August 6th, 2018

Autumn Warrior (Orb) Takes Super Derby Prelude S.

Undefeated Autumn Warrior made it two consecutive stakes scores when he beat 10 others in the Super Derby Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs. The 3-year-old Orb gelding came into the race off of a victory in the Lafayette Stakes in June.

In the Super Derby Prelude, Autumn Warrior showed his determination as he was seventh heading into the final turn and behind a wall of horses. After taking the lead in the stretch under jockey Colby Hernandez, he held off multiple late charges to win by a neck.

“We had a troubled trip the whole way,” said Hernandez. “Going around the second turn, I swung him outside and when I called on him, he finished really strong. I want to thank Al and Autumn Hill Farms for giving me this opportunity.”

Al Stall Jr. trains Autumn Warrior, who races as a homebred for Robert Guidry’s Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc. The gelding is a perfect three-for-three in his career. He broke his maiden at first asking in May by 14 1/2 lengths and then won the Lafayette Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths in his second start. At a mile and one-sixteenth, the Super Derby Prelude was his longest race to date.

“The horse only went seven furlongs before, so this should put a lot more wind into his lungs going further,” said Guidry, who gave Stall his first horse in 1991. “Al has a great operation and a very good woman (Pam) working for him.”

Stall’s longtime assistant Pam Fitzgerald is the one who saddled Autumn Warrior to victory.

“I thought he did a great job,” she said. “He kind of stumbled out of the gate which is why he had the tight finish.  He’s a beautiful, big, strong horse and kind of a handful to train, but he has the talent.”

Orb, the winner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby, is a second-crop sire this year and has four stakes horses to his credit. He stands at Claiborne Farm.

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