Marylou Whitney’s homebred Wow Wow Wow, preparing
for the Grade II Louisiana Derby, breezed five furlongs in 59.40 at Oaklawn
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
“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
“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
“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.”
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
“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
“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
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).