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A CLOSER LOOK at Louisiana Downs races on 10/01
1st La. Downs
Cresty's Wild One
Opener came in the mud and she will have to move forward from there today; she has worked and tries several things for the first time: drops in for a tag and uses Lasix and routes; could be asking a lot but with a good start she might not be impossible.
Made some progress in her latest when she was tagged and she went long for the first time on second Lasix; she should build on that and should have a shot at winning in this one if she does improve as expected in her second time at two turns.
B. L.'s Princess
Will stretch out as she makes a small jump up in class and should now have the foundation to run well at the longer distance; she has an interim breeze to help her to advance; is not out of the mix.
Was in contention on the turf last time when she went two turns and that race and the switch along with the drop in for a first-time tag could lead to a better race today; she has freshened up since then and has a couple of works too; she is interesting especially if she runs as well or better this time ... something that she might well do.
What A Sweep
Have always found that betting on horses who might be on the lead when they are trying something new is a good idea; they are where they should be and the others often don't quite know what they are to do; she has a good chance to be in front as she stretches out in a paceless field and could be tough with the drop and coming back on short rest.
Has not done much to impress in her several starts and considering that she has tried the class and distance and was well back then, she would seem less likely than several of the others; if she could not do it going turf to dirt she is not likely to improve that much today.
Will have to run a much better race against better and going farther; playing out-of-form class risers is a risky proposition.
2nd La. Downs
Have to like the record in this kind of a race as he makes his first start with open winners; he might have to improve some but looks to have a solid shot considering that he does not mess around and goes about his business as a professional; can do.
Was unable to carry his form over from EvD and conditioned races in open company last time and was claimed from his first start here; has worked in the interim and the claim could produce a better race as it so often does; if he can even approach his winning efforts he would have some chance though it won't be easy if some of the others run their good races.
Wins a race a year and maybe he has filled his quota already or maybe it was the sloppy racetrack on the heels of a big win that deterred him last time; he can be contentious throughout if he can approach his best which will take a repeat of his penultimate and not his last.
Luke The Great
Last race was not all that bad in the slop but he has had his problems getting into the races of late and that makes him a difficult call in here; he is not out of the question but do have a preference for others with more interest in the recent races.
Won a couple of races at Evd before taking some time off and did not perform quite as well as he did in his return against better; he has worked and does drop and that could or should produce better and if he can approach his best race(s) he can be competitive today; race might be a little short for him but the class suits him better.
Has been running pretty well this form cycle and was a runaway victor last time over an easier group; he has been a consistent winner this year; the pace may have been a little softer than he will get today but he should have plenty of energy left off his last and is a threat to double up; don't know about taking 1-1 in here but otherwise he is worth a good look.
Stop And Run
Was never in his return race and that poses the question of what his current status is after the big race following the layoff in the slop; he could follow a usual pattern and rebound today and that would certainly give him a shot at the win with the easiest company he has faced in some time; if he is large on the board again he may well be worth a flyer or more and could juice up the exotics prices if he runs close to his return race.
Dude has been struggling over the last while and he will have to turn his game around if he is to lose his losing status; he is a tough call here with his form so questionable no other reason to lead to the needed improvement.
Looks as if he should get a favorable trip in spite of the outer post with the dearth of early pace in this race and that could lead to a strong performance; if he still has another good effort in him he should be competitive with a good chance at the win.
3rd La. Downs
Form took a turn for the better at Evd and the question is will he run as well here as there; if he can continue his progress with blinkers and Lasix he will be a contender and he has already indicated he will handle the inner posts; contender.
Will have to do a little better in his second career start and while he did pass a couple a better start will make a big difference but he will need to run lengths faster to get there in time.
Pons D' Leon
Looks to be coming around with experience and he is not that far away from contention if he makes like progress again; have a preference for others today but he could be very close to sitting on a winning race.
