The Joseph R. Peluso Memorial Stakes first annual running
At 0h02, on November 26, 2021 • By FAIR GROUNDS
Joseph Raymund Peluso would be proud to see such a big party of quality horses in the stalls for the first annual running of the race written in his memory: The Joseph R. Peluso Memorial Stakes ($75,000) for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up going 1 mile 1/16 over turf on Thanksgiving Day.
Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, “Joe Ray” was known for his commitment and dedication to the Louisiana Horse Racing Industry. Fair Grounds Racing Secretary, Scott Jones said, “Joe Ray earned a lot of respect as a 35-year racing official. He was a big softy that everyone loved.” Joe Ray passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 26, 2021.
Eleven horses are slated to load up, and if things go their way, they all have a fair shot to win. Though Michael Stidham’s Goldophin-owned filly, Alms, might disagree. As a two-year-old she won the G3 Matron and the G3 Jimmy Durante; then as a three-year-old she went off as the favorite in the G2 Appalachian only to be caught on the lead and finish third by a head. So why did morning line oddsmaker and clocker, Mike Diliberto, throw a 5-1 price around her neck? After taking a year and a half off, her dull first outing matched her lowest speed figure.
“Initially off the long layoff we were looking to get a race into her, knowing that five and a half furlongs is not her optimal distance,” Stidham said.
If Alms can return to her three-year old form, she could romp. But there are many “if”s in this race.
Brad Cox sends out two contenders sure to take money at the windows. 7-2 morning line favorite Dominga will break from post 9 with Colby Hernandez Jr. up for the first time. This stakes-winner is consistent and her best could win this, but you could say that about every one of these turf routers.