Pletcher Duo Looks Tough in Louisiana Derby

A field of 10 line up in the $200,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. on Saturday. (Photo credit: Dreamstime).

Trainer Todd Pletcher seeks his third win in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on Saturday when he sends out a pair of lightly raced colts in the marquee race of the Fair Grounds meeting.

Noble Indy (7-2) is coming off a third-place finish in the Risen Star (G2) and his stablemate Hyndford (8-1) makes his stakes debut, the pair both making their fourth career start.

Pletcher has won the Louisiana Derby twice, race in 2013 with Revolutionary and in 2010 with Mission Impazible.

The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby point race with 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs for the top four finishers.

Southwest (G3) winner My Boy Jack is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The Keith Desormeaux trainee came up the inside with a good late run in the mud to pick up his first graded stakes win and picking up 10 Derby points.

The colt is 9-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at USRacing.

The top three finishers of the Risen Star are back. The winner of the Louisiana Derby has exited the Risen Star in each of the last four years and seven of the last 10 years.

The Risen Star produced a stunning result. The D. Wayne Lukas trained Bravazo colt his nose in front at the wire returning $44.00 and 41-1 longshot Snapper Sinclair completed a $2 exacta that returned $603.40.

The Louisiana Derby is the 11th race on a 14-race card. The supporting stakes include the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), $300,000 Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2) and the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (G2).

I will have all the graded stakes action included in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

Let’s head out to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Fair Grounds Race 11 The Louisiana Derby (G2) Post time 5:21 CT

2 Noble Indy   7-2

9 My Boy Jack   5-2

6 Hyndford   8-1

1 Bravazo   7-2

Noble Indy was bumped coming out of the gate, tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the Risen Star (G2), beaten two lengths for the top spot. It was the colt’s first start against stakes company in just his third start overall. He returns with blinkers added and Johnny V. sticks on this colt. The colt appears to have more upside than most of these and has moved forward in each outing. The barn is 28% winners with adding blinkers for the first time. The colt is by Take Charge Indy out of the stakes winner Noble Maz ($327,340). Seven of the last 10 winners of this race came through the Risen Star including the last four and this guy can make up the two lengths to turn the tables here.

My Boy Jack came up the inside with a good late run and drew away late to win the Southwest (G2) last out in the mud at Oaklawn Park. The switch back to the main track seems to have suited this guy. He ran well two back in a third-place finish in the Sham (G3) after a seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall. McKinzie exited the Sham to cross the wire first in the San Felipe (G2) but was disqualified for interference and placed second. The colt owns solid late pace numbers, but the question is whether he is going to see enough pace to set things up for him.

Hyndford was pointing toward the Sunland Derby (G3) on Sunday but could not get into the race and sticks here. He set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish against Alw-1 optional; claimers last out. The winner of that race was his stablemate Magnum Moon, who came back to win the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park in his next outing on March 17. The colt was a $200,000 Keeneland purchase by Street Cry and the first foal to race out of a Candy Ride mare. The more ground the batter for this guy. He looks ready for his stakes debut for Pletcher who won this race in 2013 with Revolutionary and in 2010 with Mission Impazible.


WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.

EXACTA: 2,9 / 1,2,6,9

TRIFECTA: 2,9 / 1,2,6,9 / 1,2,6,7,9


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