Louisiana Derby Prep Races
The Louisiana Derby is the culminating event in a three-race series for three-year-olds at Fair Grounds. The Grade 2 contest is held at 1 1/8 miles.
The series begins with the Lecomte Stakes around mid- to late January. The Grade 3 race sends three-year-olds a mile and 40 yards.
Just over a month later, in late February, the Risen Star Stakes takes place. That Grade 2 event stretches sophomores out to 1 1/16 miles.
The series is capped off by the 1 1/8-mile Louisiana Derby at the end of March.
All three races are part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series that offers points worth a starting berth in the “Run for the Roses” on the first Saturday in May.
The Lecomte awards points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the first four under the wire, while the Risen Star is one of the first races in the Championship part of the points series and offers up 50-20-10-5 to the top four.
While the Louisiana Derby is the meet highlight during Fair Grounds’ winter/spring stand, it is also a major prep for the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It provides the winner an almost guaranteed berth in that classic race thanks to its 100-40-20-10 point scale.