Thoughts on Louisiana Derby Day All-Stakes Pick 4

April 1st, 2017

NEW ORLEANS -- If this morning is any indication, the conditions figure to be splendid for Saturday's Louisiana Derby program at Fair Grounds. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing a little grass racing this afternoon after the drench-and-dryout suspension of the infield sport the last couple of days.

With 15 races on a card that begins at 12:30 p.m. (CDT), the betting options are obviously plentiful. Be sure to check out the Pick 4s that begin in race 2, 8, and 12 as is offering Pick 4 Bonus today. For players that opt in and cash a winning ticket on any Pick 4 at Fair Grounds, they will earn one share in a $5,000 bonus. Multiple shares can be earned by cashing a winning ticket on two or more Pick 4 pools.

The most popular Pick 4 pool will likely be the all-stakes one that begins in race 8 and includes Fair Grounds' four premier events, in order the New Orleans H. (G2), Muniz Memorial (G2), Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), and Louisiana Derby (G2).

Race 8 -- Hoping the speed will come back in this 1 1/8-mile fixture. Breaking Lucky (#1, 8-1) ran two bang-up races in defeat in last year's Woodward (G1) and Clark H. (G1), and reportedly came back with mucus following the Pegasus World Cup (G1) where he ran greatly below par.

I'm also using Honorable Duty (#4, 6-1) and Hawaakom (#6, 4-1), both of whom are in peak form, and Eagle (#10, 6-1) is sure to benefit from his recent prep in the Mineshaft H. (G3) following a long spell.

Race 9 -- I'm using three of the four Mike Maker trainees here. Enterprising (#1, 5-1) and Oscar Nominated (#10, 4-1) ran one-two last out in the Fair Grounds H. (G3) and seemingly figure right back. Roman Approval (#4, 8-1) could be a little short coming off of a layoff, but has run well over this course before and has speed if he wants to use it.

Grade 3 winner Kasaqui (#8, 7-2), narrowly beaten in the Arlington Million (G1) last summer and in the Tampa Bay (G3) in his season debut, is the one to beat and a must-include.

Race 10 -- Fair Grounds Oaks favorite Farrell (#6, 8-5) may be the most logical horse to single in this sequence, but on the off chance she happens to get softened up a bit, I'll toss in Corporate Queen (#4, 5-1), who looks to have plenty of upside.

Race 11 -- I laid out my Louisiana Derby feelings here. However, I'm also using Patch (#1, 9-2) in addition to Girvin (#8, 8-5) considering the barn's success over the past month or so in Kentucky Derby (G1) preps with horses jumping up from overnight company.

Here's the 50-cent ticket: 1,4,6,10 / 1,4,8,10 / 4,6 / 1,8 = $32.

There are also two horses of interest in the main track stakes for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds.

Race 4 -- D'wild Muffin (#5, 10-1) was a fast-closing second to the morning line favorite for this Crescent City Oaks, Mr. Al's Gal, in their mutual debut June. Mr. Al's Gal has since won three stakes, while D'wild Muffin only just returned to the races since that debut, winning a 5 1/2-furlong maiden by more than six lengths on March 12. She could turn out to be a nice filly for this high-percentage barn.

Race 6 -- Imindycatbirdseat (#9, 8-1) has won on two occasions while overcoming noticeable trouble. Was taken out at the start of his only previous stakes attempt, the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile in December, but has progressed since and enters on a string of solid works leading up to this two-turn debut.

Follow @TwinSpires and @VPHanson throughout the day for live coverage from Fair Grounds.