The connections of four horses expected to run in the 100th-anniversary edition of the $1 million Louisiana Derby this Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots also made their colts late nominations to the 2013 Triple Crown by last weekend’s deadline.
All but one of the other expected Louisiana Derby starters had already been nominated earlier to this year’s Triple Crown, which begins with the $2 million Kentucky Derby May 4, continues with the $1 million Preakness Stakes May 18 and concludes with the $1 million Belmont Stakes June 8.
The four latest Louisiana Derby prospects that have now officially joined the Triple Crown trail are Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s undefeated Departing, Brittlyn Stable’s Sunbean, Ken & Sarah Ramsey’s Brazilian Court and J-Lu LLC’s Hip Four Sixtynine.
“Some people nominate all their horses to the Triple Crown right away, but we don’t do that,” said Al Stall Jr., trainer of both Departing and Sunbean. “We waited until we thought these two horses were ready to take the next step and now we think they are ready to do that. Everything is looking good for both our horses on Saturday so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Departing won the $50,000 Texas Heritage Stakes by 2 3/4-lengths at last asking on March 2 and Sunbean captured the $60,000 Gentilly Stakes by 4 3/4-lengths Feb. 23.
“Some people have said we might be biting off a little more than we can chew but our colt is coming up to this race Saturday the right way,” said Bobby Barnett, conditioner of Hip Four Sixtynine. “This colt looked very good breaking his maiden last time (by 3 1/4-lengths) and in the only two-turn race he’s ever run in so far he got absolutely hammered and lost all chance.”