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Louisiana Derby Betting

Louisiana Derby Betting Picks

#10 SPINOFF – broke his maiden first time out at Gulfstream Park last June going five furlongs on a wet track. He went off as the lukewarm favorite so there were some expectations but he was not up in New York with the Todd Pletcher-trained first string or at Monmouth Park with the second string. Still, it was enough to earn a trip to Saratoga seven weeks later where he was third in the Saratoga Special (G2) going 6 ½ furlongs behind Call Paul who won the Swale Stakes (G3) last time out. Off for six months, he returned on a Thursday at Tampa Bay Downs for his two-turn debut. Johnny Velazquez was up for the mount and after stalking the early leader through a very fast pace (+15, +8), drew off to an 11-length win. The son of Hard Spun showed high cruising speed and when Velazquez asked him for run, he responded through the lane. Yes, the question is who did he beat but it looks like Pletcher has prepared him perfectly with two spectacular five-furlong breezes at Palm Beach Downs for this and from post 10, Velazquez should be able to work out a stalking trip.

#8 COUNTRY HOUSE – is another of the Bill Mott classic prospects who we used to automatically ignore but no longer can. He broke his maiden as the 3/5 favorite two starts back going two turns at Gulfstream Park then came back here and rallied wide to get second in the Risen Star. The son of Lookin at Lucky is completely one-dimensional but looks to be on the improve and Mott seems to be training this group forwardly instead of finding reasons not to get on the triple crown trail. Luis Saez – 4 for 10 riding for Mott lately – rides back and he will drop far back and save some ground on the first turn.

#6 WAR OF WILL – has the usually reticent Mark Casse extremely upbeat about his chances. A good turf horse last year at the age of two, Casse tried dirt and he broke his maiden on a sloppy track at Churchll Downs. Spending the winter in New Orleans, he won the Lecomte Stakes (G3) easily in a wide trip then ran a similar race when he won the Risen Star (G2) last out from post 13. There is nothing not to like about him but his races are barely faster than some of the contenders in here and unless the ground loss is a bigger factor than I am giving it its due, he just doesn’t appeal as a short-priced favorite.

#4 SUENO – skipped the Rebel Stakes (G2) after just missing in the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park. He has improved in each of his last three starts and Keith Desormeaux runners improve with racing and he could be sitting on a big race.”

Picks by Dick Powell

LA Derby Betting Notes

The Louisiana Derby was first run at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1897. The race serves as one of the main prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby each year, and it is considered the most prestigious 3-year-old race in Louisiana.  

Since 2010, the Louisiana Derby has been contested at 1 1/8 miles, and the race is now annually held the end of March, 5-6 weeks before the Kentucky Derby. From 1988-2009 it was run at 1 1/16 miles, and all prior years 1 1/8 miles. The 1 1/8 mile speed record was set by Clev Er Tell in 1977 in 1:48.80.

The Fair Grounds track is a sandy surface that requires more water and has more cushion since a new superintendent and staff arrived late in 2009. It’s deeper and has more base to it, but both mid-pack and deeper closers have had success with four of the last eight Louisiana Derby winners fitting that style in the race.

In the last 89 Louisiana Derby’s since 1920, the favorite has won 42 times, placed second 16 times and finished third 11 times for an In-The-Money rate of 77.5%. In the last 11 editions of the Louisiana Derby since 2007, the favorite has won six times and finished 2nd two times with every favorite finishing fourth or better.

In reviewing recent history, we find a variety of styles winning the race, and that post positions on the outside have not impacted horses from winning, as each of the last three winners started in post 8 or further outside. Eight of the last 11 winners of the Louisiana Derby had odds of 4-1 or less, and ten of them were 7-1 or less.
Of the last 11 winners, nine raced at the Fair Grounds in their previous race with eight of those exiting the Risen Star Stakes and five of them winning that race.

Grindstone was the last Louisiana Derby winner in 1996 to go on to win the Kentucky Derby
The 2006 Louisiana Derby was cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the previous August, and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans.

In 2011, Rosie Napravnik became the first female jockey to win the Louisiana Derby on her way to becoming the first woman to win a leading rider title at the Fair Grounds. That year, the 98th Louisiana Derby became New Orleans’ first-ever million-dollar race.

On April Fool’s Day in 2012, Hero of Order pulled off a historic upset, winning by ½ length at 109-1 odds resulting in a record $220.80 win payoff. With the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans that weekend and Louisville playing Kentucky in the national semi-final game, thousands of Kentucky-based racing fans were in town and helped increase on-track wagering by nearly 33 percent. 

2016Gun Runner4-1$9.801:51.06Stalking4th
2015International Star5-2$6.601:50.67Closer, off pace1st
2014Vicar’s in Trouble7-2$8.601:50.77Front2nd
2013Revolutionary5-2$6.801:50.28Last, off pace1st
2012Hero of Order109-1$220.801:50.13Front2nd
2011Pants on Fire6-1$14.601:49.92Stalking3rd
2010Mission Impazible7-1$16.201:50.32Mid-Pack4th
2009Friesan Fire2-1$6.401 1/16 MStalking1st
2008Pyro4-5$3.601 1/16 MMid-Pack1st
2007Circular Quay8-5$5.201 1/16 MCloser, off pace1st