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LA Derby: Wow Wow Wow Training Well

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

Marylou Whitney’s homebred Wow Wow Wow, preparing for the Grade II Louisiana Derby, breezed five furlongs in 59.40 at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, the fastest of 29 moves at the distance.

Wow Wow Wow broke his maiden around two turns at Fair Grounds in November before finishing fifth in a January allowance behind two locally based Louisiana Derby probables, Stay Put and Letsgetitonmon. In February, having moved to the Lukas barn at Oaklawn, the Broken Vow colt led gate to wire while clearing his first-level allowance condition. Last time out, Wow Wow Wow set the pace in Aqueduct’s Grade III Gotham Stakes before fading to eighth.


“We vanned him (to Aqueduct) from Hot Springs and it was a two-day trip and I just think it was too much for him,” Lukas said. “We couldn’t get an airplane. I really think it was one of those races where he bounced coming off of an awful big effort here (at Oaklawn). I’m drawing a line through it and I’d like to see the horse I ran here in the allowance.”


“That was a little quicker than we wanted but he did it by himself and did it awfully easy,” Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said by phone from Hot Springs, Ark. “If they do it easy then it’s OK. I would have liked him to have gone a little slower but he’s good right now. He’s training very well and I think we have to give him a chance.”

Baffert Says The Program Will Handle Dirt

Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stables’ The Program will be making his first start on dirt after eight races over Southern California’s synthetic surfaces but his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert does not foresee the surface switch presenting any problems.


“He should handle it alright,” Baffert said by phone Sunday morning. “We won’t know until it happens.”


Baffert, who will not be in New Orleans for the race, has been encouraged by the reports he’s received since The Program arrived in New Orleans on March 10.


“He’s doing good,” Baffert said. “Bret Calhoun is training for me so we’ll see how he does.”


The Program, who is stabled in Calhoun’s barn, breezed four furlongs in :52 on Saturday, among the slowest times of the morning at that distance.


“He started off easy but finished up well,” said Calhoun. “He went by himself yesterday, but Bob has usually worked him in company.”

Jockey Assignments for Saturday’ Grade II Louisiana Derby

Probable jockey assignments for Saturday’s Grade II Louisiana Derby, which with its new $750,000 purse will be the richest running of the centerpiece race of the New Orleans season, were announced Sunday morning by Fair Grounds stakes coordinator Scott Jones.


They are as follows: Discreetly Mine, Javier Castellano; Drosselmeyer, Kent Desormeaux; Ron the Greek, James Graham; Stay Put, Jamie Theriot; Wow Wow Wow, John Jacinto; A Little Warm, David Cohen; Backtrack, Shane Sellers; Fly Down, Jose Lezcano; Hotep, Patrick Husbands; Island Soul, Robby Albarado; Mission Impazible, Rajiv Maragh; Mister Marti Gras, Shaun Bridgmohan; and The Program, Martin Garcia.


Hall of Famer Trainers Lining Up for Louisiana Derby

Four Hall of Fame trainers are expected to start horses in the Louisiana Derby: Bob Baffert (The Program), D. Wayne Lukas (Wow Wow Wow), Bill Mott (Drosselmeyer) and Nick Zito (Fly Down). Also saddling Louisiana Derby starters will be two virtual locks as future Hall of Fame inductees in Steve Asmussen (Letsgetitonmon) and Todd Pletcher (Discreetly Mine and Mission Impazible).



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