The $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) will be run Saturday as race 12 at Fair Grounds Race Course.  The 1 3/16-mile race is for 3-year-olds and is the longest Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race run in America. Starting at the top of the homestretch, the full field of 14 will have a long run into the first turn and time to sort themselves out. It is part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series with 100-40-20-10 points going to the top four finishers.

Top Picks for the Louisiana Derby

  • #3 Wells Bayou
  • #10 Enforceable
  • #1 Major Fed
  • #13 Silver State

Betting the Louisiana Derby

  • $20 win/place
    • 3
  • $5 exacta
    • 1,10 with 3

Contenders for the Louisiana Derby

#1 Major Fed woke up in his second career start when blinkers were added for the first time and he romped by over four lengths here going two turns. He came back with a strong second in the Risen Star (G2) but Joel Rosario will have to keep him from getting shuffled back into traffic from post one.

#2 Mailman Money broke his maiden first time out at 24-1 going six furlongs on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. Pace stalker came back here and romped in an off-the-turf event going two turns before running well from post 10 in the Risen Star.

#3 Wells Bayou beat allowance foes on a muddy track at Oaklawn Park when he sat just off a modest pace. He came back there in the Southwest (G3) and almost went gate to wire when used hard from post one. The stoutly-bred son of Lookin at Lucky can use his gate speed to avoid traffic but then is good enough to cruise along. Florent Geroux rides back – 26% with Brad Cox.  

#4 Chestertown cost $2 million last year and might be finally living up to the billing. He was an even third here in his two-turn debut then he missed by a neck going nine furlongs after sitting behind a sluggish pace. His dam was a brilliant sprinter but he hasn’t shown any of it yet. Johnny Velazquez is in to ride for Steve Asmussen.

#5 Social Afleet is a Louisiana-bred that took five tries to break his maiden then he came back to beat restricted allowance company in slow time.

#6 Shake Some Action broke his maiden second time out going nine furlongs on the turf here then bounced right back with a sharp win against allowance foes on the dirt. He could be dangerous in here if he continues to improve.

#7 Sharecropper did nothing in his career debut going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs last September against a tough field. He came back there to break his maiden over Excession who almost won the Rebel (G2) last Saturday at huge odds. Off for almost four months, he raced evenly here last out going nine furlongs and should get a faster pace to stalk.

#8 Royal Act ships in from California where the sophomore males look super strong. He raced on turf in his first two career starts then made his dirt debut with blinkers added and almost overcame a slow start. The longer odds, it seems, the more dangerous trainer Peter Eurton is.

#9 Portos broke his maiden by 10 lengths two starts back going long on a sloppy Aqueduct main track then rallied for third there in a wide trip in the Withers (G3). At first glance, he doesn’t seem fast enough but Todd Pletcher is able to get Irad Ortiz, Jr. to ride the well-bred son of Tapit.

#10 Enforceable should be able to handle the big field since he has shown an ability to pass horses suddenly. He won the Lecomte (G3) two starts back then was a good second last out in the Risen Star. Julien Leparoux will have to take him back and he will have a lot of horses to pass but this race might fall apart in the last furlong.

#11 Ny Traffic switched to the Saffie Joseph barn and he won by almost seven furlongs going two turns at Gulfstream Park. He shipped here and ran well from post 11 in the Risen Star and now put blinkers back on. Luis Saez will have to use the New York-bred hard from the same post.

#12 Lynn’s Map beat allowance foes here on a sloppy track then ran poorly at Oaklawn Park in the Smarty Jones. Mark Casse returned him here last out but he had a rough trip in the Risen Star. I like that Mark Casse goes with Tyler Gaffalione but the post will be hard to overcome.

#13 Silver State was a good second here in the Lecomte in an eventful trip then was an even third while racing wide in the Risen Star. From post 13, I can’t see his stalking running style work.

#14 Modernist broke his maiden in his two-turn debut on the Aqueduct main track then he shipped here and won the Risen Star when he raced forwardly and gutted it out. Son of Uncle Mo looks like a nice horse but not good enough to overcome post 14.

Louisiana Derby expert picks