Bravazo beat Snapper Sinclair in a photo finish in the Risen Star Stakes, and they will be at it again in Saturday's Louisiana Derby. One thing is certain: Victory for any horse won’t come easy.
The $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2), the first of the “Super Six” Kentucky Derby Prep races, is Saturday at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. The 10-horse field includes Southwest Stakes winner My Boy Jack and the top three finishers from the Risen Star Stakes -- Bravazo (33/1 to win Kentucky Derby, Bovada), Snapper Sinclair and Noble Indy.
The Super Six series also includes the Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida (March 31), the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California (April 7), the Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky (April 7), the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack from South Ozone Park, Queens, New York (April 7), and the Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas (April 14). The Kentucky Derby is May 5.
The draw for the 105th Louisiana Derby was last Saturday. Here is the field, with morning-line track odds and jockeys, for the 9-furlong race:
1. Bravazo 7/2 (Gary Stevens)
2. Noble Indy 7/2 (John Velazquez)
3. Marmello 50/1 (Jack Gilligan)
4. Givemeaminit 20/1 (Javier Castellano)
5. Retirement Fund 12/1 (Shaun Bridgmohan)
6. Hyndford 8/1 (Joe Bravo)
7. Snapper Sinclair 9/2 (Jose Ortiz)
8. Lone Sailor 20/1 (James Graham)
9. My Boy Jack 5/2 (Kent Desormeaux)
10. Dark Templar 12/1 (Florent Geroux)
Bravazo jockey Miguel Mena (broken ankle) was replaced with Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens by owner D. Wayne Lukas. Bravazo drew the rail and is the race’s co-second favorite at 7/2 along with Noble Indy, who is trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez. Noble Indy was unbeaten until a third-place finish at the Risen Star Stakes.
Besides race favorite My Boy Jack, the horse to watch here and for the immediate future might be Snapper Sinclair (40/1 to win Kentucky Derby, Bovada), trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and looking for a bit of revenge after being edged by Bravazo in the Risen Star Stakes, going off at long-shot 41/1 odds (Bravazo was 21/1). Asmussen, a three-time Louisiana Derby winner, including with Horse of the Year Gun Runner in 2016, also has Retirement Fund in the field, a horse who has won twice on the Fair Grounds main track but finished a disappointing seventh in the Southwest Stakes on February 19.
Free Louisiana Derby Pick: Snapper Sinclair (7) to Place
Free Louisiana Derby Superfecta Pick: 7-1-9-2 (Snapper Sinclair-Bravazo-My Boy Jack-Noble Indy)Bolt d’Oro Tops Media Poll
The latest Kentucky Derby media poll (March 19) has San Felipe Stakes winner Bolt d’Oro (7/1 to win Kentucky Derby, Bovada) at No. 1, McKinzie (10/1) still No. 2, and Rebel Stakes winner Magnum Moon (16/1) replacing Good Magic (14/1) at No. 3 after his impressive win at Oaklawn Park last weekend.
Louisiana State favorite My Boy Jack has a top Beyer speed rating of 93 for his trip in the Southwest Stakes, while Bravazo and Snapper Sinclair each had a 93 two days earlier (February 17) in the Risen Star Stakes.
Justify (12/1 to win Kentucky Derby, Bovada) has registered the highest Beyer number of the season among 3-year-old females and males with a 103, with the Bob Baffert-trained colt cruising to an easy 9½-length win in the Santa Anita Derby on February 18. Justify also recorded a 101 Beyer with his 6½-length victory in a Santa Anita $56,000 first condition allowance race on March 11.