WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary
, unhurried early, launched a bold bid outside the early leaders when set down for the drive and tallied by a neck over Mylute in the 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday.
The win earned Revolutionary 100 points and a position in the Kentucky Derby starting gate at Churchill Downs five weeks from now on May 4.
“It was a really beautiful trip,” said winning rider Javier Castellano of the Louisiana Derby score. “That’s the kind of horse we would like to take to the Kentucky Derby. He can do everything. He passed the test today and last time (in Aqueduct’s Grade II Withers Feb. 2) and way before. He is a lovely horse to ride and a come-from-behind horse – very much a true horse. He did everything the right way today. I really like him. I am looking forward big time.”
As the choice of the fans, Revolutionary returned mutuels of $6.80, $4.20 and $3, accomplished the nine furlongs in 1:50.28 and increased his earnings to $788,500 with his third straight win in six career starts.
“I think he’s got all the experience he needs and it’s nice he got the points so we are on to Kentucky,” said WinStar’s racing manager Elliott Walden. “I saw him in the paddock. He doesn’t turn a hair. He goes around there like a puppy dog. When you get to Louisville, those kinds of things matter.”
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher was in Florida. Assistant Whit Beckman saddled three consecutive Grade II stakes winners for Team Pletcher, having won the Fair Grounds Oaks with Unlimited Budget and the New Orleans Handicap with Graydar in the two previous races.
“It’s been a very fruitful trip to New Orleans,” Beckman said. “We come in here with the intent to win and we’re disappointed when we don’t.”
GoldMark Farm’s longshot Mylute ran a game second in the Louisiana Derby and briefly got the lead at the sixteenth pole. The Midnight Lute colt returned $12.60 and $6.80.
“I’m really proud of him,” said nine-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss and native New Orleanian of Mylute. “I am proud of the way he ran today. One of these years, the Louisiana Derby is going to have our name on it.”
Finishing third, three lengths farther back was Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing, who returned $4.40 in the show position.
The order of finish for the 14-horse field was completed by Golden Soul, Ground Transport, Code West, Palace Malice, Sunbean, Titletown Five, Proud Strike, Hip Four Sixtynine, Nina’s Dragon, Brazilian Court and Whiskey Bravo.
Hip Four Sixtynine and Titletown Five alternated for the early lead with splits of 22.84 and 45.34 before tiring.