Prince took the lead and kicked clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:39.02. Tobacco Road got up for second while pacesetter Spectacular Gem rounded out the trifecta.
Completing the order of finish were Uncapped, Vivid Verse and Logical Myth.
The Black Gold was a second stakes victory for Marquee Prince, who won the Lloyd ‘Captain’ Maestri Memorial Overnight Stakes on Feb. 2 last time out. He ran two times against stakes company on dirt in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Springboard Mile at Remington Park, but both times resulted in fifth-place finishes.
“He has good tactical speed, and he ran a good race on the dirt at Remington Park,” Geroux said. “I think he’s more comfortable on the turf. He has class and good tactical speed which allowed me to take a good position, and from there he went nicely to the wire.”
The victory was a fifth stakes win of the meet for two-time Fair Grounds leading trainer Brad Cox, who now leads all other trainers in stakes wins this meet.
“It worked out well,” Cox said. “Florent put him in a good position and he kicked on well. We’ll talk it over the with owners. Florent said he did struggle a little bit with the dirt and was getting a little tired. The track could be a little heavy as well. We’ll talk things over with the owners and take it from there.”
Marquee Prince wasn't early-nominated to the Triple Crown.
Marquee Prince paid $5.00, $2.60 and $2.10 while Tobacco Road returned $3.00 and $2.40. Spectacular Gem paid $3.00 to show.
Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones and owned by Rick, Donna and Jeff Awtrey, Marquee Prince is out of the Include broodmare Try to Remember who produced Grade I-placed Holiday Soiree. He was purchased for $215,000 by bloodstock agent Clay Scherer at the Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale in Lexington, Ky. where he was consigned by Airdrie Stud.
Photo by Hodges Photography