Hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert ships in Blueskiesnrainbows from Southern California, and the colt is the 3-2 morning line favorite in the $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.
A field of nine three-year-olds will line up in the 1 1/8 mile fixture, the marquee event of the Louisiana Downs meeting and one of six stakes on an outstanding 13-race betting card at the Bossier City racetrack.
Blueskiesnrainbows has won three of his eight career starts, with two of his wins coming on synthetic surfaces.
Jockey Joe Talamo gets the return call on the son of Grade 1 turf star English Channel. Talamo has ridden the colt twice, a close up third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and a victory in the Swaps (G2) in his most recent outing.
The colt went gate to wire in the Swaps and it looks as if he will have plenty of company if he is sent to the front.
His main rival appears to be the 3-1 second choice Bourbon Courage, who is coming off a solid runner up finish in the West Virginian Derby (G2) in his last outing.
The wildcard in the race is the Neil Drysdale trained Fly Lexus Fly (5-1), a two time Group 1 winner in Peru who is making his second start in the U.S. and second start off a layoff.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report will include my strongest plays from Louisiana Downs and Belmont Park.
After a four day hiatus racing in New York returns on Saturday with the opening of the 37-day fall championship meeting at Belmont Park.
The opening day feature on the card is the $200,000 Bowling Green (G2), a 1 ¼ mile test on the inner turf course that drew a compact field of five along with one main track only entrant.
On turf Air Support is the 8-5 morning line favorite for trainer Shug McGaughey. The colt is seeking his first win since taking the Virginia Derby (G2) last summer at Colonial Downs.
Since that win he has lost five starts in a row, last out checking in third against optional claimers at Saratoga over yielding turf.
The colt is likely to vie for favoritism with Brilliant Speed (2-1), who is coming off a third place finish in the Sword Dancer (G1) in his last start at Saratoga on Aug. 18, beaten 6 ½ lengths.
The colt has lost seven races in a row, his last victory coming in the Saranac (G2) last September at Saratoga.
First post at Belmont Park is 12:50 and with such a small field the NYRA elected to run the Sword Dancer as the third race to keep the race out of the Pick 6 sequence.
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Let’s head out to Louisiana Downs for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Louisiana Downs Race 10 The Super Derby (G2) Post time 5:10 CT
9 Bourbon Courage 3-1
3 Blueskiesnrainbows 3-2
5 Fly Lexus Fly 6-1
8 Rousing Sermon 5-1
Bourbon Courage is coming off a runner up finish in the West Virginia Derby (G2) at Mountaineer Park in his last outing. The colt was making his first start around two turns in that outing and ran well, beaten just a half-length for the top spot. The Gordon Kellyn trainee stalked the early pace, cut the corner turning for home and finished well along the inside on a day most of the winners were travelling in the outer paths. The trainer also reported the colt lost a shoe during the race. The colt has worked quickly since his last outing with a couple of near bullet morning drills at Churchill Downs. It looks as if he should get a solid early pace to run at in this spot.
Blueskiesnrainbows earned a career top speed fig last out taking the field gate to wire over the fake stuff to win the Swaps (G2) at Betfair Hollywood Park. The colt bounced back nicely after getting outrun two back on turf in the American Turf (G2) behind the talented Silver Max. Three back this guy ran a good third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), beaten just a half-length by I’ll Have Another, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) in his next two starts. Hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert won this race last year with Prayer for Relief. There is plenty of early zip signed up here and the price is going to be on the light side.
Fly Lexus Fly set the early fractions and weakened to finish fifth last out in the Cougar II (G3) at Del Mar over polytrack, which was his U.S. debut. The ridgling is a two time Group 1 winner in his native Peru and now Drysdale returns him to dirt and takes the blinkers off. He has worked sharply since his last outing and figures to move forward in his second start off an eight month layoff. His trainer Neil Drysdale does not ship this far unless he thinks his runners have a solid shot.
WIN: Bourbon Courage to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 3,9 / 3,5,8,9
TRIFECTA: 3,9 / 3,5,8,9 / 2,3,5,8,9