03/27/2010 5:29PM

Fair Grounds: Pletcher, Castellano redux


That's two for Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano, with Blues Street taking down the Mervin Muniz Handicap after Battle Plan won the NO Handicap. I thought he was a candidate to regress, but favored Blues Street ran right back to his last-out win in the FG Handicap last month. Help from fact several other apparent contenders did not appear to run their race. El Caballo wrangled back off moderate wide pace set by Jet Propulsion, and he never really got into the action. Baletti surprisingly close to the front, but faded badly mid-race, and never moved again. Yates Black Cat did not reproduce his recent Gulfstream form. As far as I could tell, Never on Sunday never got a call. Even with the 5-2 chalk on top, the 10-cent super paid $2,864.70, thanks to 30-1 Pick Six second, and 68-1 Transduction Gold third. Transduction Gold was a good super-booster horse, but I, for one, could not get to Pick Six here.

So, 20 minutes to the La. Derby, and the tote board is flat, with Pletcher-trained Risen Star winner Discreetly Mine the mild favorite at 7-2. No other especially noteworthy betting patterns.

Have yet to see a true closer win a dirt race the last two racing days at FG, and do wonder how the conditions will effect late runners like Stay Put and Ron the Greek, even if the early fractions in the La Derby come up solid. We shall soon see.