The 2015 Louisiana Derby is a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Held at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, the 1 1/8-mile event for three-year-olds will be contested for the 102nd time.
The $750,000 Louisiana Derby is run in late March, six weeks prior to the first Saturday in May. As one of the final and most important races in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, the top four finishers earn points on a 100-40-20-10 scale.
Black Gold, the first horse to turn the Louisiana Derby-Kentucky Derby double in 1924, is buried in the Fair Grounds’ infield. Grindstone was the last horse to capture both races in 1996, but Funny Cide finished third in the Louisiana Derby (placed second via disqualification) before earning Kentucky Derby glory in 2003.
One of the premier Thoroughbred racing winter venues, the Fair Grounds opens around Thanksgiving and concludes on Louisiana Derby weekend.
The Louisiana Derby anchors a tremendous betting program that includes six other stakes races. The 2014 undercard featured performances by Palace Malice, arguably the nation’s top older horse on the main track and winner of the New Orleans Handicap; and female superstar Untapable, who went on to capture the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff following her success in Fair Grounds Oaks.
The Louisiana Derby concludes a three-race series for Kentucky Derby prospects at the Fair Grounds. The one-mile Lecomte comes first in late January and is followed by the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star a month later.