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Change of plans for Havre de Grace

Fri 24th, February 2012

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Just two days after announcing that reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace would begin her 2012 racing season at Oaklawn Park in the Azeri on March 17, her connections have been persuaded to run her at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Owner Rick Porter and trainer Larry Jones were contacted by Fair Grounds officials that the purse of the New Orleans Ladies Stakes will be increased by $50,000 to $150,000 if Harve de Grace runs.

"The management of the Fair Grounds in New Orleans called me and offered to raise the purse to $150,000 matching The Azeri's purse if Havre de Grace runs in The New Orleans Ladies Stake. Larry and I discussed the change and felt it was worth staying in New Orleans since she had been training there very well," said Porter. "She is used to the track, is traveling nicely over it and we avoid shipping a horse of the caliber of Havre de Grace. I hate to change my mind after posting on the web site but it is the best for Havre de Grace. Joyful Victory will run in the Azeri. Sorry for all the confusion for the tracks, the fans and the journalists. I apologize for any inconvenience."

The Ladies Stakes is the same day as the Azeri and both are 1 1/16-miles with matching purses.

Havre de Grace won five of seven starts in 2011 for more than $1.6 million. She won the Apple Blossom and Azeri at Oaklawn Park followed by the Obeah, Woodward and Beldame. She lost the Delaware Handicap by a nose to arch rival Blind Luck and was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

For her accomplishments Havre de Grace was voted 2011 champion older female along with Horse of the Year.

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