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Super Derby well positioned on calendar

Louisiana Downs toyed with the date of its marquee race this year by moving the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby up two weeks to Saturday. The gamble has paid off. Entries for 1 1/8-mile race were taken Wednesday, and the track drew one of its largest and most competitive fields in years, with the group of nine including shippers from Illinois, Kentucky, New York, and Southern California.

“I think anybody in the U.S. who runs a Grade 2 for 3-year-olds this time of year would be thrilled with what we put together,” said Trent McIntosh, director of operations for Louisiana Downs.

McIntosh said the strategy with the Super Derby was to place the race more in line schedule-wise with other Grade 2 and Grade 3 races for the division, rather than adhere to the traditional late-September date that was geared toward luring Travers runners and/or horses prepping for the Breeders’ Cup.

“We thought, ‘Let’s try to put our race in a realistic position,’ ” said McIntosh.

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