By My Standards wins New Orleans Classic year after LaDerby score

Fair Grounds press release

New Orleans (March 21, 2020) – The 3-year-olds may have taken center stage on “Louisiana Derby Day” at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, but Allied Racing Stable’s By My Standards put on a show in the $400,000 New Orleans Classic (G2) run at 1 1/8th miles over the main track rated fast for the marquee Saturday of the meet.

Last year’s 22-1 upset winner of the Louisiana Derby (G2), By My Standards sat second, just off his stablemate Silver Dust who set pedestrian early fractions of: 25.43 and: 50.09 through a half mile. Turning for home, By My Standards took command and powered home for a three-length victory in a final time of 1:50.27 at odds of 2-1.

Captivating Moon finished second and Chess Chief crossed the wire third but was disqualified and placed sixth, thus awarding Tenfold third place honors.

Following last year’s Louisiana Derby score, By My Standards would finish 12th in the Kentucky Derby (G2). Battling hoof issues, he was sent to the sidelines before returning earlier this meet to score an easy comeback win in a second-level allowance.

By My Standards drew off under Gabriel Saez to win the 95th running of the Grade II New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

“This horse has really developed over time,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “He’s going to be one of the top older horses in the country this year. He’s trained like it. This was a solid group of horses and he proved today what we have been thinking.”

Away alertly, By My Standards was on the lead briefly, but when Silver Dust tugged his way to the front, jockey Gabriel Saez was more than content to sit just off of him.

“I didn’t think we would be on or near the front end early in the race,” winning jockey Gabriel Saez said. “He brought it going into the first turn. I just sat and let him idle a little bit. We kept a good pace. I knew we had enough at about the 5/16ths. I am really thankful for Bret (Calhoun) and Mr. (Chester)Thomas. What a combination. I am as happy as I can be.”

The 4-year-old son of Goldencents now owns a career record of 8-4-2-1 with earnings of $921,910.

Silver Dust, who was exiting a win in the Mineshaft Stakes (G3) in February at Fair Grounds, was a handful to train earlier in his career, and following a string of much more professional performances, he reverted back to some of his bad habits on Saturday.

“I think Silver Dust acting up in the gate kind of cost him today,” Calhoun said. “He reared up at the start pretty bad. Brian (Hernandez Jr., jockey) second-guessed himself, said he probably should have let him go on early on instead of holding him in as much as he did. Can’t make any excuses but the gate issues probably cost us a little there.”

Fearless, the 9-5 post time favorite off consecutive victories at Gulfstream to begin his career this winter, was compromised by a slow start. He was very rank early on, ran into traffic off the second turn, and brushed with Tenfold in the stretch before finishing a well-beaten sixth.

“Bad ride, bad trip, bad ride,” jockey Florent Geroux explained.

Sent off at odds of 42-1, Captivating Moon closed with a rush to get up and finish a game second for trainer Chris Block and jockey Julien Leparoux.

“He ran a good race,” Leparoux said. “Not much pace today, but my horse ran a big race. In the stretch he was traveling really nicely, he gave me his all.”

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Jennie Rees