Racing is going on at Fair Grounds and an overflowing field of 16 three-year-olds were entered in Saturday’s $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) led by the Mark Casse trained Enforceable.
Enforceable won the Lecomte (G3) on Jan. 15 and then ran second in the faster division of the split Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 15. Five of the last six winners of the Louisiana Derby exited the Risen Star.
The Louisiana Derby is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs. The Derby landscape changed with the announcement that the Run for the Roses would be postponed until Sept, 5 due to the Coronavirus crisis.
While major leagues including the NHL, NBA and MLB have shut down, racing has continued around the U.S. with no spectators.
NBCSN will simulcast the TVG broadcast on Saturday from 4:00 to 8:00 ET on Saturday and again on Sunday.
Enforceable is currently in seventh place in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with 33. It now seems likely Churchill Downs will add points races to the schedule.
“I think he’s doing as good, if not better coming into the Louisiana Derby than he was going into the Risen Star,” assistant trainer David Carroll said. “He had a good breeze Saturday morning. Ideally, we’d like to have a solid pace in front of us. He’s a horse that gets into a steady rhythm and Julien (jockey Leparoux) has a lot of confidence in him. It’s naturally a steppingstone. As the distances are extended, I think it play even more in his favor.”
Modernist Returns for Mott
Among his foes is Modernist (6-1) who won the slower division of the Risen Star for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The colt drew the 14 post with Junior Alvarado in the irons.
“I guess we found out he has a little more natural speed than we thought,” Mott said of the Risen Star performance. “Early from the gate, he put himself in good position. It was also the second time he won going 1 1/8 miles, so he seems to get the distance okay and has plenty of stamina.”
The meet’s leading trainer Brad Cox has two live longshots in the race. Wells Bayou (8-1) was second in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park and Shake Some Action (15-1) makes his stakes debut.
The Louisiana Derby is one of eight stakes on an outstanding card on Saturday at Fair Grounds. First post on the 12-race card is 11:00am CT with the Louisiana Derby the 12th and final race with a post time of 4:49 CT.
Let’s head out to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Fair Grounds Race 12 The Louisiana Derby (G2) Post time 4:49 CT
10 Enforceable 7-2
3 Wells Bayou 8-1
6 Shake Some Action 15-1
13 Silver State 6-1
The Mark Casse trainee exits the faster division of the Risen Star (G2). The colt was off a beat slow and away last and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot behind the gate to wire winner Mr. Monomoy. The colt got more pace two back in the Lecomte (G3) and the colt came with a good rally while six wide to take over the lead and won by 1 ½ lengths. Five of the last six winners of this race prepped in the Risen Star. The extra ground here should suit this guy. He is by Tapit out of the stakes winner Justwhistledixie ($449,427) who has dropped three other stakes winners including 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day ($1.1 million). He was our top pick in the Lecomte where we got $15.60 back and was our second choice in the Risen Star where he was 3-1. Hoping we catch most of the 7-2 morning line.
This colt earned the top last out speed fig in a runner up finish in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his stakes debut. He set the early fractions and could not hold off Silver Prospector, who returned to finish sixth in the Rebel (G2) in his next start. The Cox trainee caught off tracks in each of his first three starts, including beating Alw-1 optional claimers two back in the mud at Oaklawn Park. The runner up in that race was Something Natural, who beat Alw-1 foes and then ran third in the Rushaway at Turfway Park in his most recent start. The colt owns solid early and mid pace numbers and he has enough pedigree to go longer, by Lookin At Lucky out of a Hard Spun mare, her first foal to race. Looks as if she will be a fair piece in this spot.
Shake Some Action
Here is a colt that appears headed in the right direction. The Cox trainee broke his maiden on turf two back in his second career start. Last out he was a game winner versus Alw-1 optional claimers going nine furlongs over the main track here. He has shown improvement with each outing and is bred to handle more ground. The $300,000 purchase is by Into Mischief and the first foal to race out of a Tiznow mare. He is worth tossing in the mix here at a generous price.
WIN: Enforceable to win at 3-1 or better.
EXACTA: 3,10 / 3,6,10,13
TRIFECTA: 3,10 / 3,6,10,13 / 3,6,10,13,14