Meet the Contenders: 2023 Louisiana Derby
Meet the horses running in the 2023 Louisiana Derby over 1 3/16 miles on dirt at Fair Grounds in Louisiana. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 5 represents opportunity to perform well in the Louisiana Derby field.
Pro: Son of Tapit and BC Distaff (G1) winner bred to a nice one with maturity.
Con: Beaten in a not-especially-fast allowance at Oaklawn most recently.
Pro: Enters with best credentials having won Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), Lecomte (G3).
Con: Faces a potential slow pace scenario unless he gets help from stablemate Jace’s Road.
Pro: Second to Instant Coffee two back and capable of better than what he showed last time.
Con: Never was in contention in Risen Star (G2) and seemingly a cut or two below.
Pro: Rallied nicely in Risen Star, though run down late after making the lead.
Con: Pace scenario potentially unfavorable for him and other closers.
Pro: Decent try in return from 6 1/2-month layoff; bred to go farther.
Con: Lacks stakes experience and will need to improve a few lengths in a hurry.
Pro: Has looked good in both starts so far and barn has won this race four times.
Con: Wasn’t beating much in Tampa allowance and will be more severely tested here.
Pro: Strong second in Risen Star Day allowance that was relatively fast.
Con: A possible candidate to bounce off such a significant step forward last time.
Pro: Outran expectations when fifth in Risen Star, though never a serious factor.
Con: Doesn’t appear fast enough on paper and might be better suited to allowance company.
Pro: Rallied wide for fourth in Risen Star and sure to improve as distances lengthen.
Con: Seemingly less versatile and more of a grinding type than stablemate Instant Coffee.
Pro: Upset allowance win last month compares favorably with Risen Star on same card.
Con: No major excuses for recent stakes losses by significant margins.
Pro: One of the few with early foot and likely avoids dreaded slop here.
Con: Form lines don’t quite stack up nor do speed figures aside from Gun Runner Stakes.
Pro: Deep closer only just broke maiden and will be at mercy of the pace.
Con: The least attractive entry on paper and would need race to completely full apart.