Louisiana Derby Betting Odds: Despite the fact that only two horses have completed the Louisiana Derby (G2) – Kentucky Derby (G1) double, the signature race for the Fair Grounds meet is still one of the most important stops on the Triple Crown trail.
Even before points determined who would make the gate to Run for the Roses, or the Louisiana Derby’s $1 million purse attracted the owners of prominent 3-year-olds from across the country, the now 1 3/16-mile race – a new distance this year — always seemed to feature some exceptional horses attempting to make the Derby.
The Louisiana Derby, set for Saturday, was first run as the Crescent City Derby, a common nickname for the famous and historic French Quarter in New Orleans which, thanks to a bend in the Mississippi River, is shaped like a crescent.
The race was later renamed to honor the state of Louisiana and was first held at the long-since-gone Crescent City Race Course in 1894, made a stop at now defunct Jefferson Park and then went on to Fair Grounds in 1839 where it has remained.
Though it wasn’t held in some years for various reasons, in 2006 the race was canceled because the track was partially destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
This year the show will go on despite an international coronavirus pandemic, though without spectators, bringing a big slice of normalcy pie to racing participants and fans needing some in uncertain times. It will be shown as part of TVG’s daily coverage of racing despite the dwindling open venues, so check local listings.
Black Gold (1924) and Grindstone (1996) are the lucky two who have swept the Louisiana Derby and Kentucky Derby, but that’s not to say some good horses haven’t run in the Pelican State’s main Derby prep.
Risen Star won in 1988 before finishing third in the Derby and then winning the Preakness (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1), and 2017’s Horse of the Year Gun Runner won in 2016. Other recognizable names to win the Louisiana Derby include Friesan Fire, Circular Quay, Peace Rules, Master Derby, and Rushaway.
A year ago, Allied Racing’s By My Standards won and went on to Louisville to finish 11th in the mud, and after taking the rest of 2019 off returned to win a Fair Ground allowance a month ago.
However, the most significant runner to come out of the 2019 Louisiana Derby was fourth-place finisher Country House, who we all now know was declared the Derby winner after the disqualification of Maximum Security.
He never raced again after coming down will an illness and subsequently laminitis after the Derby and is now retired. His connections are still shopping a stallion deal for the son of Lookin At Lucky.
The Louisiana Derby is the first of seven races this Derby season to offer 100 points to the winner, with 40, 20 and 10 on the line for second through fourth.
Whoever takes the win will certainly earn enough points to make the Derby starting gate, though more prep races are surely to be offered this year with the Derby being rescheduled from May 2 to Sept. 5.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has sent out four Louisiana Derby winners (2007, Circular Quay; 2010, Mission Impazible; 2013, Revolutionary; and 2018, Noble Indy) to hold the record of most winners.
Hall of Famer Pat Day owns the victory record for riders, having booted home five (1986, Country Light; 1987, J.T.’s Pet; 1991, Richman; 1992, Line in the Sand; and 1997, Crypto Star).
The fastest time for the race at the previous nine-furlong distance remains the 1:48 2/5 by Clev Er Tell posted in 1977.
The weather in New Orleans on Saturday is expected to be warm, but wet with rain all day likely and a high in the mid-70s. The feature race has been carded as the 12th with a post time of 4:49 p.m. CT.
|1. Major Fed||8/1||J. Rosario||G. Foley||Ghostzapper—Bobby’s Babe, by Smart Strike|
|2. Mailman Money||15/1||G. Saez||W. Calhoun||Goldencents—Running Debi C, by Unbridled’s Song|
|3. Wells Bayou||8/1||F. Geroux||B. Cox|| |
Lookin At Lucky—Whispering Angel, by Hard Spun
|4. Chestertown||15/1||J. Velazquez||S. Asmussen||Tapit—Artemis Agrotera, by Roman Ruler|
|5. Social Afleet||50/1||A. Beschizza||D. Stewart|| |
Northern Afleet—So Social, by Proud Truth
|6. Shake Some Action||15/1||C. Hernandez||B. Cox|| |
Into Mischief—Tiz a Chick, by Tiznow
|7. Sharecropper||20/1||M. Mena||A. Stall, Jr.|| |
Pioneerof the Nile—Blue Violet, by Curlin
|8. Royal Act||10/1||A. Cedillo||P. Eurton|| |
American Pharoah—True Feelings, by Latent Heat
|9. Portos||8/1||I. Ortiz, Jr.||T. Pletcher||Tapit—Fierce Boots, by Tiznow|
|10. Enforceable||7/2||J. Leparoux||M. Casse|| |
Tapit—Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union
|11. Ny Traffic||15/1||L. Saez||S. Joseph, Jr.||Cross Traffic–Mamie Reilly, by Graeme Hall|
|12. Lynn’s Map||30/1||T. Gaffalione||M. Casse|| |
Liam’s Map—Puxa Saco, by Dehere
|13. Silver State||6/1||R. Santana, Jr.||S. Asmussen|| |
Hard Spun—Supreme, by Empire Maker
|14. Modernist||6/1||J. Alvarado||W. Mott|| |
Uncle Mo—Symbolic Gesture, by Bernardini
|15. (AE) Mr. Big News||20/1||R. Albarado||W. Calhoun|| |
Giant’s Causeway—Unappeased, by Galileo
|16. (AE) Farmington Road||12/1||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|| |
Quality Road—Silver La Belle, by Langfuhr
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California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.
After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.
In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”
Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.