Fair Grounds(1 1/8)
Saturday’s 11th race at Fair Grounds in New
Orleans, LA, will mark the 100th running of the Louisiana
Derby. Although this is a major prep to
the Kentucky Derby, only twice has a horse come from this race, and went on to
capture the Kentucky Derby. But the
times, they are a changin’, and this edition will produce a highly-qualified
field of ten, that will try and move on to Louisville, KY on the first Saturday
in May. Here is the field:
1 – INTENSE HOLIDAY(2-1,
Jockey-Mike Smith; Trainer-Todd Pletcher.
Career: 7-2-0-1; $351,900). Comes into this race off a victory in the
Risen Star Stakes, making him the
morning line favorite. He needed the
entire length of the race, to get up by a flaring nostril. After breaking his maiden in his second
start, he had competed in five straight Graded races, before making it to the
Winner’s Circle. He should be a major
factor in the finish of this race.
2 – KING CYRUS(15-1,
Jockey-James Graham; Trainer-Todd Pletcher.
Career: 4-1-1-1, $69,400). Pletcher also sends out this colt, to
complement the favorite. Hasn’t had much
experience, but did win impressively in his first race at Saratoga, by 11 lengths. This
colt is owned by WinStar Farms, so
owner-trainer combo is nothing to sneeze at.
Can’t seem to find much else to
say, that would have me jump on
3 – LOUIES FLOWER(20-1,
Jockey-Miguel Mena; Trainer-Bret Calhoun.
Career: 6-3-1-0, $190,940). His last race was his first crack at
Graded stakes competition, in the Southwest
Stakes(Gr. III) at Oaklawn Park . He was pulled hard, and ended up running dead
last. Looked as though his jockey gave
up the chase midway through the race.
Prior to that race, he had run off three consecutive wins at Remington Park. Maybe he didn’t like Arkansas, or, maybe he’s
a one-track wonder?
4 – FLAT GONE(50-1,
Jockey-Kent Desormeaux; Trainer-Keith Desormeaux. Career:
8-1-0-1, $72,120). Kent
Desormeaux picks up this mount for his brother. Was no threat In his last race, the Risen Star. Prior to that race, he had just broke his
maiden in his seventh try. Can’t seem to
find anything worth writing home about.
Only angle you might play would be the family affair?
5 – GOLD HAWK(12-1,
Jockey-Shaun Bridgmohan; Trainer-Steve Asmussen. Career:
4-2-0-1, $77,200). Regally-bred
colt seems to be having an issue with loading into the gate, having experienced
this in the last two races. If he could
overcome this, he might be one to contend with.
But, I don’t think the amount of time since the last race, would make me
believe that this problem could be corrected.
Maybe somewhere down the road, this colt will be a good one, but not
6 – VICAR’S IN
TROUBLE(4-1, Jockey-Rosie Napravnik; Trainer-Michael Maker. Career:
4-2-0-2, $188,900). This
colt, who is owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, failed in his last out as the
favorite in the Risen Star Stakes,
but didn’t shame himself, by finishing third.
Having raced his last three races over this oval, he should be a
contender, in trying to make amends.
7 – COMMANDING CURVE(20-1,
Jockey-Robby Albarado; Trainer-Dallas Stewart.
Career: 5-1-1-1, $42,434). After breaking his maiden in his fourth try,
at Churchill Downs, he was shipped
to Fair Grounds, where he has been
stabled for three months. His work log
has produced 12 workouts over this oval since he’s been here. He ran a troubled sixth in the Risen Star, but all indications from
this camp, seem to act as if nothing is amiss.
The trainer is familiar with bringing in longshots, having ran 2nd
last year in the Kentucky Derby with
34-1 Golden Soul. Possibly hoping that their patience may pay
8 – RISE UP(10-1,
Jockey-Gerard Melancon; Trainer-Thomas Amoss.
Career: 7-4-1-0, $814,633). Coming into his last race, the Risen Star, Rise Up had won four of his last five(including the Delta Downs Jackpot, Gr. III), but
either he did not like the track, or, he was not feeling well, which can’t be determined. He was rank, and, therefore, ran a
nondescript seventh, after sitting behind the pace leader in the early stages
of the race. His wins seem to be against
lesser competition, so, expect more of the same, running in the latter half of
the pack, against better foes.
9 – IN TROUBLE(4-1,
Jockey-Joseph Rocco; Trainer-Anthony Dutrow.
Career: 3-2-0-1, $218,000). Lightly-raced colt ships in from New
York, where he most recently banged heads with Samraat and Uncle Sigh in
the Gotham Stakes(Gr. III). Ran impressively in that one after a
six-month absence, leading from the get-go before rellnquishing the lead
late. The question that crosses my mind
is, “Why would you ship 1,400 miles when you can stay in NY and run in the Wood Memorial Stakes, and have not
worked over the track you are going to run on?”
He could win this one, but, without me.
Jockey-Kerwin Clark; Trainer-Larry Jones.
Career: 5-2-2-1, $178,100). This colt led every step of the way, with
the exception of the last step, in the Risen
Star, losing by a nose. He also ran
second in the other Fair Grounds Derby
prep(Lecomte Stakes), finishing a
distant 6 ¾ lengths to Vicar’s In
Trouble. Based on his last effort,
he should be around for the majority of the race. If he should be able to shake loose on the
lead, he could be tough to handle.
The main focus will be on #1 Intense Holiday(due to the fact that he won the last race over
this track, and this will be his sixth straight race against Graded
competition), #6 Vicar’s In Trouble(ran
a decent third in race won by top horse, and may have been the victim of the
large field?), and my longshot play, #7
Commanding Curve. We’ll throw in #9 In Trouble and #10 Albano on the bottom side of the exotics. 50 cent Trifecta: 1-6-7/1-6-7-9-10/1-6-7-9-10($18); $3 Exacta
Box: 1-6-7($18); and $10 WPS on 7. Total Bet - $66.