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Breeders Cup 2015
Kentucky Derby 2017

Margolis Excited About Cigar Street

Margolis Excited About Cigar Street
Less than three weeks ago, Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis’s Cigar Street had never won a race, and less than a week ago, trainer Steve Margolis was still undecided about entering his colt in Sunday’s $1 million Louisiana Derby, but following a five-furlong breeze last Sunday, accomplished in 1:01.20, the New York City-born Margolis pronounced his quickly-developing colt accomplished enough to contest the showcase event of the New Orleans racing season.

 

Fair Grounds morning-line odds maker Mike Diliberto agreed, installing Cigar Street as the 7-2 second choice for Sunday’s the Grade II local Derby – always a significant step stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby less than five weeks later.

 

“Good,” whispered Diliberto at Monday’s Derby Draw when Cigar Street’s name was drawn to leave from the #5 post stall in the starting gate. “The two favorites both got good draws. Now, I don’t have to change the odds that I think they should be.” 

 

Brereton Jones’s Mark Valeski, who Diliberto considers the stronger half of the Jones-owned entry grouped as a single wagering interest, drew the #8 post with entry mate Mr. Bowling slated to leave from the #7 spot. Together, that Larry Jones-trained duo was pegged for 2-1 Louisiana Derby favoritism.

 

“I guess when (Todd Pletcher-trained) Discreet Dancer didn’t show up, my horse moved up to second,” said Margolis Wednesday morning, speaking of a well-regarded Louisiana Derby prospect whose connections declined participation in Sunday’s main event. “Otherwise, I guess I would have been the third choice.

 

“This is exciting,” Margolis added. “To have Cigar Street jump up and run big in a maiden race (a 13 3/4-length victory at Fair Grounds March 10) and now go into the big race as the second choice is a big thrill for me. Also, we’ve got Inny Minnie going in the Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday (also owned by Ballis and Lewis as the $500,000 Oaks’ projected 4-1 third choice) and (Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s) Cash Refund in the ($150,000) Duncan Kenner (as the 5-2 second choice) on Sunday.

 

“They are all doing great and I’m looking forward to this weekend,” concluded Margolis. “This has been a good meet for us. Now, I hope we can end it up on a good note.”

 


 

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