All-Stakes Late Pick 5 for Louisiana Derby Preview Day at Fair Grounds

February 16th, 2023

Saturday's Louisiana Derby Preview Day at Fair Grounds will offer an all-stakes Late Pick 5, culminating with the Risen Star (G2), a Road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby prep.

Covering races 9 through 13, the Late Pick 5 will feature a guaranteed pool of $500,000, and TwinSpires is upping the ante with a $2,500 All-Stakes Pick 5 jackpot, in which you can play for a share of the additional prize money.

Below we dive into each stakes race in the Late Pick 5 and provide a $72 ticket, which will be available to buy into as part of our TwinSpires Bet Share on Saturday.

  • $72 Pick 5 ticket: 1, 3, 8 with 3, 5, 6 with 4, 6 with 2, 6 with 5, 10, 12, 13

Race 9: 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, Colonel Power S., four-year-olds and up

#1 Ice Chocolat (7-2) has a chance in the $100,000 Colonel Power S. for trainer Mark Casse, a 26% winner at Fair Grounds this meet. The five-year-old gelding posted a 92 Brisnet Speed figure last out when finishing three-quarters of a length in second in the Kennedy Road S. (G2) on Woodbine's all-weather track after winning a six-furlong allowance optional claimer on Woodbine's turf in October.

The dark bay will drop in class here in his first start off a more than two-month layoff and will pick up hot jockey Reylu Gutierrez.

We'll also play #3 All in Sync (9-2), another class dropper who came home seventh by just 4 1/4 lengths in the 5 1/2-furlong Woodford S. (G2) at Keeneland in October. The Steve Asmussen trainee won three back at today's distance in the Turf Sprint S. at Ellis Park and will get jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle.

Morning line favorite #8 Surveillance (5-2) cannot be ignored, either. While the six-year-old has not run on turf in his last seven starts, the Keith Desormeaux pupil has recorded a trio of sharp Speed figures when winning his last three, between 5 1/2 and six furlongs on dirt. James Graham will retain the mount.

Among the also-eligibles in the field, #10 My Pal Mattie (5-1) is one to keep an eye on if the five-year-old draws in. He last romped to a five-length win in a five-furlong allowance and is 4-for-8 from today's distance.

Race 10: 1 1/16 miles, Mineshaft (G3), four-year-olds and up

Of the nine horses in the Mineshaft field, I'll play #3 Tawny Port (4-1), a 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) also-ran who won the 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby (G3) last June, then placed third in the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga. The Pioneerof the Nile four-year-old faltered to a 10th-place finish last out in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx in September, but he's recorded a number of sharp workouts leading up to his four-year-old debut. Trainer Brad Cox is a 23% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 90 days or more and a 43% winner this meet. Florent Geroux (34% winner at Fair Grounds) will pick up the mount.

We'll also play #5 Big Blue Line (8-1), who moves up in class off a dominant win at today's distance in an allowance optional claimer at this track, and #6 Happy American (7-2), who’s won back-to-back stakes at Fair Grounds, including the Louisiana S. (G3) last out.

Race 11: 1 1/8 miles on turf, Fair Grounds S. (G3), four-year-olds and up

Morning line favorite #2 Two Emmys (3-1) was bested late by #4 Gentle Soul (7-2) last out when racing in the 1 1/16-mile Colonel E. R. Bradley S. at Fair Grounds, and I'll side with the Tapizar six-year-old in the stretch out to nine furlongs. Conditioned by Bret Calhoun, Gentle Soul flashed a 101 Late Pace rating when surging late at the finish and should handle the added distance while moving up in class. The gelding is also 3-for-4 lifetime at Fair Grounds.

In addition to Gentle Soul, we'll play #6 Pixelate (8-1), who comes off a more than three-month layoff and switches to hot jockey Luis Saez (19% winner this meet). The City Zip six-year-old owns a 9-2-2-3 record at today's distance and finished two lengths in second to King Cause in the Knickerbocker S. (G3) in his most recent try at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Race 12: 1 1/16 miles, Rachel Alexandra S. (G2), three-year-old fillies

A number of horseplayers will look to single either undefeated three-year-old #2 Hoosier Philly (6-5) or #4 Chop Chop (8-5), who finished a nose second in the Alcibiades (G1) three back. Chop Chop has failed to win her last three but will add blinkers for the first time for trainer Brad Cox, but we'll side with the Tom Amoss-trained Hoosier Philly, who scored a five-length victory last out in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs. The Into Mischief gray has been thrust into the forefront of the Kentucky Derby conversation and may enter a Kentucky Derby prep should she win handily here.

We'll back the $510,000 yearling purchase but also include pacesetter #6 Miracle (12-1), a Mendelssohn filly by a Smart Strike mare who makes her first start for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Race 13: 1 1/8 miles, Risen Star S. (G2), three-year-olds

Saturday's finale, the Risen Star, drew a competitive field of 14, and we'll spread the deepest in the last leg. #5 Harlocap (8-1), a former Bob Baffert trainee making his first start for trainer Steve Asmussen, is an intriguing option.

We'll also add #10 Two Phil’s (8-1), winner of the Street Sense (G3) two back, in his second start off a layoff; longshot #12 Crupi (15-1), who finished a head second in a one-mile maiden special weight at Aqueduct last out and may relish the added distance; and unbeaten #13 Victory Formation (3-1) for Brad Cox.

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