POST TIME 7:10 PM EST--Not only is this year's Louisiana Derby coming up to be a very solid Kentucky Derby prep race, but it also offers one heck of a betting opportunity. A full field of 10 have assembled to battle for Derby points and the track conditions will feature a dry, fast surface. Pace projects to be honest, but quite frankly, I believe the early leaders and those in touch with those leaders offer the best shot at the win spot. It seems pretty clear that your early duelers will be comprised of the head-strong Bret Calhoun charge, #3 Louies Flower and, to his outside, #8 Rise Up who looks to redeem himself here post his flop last time out in the Risen Star stakes. The two outside horses, #9 In Trouble and #10 Albano look to comfortably slot in behind the early leaders to secure an ideal stalking position. After a compromised post position assignment in the Risen Star, #6 Vicar's in Trouble finds a better spot today and is my candidate to secure the ideal off-the-pace trip sitting 4 lengths or so off the leaders in about 5th place early on. Coming out of the Risen Star, you have to tip your hat to the winner that day, #1 Intense Holiday, as that colt overcame a modest, but contested pace, to secure an immpressive victory. #10 Albano, in that same race, lead them from gate to a few feet before the wire. While the "numbers" indicate a modest pace that day, a few in here challenged #10 Albano but they were readily dismissed. The explanation for this can be found in the BRIS Late Pace figure for #10 Albano. He turned on the after burners during the enire length of the long stretch posting a very strong Late Pace figure of 102. #1 Intense Holiday was just running a bit faster in the stretch after an easy early trip to nip #10 Albano at the wire. From my point of view, #10 Albano ran the best of all charges that competed in the Risen Star. That being said, look for the third place finisher in that race, #6 Vicar's in Trouble to improve big time today for trainer Michael Maker and the omnipresent owners, Ken and Sarah Ramsey. After a crushing 13-length victory in his maiden score, #6 Vicar's in Trouble came back to crush the likes of #10 Albano in the Le Comte stakes but regressing significantly off that 103 BRIS Speed Rating achieved in his maiden victory. In the Risen Star, that 13 post really hurt but I really liked that strong middle move and movement forward in the form cycle. Appears to be sitting on another 5 to 6 point move forward today. I tab this one as my top win contender. Now, no one likes to talk about Tony Dutrow horses, but the shipper from New York (and NY shippers do very well here), #9 In Trouble, looks mighty, mighty tough second off the very long layoff. This impressive winner of the G2 Futurity is probably best at middle distance races but this one owns dangerous speed and a bit of a will to not quit. If he can rate a bit, this one could suprise some and take it all.
$.50 Superfecta 6,9 with 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10 with 1,7,10 with All
$.50 Trifecta 1,6,9,10 with 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10 with 1,6,9,10