Pick 4s are spread liberally throughout Saturday’s 13-race Louisiana Derby Preview Day at Fair Grounds, but only two carry pool guarantees.
Race 7 — Maiden Special Weight
First-time starters look more intriguing than those with experience in this 6-furlong maiden dash. #2 MALAHINI (8-1) is by Curlin and out of multiple graded stakes winner Kauai Katie, who notably registered a 107 Brisnet speed rating on her debut. #1 MYSTIC GUIDE (6-1) is another regally-bred type (by Ghostzapper and out of multiple Grade 1 winner Music Note), and might have an edge over Godolphin-owned entrymate #1A Olson. #9 QUANA DUDE (9-2) shows a few, seemingly-strong longer works for Tom Amoss. Dam is a half to the graded stakes-winning sprinters Bahamian Squall and Apriority.
Race 8 — Albert M. Stall Memorial
Defending titlist and morning-line favorite #2 Mitchell Road seems somewhat vulnerable in this spot. Instead we’ll use #12 ZOEFELLE (7-2), who’s undefeated in three U.S. starts, two of which have come over this course. Possesses a terrific closing kick. #1 FLOWER PARTY (30-1), a Group 3 winner in Italy and nearly victorious in the Italian Oaks (G2) a couple seasons ago, has had virtually no luck stateside. Ran off in the post parade prior to her debut here last March, then was out of action for nearly the rest of the year after a dull performance in the Bewitch (G3). Most recently, her comeback in December was washed off onto the main track and she was well beaten. Bridgmohan stays loyal and his strike rate aboard Stidham runners otherwise impressive.
Race 9 — Mineshaft (G3)
#4 SILVER DUST (5-2) won this race last year and looked as sharp as ever with a season-opening romp in the Louisiana (G3) last month. A couple others look capable, though, including #11 PIRATE’S PUNCH (10-1), who walloped second-level allowance foes a couple of days before Silver Dust’s race. Keeps firing peak efforts for Grant Forster. And not going to sleep on #2 SLEEPY EYES TODD (10-1), who was a solid second to Owendale in last fall’s Oklahoma Derby (G3) when eventual Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner Mucho Gusto ran fourth. Easy to draw a line through his last outing over a mile and half on the turf.
Race 10 — Fair Grounds (G3)
The only horse to have beaten #2 SYNCHRONY (3-1) in five tries over the Fair Grounds turf was 2019 Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortars. Presuming he’s lost no steps now at age 7, the Pin Oak homebred figures tough in his title defense of this nine-furlong test. He drew a tough post, but #14 THE GREAT DAY (15-1) was a decent second in the Arlington H. (G3) in his second and most recent two-turn grass test in this country. New trainer Ignacio Correas best known for his work with another Argentinean, Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Blue Prize.
Here’s the 50-cent ticket:
1,2,9 with 1,12 with 2,4,11 with 2,14 = $18.