Hurricane Ike, Golden Moka highlight six-horse Super Derby
G3 Derby Trial Stakes hero HURRICANE IKE and Canadian classic winner GOLDEN MOKA are the top draws in Saturday’s G2 $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. The 1 1/8-mile event, which has produced notables such as Gate Dancer, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, and Tiznow in past editions, didn’t attract the cream of the 2010 three-year-old crop, with a mostly aspiring cast of six entered.
The John Sadler-trained Hurricane Ike is the lone contestant with graded experience in the United States. After finishing second in the G3 Bay Shore Stakes in early April, the dark bay colt registered his first stakes victory with a convincing 2 3/4-length score in the one-turn Derby Trial. He was headed to the G1 Preakness Stakes off that impressive performance, but a minor injury derailed those plans.
Hurricane Ike returned off a four-month layoff with a fourth-place effort in the August 28 G1 King’s Bishop Stakes and will stretch out to two turns for the second time in his career. Unplaced in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall, the Florida-bred has run better on dirt and is a strong candidate to handle nine furlongs in this spot. Joel Rosario will accompany him from Southern California.
Golden Moka opened his racing career with three straight wins in sprints last year in Panama. Purchased by new connections during the spring, the chestnut came back from an eighth-month layoff with a surprisingly easy victory in the July 25 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, winning the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown by a widening 2 3/4 lengths. Conditioned by Brian Lynch, the unbeaten colt will retain the services of jockey Anthony Stephen.
Prelude Stakes APART is one of two horses with a victory over the track. A maiden winner at Churchill Downs in May, the Al Stall Jr. trainee notched his second career tally when recording a 1 1/2-length score in the 1 1/16-mile Prelude and will keep jockey Jesse Campbell in the saddle. DISTORTED ECONOMY will invade from Southern California for trainer Neil Drysdale. A close third when making his stakes debut in the September 3 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar, the bay colt will receive a rider switch to Pat Valenzuela, who rode Sunday Silence to victory in this race 21 years ago.
ARCTIC COMET, who broke his maiden over state-bred foes at this track, faces a tall task following a dull sixth versus restricted rivals in the A.L. Erwin Stakes. Maiden winner RICKY TICK , who has dropped nine straight starts, rounds out the line-up.