Happy Louisiana Derby Day! 

The top two finishers in the Louisiana Derby will punch a ticket into the Kentucky Derby given the points that aren’t being awarded to the Baffert trainees who are winning the SoCal preps. The Fair Ground Oaks features four runners coming out of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes.  There is an all stakes late Pick 4 and I have put together a caveman ticket which is detailed below. 

Trivia Question: Which jockey has won the most renditions of the Louisiana Derby? 

Race 11 – The Fair Grounds Oaks – Grade II 

One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt for Three Year Old Fillies  

  1. V V’s Dream: In the Rachel Alexandra she stalked and then flattened after being jostled (76 Beyer).  Similar performance two back in the Rags to Riches Stakes. Both of those efforts were in the slop. She was better over a fast track last Fall with a decisive win in the Pocahontas (88 Beyer) and a good second in the Alcibiades. Working well over this track. Dangerous at a price.
  2. Midsummer March: Decisively broke her maiden in her second career start at 20-1 while going two turns at Oaklawn last month (76 Beyer) for Ken McPeek. She had a bit of a wide trip but drew off in the stretch. Takes on winners for the first time. Lasix comes OFF. Passing.
  3. Alpine Princess: Cross entered in the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway and reports indicate she will run there instead.  Last out in the Rachel Alexandra she had a nice outside pace pressing trip but got leg weary late (76 Beyer). Might prefer a dry track. Needs to be faster.
  4. Lucky Got Game: Tom Amoss takes a shot with this Vino Rosso filly who broke her maiden last out going seven furlongs at Delta Downs. Bred to go a route of ground. Lasix comes OFF. Water is too deep.
  5. Tarifa: Stamped herself as a serious contender for the Kentucky Oaks in winning the Rachel Alexandra (90 Beyer) with a ground saving trip and nice inside out move by Flavian Prat.  She had a bit of difficulty sorting out her lead but once she kicked in, she was best. Should sit in a  stalking position. Does she have the look of wanting longer? Logical favorite. 
  6. Intricate: In her first start of the year she came from off the pace in the Rachel Alexandra to place behind Tarifa who had a better finishing kick (87 Beyer). That was Intricate’s first race since a win in the Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill last Fall (85 Beyer). A couple of nice works of off of the Rachel Alexandra and she should move forward here. The Pick.
  7. Our Pretty Woman: Undefeated in two career starts for Steve Asmussen. In her debut she was an impressive open length winner and then came back to take a N1X company field gate to wire (82 Beyer). Both of her races were in the slop. Lasix comes OFF. Should be the pace setter. Underlay, maybe a slice of the pie.
  8. Accommodate Eva: Cross entered in Race 3, the Crescent City Oaks. All three career wins are against Louisiana breds. Two back versus open company in the Silverbulletday Stakes she set the pace but faded in the stretch. Lasix comes OFF. Looking elsewhere.

Picks 6-1-5-7 

Race 12 – The Louisiana Derby – Grade II 

One Mile and Three Sixteenths on the Dirt for Three Year Olds  


  1. Triple Espresso: Pletcher indicates this colt will run Saturday in the Jeff Ruby. Hard to know what you were getting in his first dirt start if he goes here, but the dirt works are good.
  2. Hall of Fame: Gun Runner colt makes comes back here after a poor performance in the Risen Star where he didn’t show much in the slop (77 Beyer).  Demolished a maiden field going two turns in his second career start in January (94 Beyer) with Lasix. No Lasix today. If he runs back to that maiden effort he is dangerous. Show me.
  3. Antiquarian: Broke his maiden last out by pressing the pace and kicking clear while holding off the closers over a sloppy sealed surface (80 Beyer). Lasix comes OFF. Passing.
  4. Agate Road: Cross entered in the Jeff Ruby but Pletcher says he will run here. Has plenty of stakes level experience, but most of it is on the grass. Lone dirt stakes race in the Sam F. Davis produced a solid second. He comes from well off of it and therefore is a bit pace dependent.  Both of his races this year were won by horses who took the field gate to wire.  He should get some pace to run into today. Irad hops aboard. Possible. 
  5. Catching Freedom: Had a bit of a troubled trip in the Risen Star (87 Beyer) but was a decent third.  Two back he won the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn (87 Beyer) where this colt was a bit green in changing leads. Gets a piece.
  6. Awesome Ruta: Had no impact in the Risen Star and his lone win was sprinting last year against maidens at Delta Downs. Passing.
  7. Honor Marie: Didn’t show much in the Risen Star last month (80 Beyer) but that was his first race since last November when he won the Kentucky Jockey Club (92 Beyer) going two turns at Churchill.  That Risen Star was over a sloppy sealed track. Possible piece of the pie.
  8. Next Level:  Ran as a maiden twice last Fall in Grade I stakes races in SoCal for Keith Desormeaux. Last out in the Rebel he didn’t do much running. Don’t see a path.   
  9. Real Men Violin: In the Risen Star he had a nice trip but didn’t do much when the serious running started. Was a strong second in the Kentucky Jockey Club but was outrun by Honor Marie (89 Beyer) last November. Demand a price.
  10. Common Defense: Didn’t show much over a muddy surface in the Southwest but came back with a good second in the Rebel (90 Beyer) where he had to slip through a narrow opening on the rail. He showed good determination that day and today’s extra distance should suit. He can sit in behind the speed here and should get first run at the pace setters and wear them down. The Pick. 


  1. Tuscan Gold: Handled a maiden field last out going two turns at Gulfstream (84 Beyer) for Chad Brown. Takes on winners for the first time from this outside post. Looking elsewhere.
  2. Track Phantom: Winner of the Gun Runner (89 Beyer) and Lecomte (90 Beyer) couldn’t hold off Sierra Leone in the Risen Star over a sloppy surface last month (89 Beyer). Likes to be on the front end, or close thereto. Should be sent from this outside post. He’ll have company up front and that may compromise him. Minor award.

Picks 10-5-12-4 

All Stakes Pick 4  R9:1,5 R10:2,3,13, R11:1,5,6, R12:4,5,10,12 Ticket Price $36 

Trivia Answer: Pat Day won the Louisiana Derby five times and he did it for five different trainers; Steve Penrod, Lynn Whiting, Bill Mott, Neil Howard, and Wayne Catalano.