New Year’s Eve at the Fair Grounds Features Five Stakes Races Including Pan Zareta
The Pan Zareta is set to run on New Year’s Eve at the Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans. A small field of six fillies are lined up to run in this year’s $50,000 Pan Zareta. Weather is likely to be an issue as the day progresses with up to an 80% chance of rain in the forecast and potential sloppy conditions.
The morning line favorite is Kathballu (7/5), and she enters off a commanding 8-length win at Delta Downs in the Orleans Stakes Nov. 19. She was 4th in the Grade II Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs Nov. 5, but her past performance log shows no wins in three tries at 6 furlongs. Kathbulla is 1-1-1 in four starts over a wet track, but she also finished 7th over an off track at Churchill Sept. 16. Not a heavy favorite to our liking breaking from the outside in post 6 even with top-jockey Florent Geroux aboard after winning his 1,000th career race Thursday.
D R C’s Pretty Sky (9/2) has more appeal as a horse in fine form who’s firing on all cylinders. Off back-to-back wins and 12-straight in the money finishes, this fine filly will again be ridden by Geovanni Franco, who flies in to ride her in the Big Easy. Her running line at 6 furlongs is also impressive with 4 wins, 1 place and 5 shows in 10 starts at this distance. She’s also 2-for-3 over an off track and the other finish was a second-place showing.
If you’re looking for a longer shot to add to your exotic wagers, try homebred Pleasant Tales (8-1) trained by long shot master Dallas Stewart. She ran 2nd last time out at 24-1 to the heavy favorite winner Nov. 5 at Churchill. She’s run against stronger competition throughout 2017 which should serve her well in here.
The Pan Zareta Stakes is race 5 at the Fair Grounds with a post time of 3:13 Central on Sat., Dec. 31.
Kenny Schmitt contributed to this article. Follow him on Twitter @FBWinners