Thursday, March 25, 2010

Louisiana Derby


Saturday March 27, 2010
Estimated Local Post Time: 4:48 pm
Name: Louisiana Derby Grade: 2
Purse: $750,000
Distance/Restrictions: 1 1/8 Miles, Dirt, 3 Year Olds, STAKES

Mission Impazible
Fly Down
The Program
A Little Warm
Ron The Greek
Discreetly Mine
Island Soul
Stay Put
Wow Wow Wow
Mister Marti Gras

It’s a Risen Star rematch for five of the thirteen horses lined up in the Louisiana Derby.

Last month Discreetly Mine drove to the winner’s circle while Drosselmeyer (the Risen Star morning line favorite) finished 4th, Stay Put followed in 5th, Ron The Greek came immediately after in 6th, and at the back of the pack was Hotep finishing 10th.

The good news for Discreetly Mine is that in the past two years the winner of the Risen Star has returned to win the Louisiana Derby (Pryo and Friesan Fire) – the bad news may be that Drosselmeyer, Stay Put and Ron The Greek looked poised to have a much better performance in the Risen Star stakes than they actually did – so any of the three could bounce back this Saturday.

Drosselmeyer hits a bit of bad luck with the 13th spot – however his style isn’t to jump out to an early lead, so it might not be a complete deal breaker but I do believe it’s enough to keep him out of the winner’s circle.

Stay Put and Ron the Greek have excellent closing speed and at this distance have to be considered as possible challengers for an upset.

In my opinion Hotep should have been named Nostep – let him go up to 50/1 odds or even 100/1 odds before thinking about placing $2 on him.

In complete contrast one long shot to keep an eye on is Backtrack (#12), who comes into this race off of two straight six furlong victories and is currently slated at 30/1. At this distance, and on this racetrack he is a relative unknown – however I certainly like that he “knows” how to win! May be worth a look.

Another 30/1 to look at is Mister Marti Gras (how can you not love that name?) who is fresh off a turf victory and finished 2nd in the two races he ran before that. This will be his first attempt against this talented of a field, but if the price is right – you might want to “show your beads”.

Wow Wow Wow is yet another 30/1 longshot, however he has raced against several of these horses and hasn’t faired very well. I don’t think he’s an option in this one.

Island Soul (another great name) was favored in his last race and failed to win, finishing second in a race slightly over a mile. He’s another horse that will be seeing this kind of talent for the first time, and from my perspective he’s going to be overwhelmed.

To me the most interesting prospect iwill be (#5) A Little Warm who finished 2nd in the Hutcheson Stakes, after winning his previous two races. My concern is that he’s never raced any further than 7 furlongs and it’s his first date with the Louisiana Dirt. However he’s got a great post position, he’s the second morning line favorite behind Discreetly Mine, and he has shown very respectable flashes of speed. This race seems built to bet against him in this one, but it should be no surprise if A Little Warm is the winner.

The Program travels from Pasadena California in hopes of having better luck than his last trip in the Sham Stakes where he finished 3rd. The Program enjoys getting out to an early lead, but he was unable to close in the Sham and I’m afraid he could have the same kind of outing here.

Fly Down seems to be flying below the radar into this derby. He has consecutive victories at a 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 and reports are saying he had a very sharp workout last week. I like his post, and while I believe he’ll need a little help in this race – I like his chances to finish a little better than expected.

Finally – Mission Impazible hasn’t done anything so far to impress me (of course I said the same thing about Pleasant Prince from last weekend). In his last outing he finished 4th in the Southwest Stakes and he hasn’t scored a victory since April of 2009.

Mission Impazible may prove to be a factor if he takes an early lead into the first turn and pushes The Program a little wide. Wow Wow Wow will also contend to set the pace but I figure he’ll go well wide in the first turn and begin to fade at about the mile marker.

In the end I think Discreetly Mine will continue the trend of Risen Star / Louisiana Derby winners, followed by Fly Down, and finally The Program who will fade once again in the final stretch.

You weekend musical assignment, should you choose to accept it

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