Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon face veteran cast in the Louisiana

Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon face veteran cast in the Louisiana
Photo: Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO

Next Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds is set to feature a marquee matchup going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon will face off in each of their 4-year-old debuts.

Mandaloun will make his return from a layoff dating to his win in last July's Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park. The Into Mischief colt also won two other races last year, the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds and the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth. He also crossed the wire second in the Kentucky Derby.

Florent Geroux will ride Mandaloun, who will start from the second post position. Trainer Brad Cox has said the Louisiana is designed as a prep for the Saudi Cup (G1) in February.

Mandaloun’s chief competition in the race figures to be Midnight Bourbon, running for trainer Steve Asmussen. The two will line up next to each other, with Midnight Bourbon breaking from post No. 3.

The Tiznow colt comes to the Louisiana after a third-place effort in the Clark (G1) on Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs. He will be looking for his first victory since beating Mandaloun by a length in the 2021 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds.

Since then, Midnight Bourbon has finished second four times, in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Preakness, Travers (G1) and Pennsylvania Derby (G1). Joel Rosario will have the ride in the Louisiana.

The two headliners will be joined by a field of five other older horses. Trainer Dallas Stewart entered Chess Chief, who will start from the rail.

The 6-year-old Into Mischief horse won his most recent start, the Tenacious on Dec. 26 at Fair Grounds. He won a graded stakes at Fair Grounds last year as well, the New Orleans Classic (G2) in March.

Reylu Gutierrez will ride Chess Chief.

In addition to Mandaloun, Cox entered Warrant in the Louisiana. He will start from the sixth post position with Brian Hernandez Jr.

The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt will make his first start since the Oklahoma Derby (G3) in September at Remington Park. He has never finished out of the top three in any of his seven career starts.

The Louisiana Stakes is scheduled as the 13th race on next Saturday’s card at Fair Grounds. It is scheduled to go to post at 6:49 p.m. EST.

2022 Louisiana (G3)

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