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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Nitrous shot to the lead near the 1/8 pole and drew off late to take Thursday’s $125,000 Thanksgiving Classic Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Nitrous broke from post 2 under Adam Beschizza at 3/1 odds and settled toward the rear of the scratch-shortened six-horse field as he played bumper cars with some rivals.
Sent three-wide through the far turn, Nitrous straightened out with the front-runners within range and made his bid for the lead as Landeskog began weakening on the front end.
Scooting past his foes late, the Steve Asmussen trainee crossed 1 1/2 lengths ahead of the 2/1 favorite Manny Wah while completing the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint in 1:09.78.
Mr Money Bags missed second by a 1/2-length. Landeskog, Tringale, and defending race champion Bobby’s Wicked One completed the order of finish.
“We knew Bobby’s Wicked One was the main speed in the race and he usually sets pretty good fractions,” Beschizza said. “I was happy with my position early on. It was perfect for him, as he likes a scrap, and once he set his eyes on the leader, I don’t think there was going to be much getting by him. I’m sure he won’t be done with his winning ways throughout the meet.”
Chublicious and He’s Smokin Now were scratched.
Nitrous’ win was his first since the April 2019 Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park and improved his overall record to 18-4-3-2. The 4-year-old Tapit colt has now earned $547,796 for Winchell Thoroughbreds and co-owner Stonestreet Stables.
“I was pleased when I saw the two horses hook up, and the two behind them seemed to put some pressure on them as well,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. “I thought Adam had him in a great spot early. Once he got him outside where he likes to run, he finished up well.”
Nitrous returned $8.60 to win, $3.80 to place, and $2.20 to show. Manny Wah brought back $3.20 to place and $2.20 to show, while Mr Money Bags paid $2.60 to show.
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