After a dull opener in which he took substantial tote action he has taken some time to regroup and with a couple of breezes returns against similar; check him out in the paddock and if he looks good and there is signs of tote interest then he could run closer to the earlier expectations; iffy but not impossible.
Ran a good effort two starts back as a long shot but could not match that last time; some runners are simply difficult to figure; is one with early speed and could always surprise though he is not easy to figure when he will run well and when he will not.
Brown Paper Sak
Has already started 11 times this year and has yet to finish in the money; he showed speed in the mud last time and will need that and to stay around a lot longer; does not really look very promising in here as he has failed to produce after showing early speed before.
His first start is pretty good and while he might still need another start or two to be ready he looks as if he can be a lot more competitive today; this is an open race and he may run better than expected off the opener.
Has been in contention in his last couple over wet surfaces and if that is not the only reason for the improved performances he can be competitive; be interesting to see the odds and just how well he runs today; contender for sure if its wet, and still merits consideration if it is dry and fast.
4th La. Downs
Has shown steady progress over the last couple months; now makes the difficult move to try winners for the first time; at least she's moving forward; one of the logical speed horses; the distance is the question; she faded when she went 6f, and now she goes 6.5f.
Name De Star
Recent form is fairly good, although she was beaten rather soundly last time in a slow race; she may not have been as effective over that sloppy footing; her previous start on a "good" track was better; lightly raced and honest on dirt; contender.
Long Leg Lou
Took a huge leap forward last time with the drop in with state-bred opponents; that class drop was all she needed; would expect her to continue improving with that confidence builder behind her; wish she had more speed; she fell 11 lengths behind slow splits recently; has never raced this short of a distance; threat.
Like how she bounced back from a poor showing at EvD to finish 3rd here; some of her best races have come at LaD; was good enough to break her maiden at FG over the winter - so she isn't lacking class; would expect her to sit closer to the pace than she did last time in a 5.5f race; she has the quickness to come out running; big shot.
She's A Candice
The horse to beat after running 2nd on 3 consecutive occasions; other things to like as well; both Waldie and LeBlanc are having banner meets - so you have some top-notch connections; the criticism is that she has been prone to settling for minor awards, often at short prices; finished in front of many of these in her last start; the favorite.
Post-maiden starts have been respectable; she's never been worse than 4th since exiting the maiden ranks; was only 2 1/2 lengths behind She's A Candice recently - so perhaps she can make up that ground with some extra ground.
Not convinced she has quite enough class; she couldn't win for a nickel at EvD and was beaten by several of these in her last start; perhaps a start over the track will help; like She's A Candice, her record is loaded with 2nds and 3rds.
5th La. Downs
Won only one of 25 races and finished 7th vs. $7.5L N2L claimers at EvD in his last start; his best speed figures have been on the grass and his only win came on that surface; was 22-1 vs. cheaper in his last and will probably be an even longer price today; draws the rail for this trip, but he would have to improve sharply to get any part of the purse.
Is another that is seldom around at the finish; he won one of 22 starts with one 2nd and one 3rd; his win did come at this distance earlier in the meet, when he beat $12.5K mdn claimers going away; faced this kind one race back and showed little, but he raced wide around the first turn in that one and draws a better post today; he should be a nice price today, and his best effort and a clean trip might put him close at the wire.
Finished far back vs. $7.5K N2L claimers in his LaD debut, after beating $10K mdn claimers in his previous start at EvD; his speed figure in his winning effort wouldn't be good enough to get any part of this purse, so big improvement would be necessary; he switches to David Guillory, who has been winning with longshots for several years, but it would take a minor miracle to get this one home in front.
Comes out of the same race as Ivy's Boy and finished about a length behind that one; he was 9-1 in that race and had a very rough start, so improvement is possible today; he finished in the money in just four of 13 starts and didn't hit the board in three races at LaD; he tried stakes horses twice here last year, so there was once some high hopes for him, but they obviously haven't materialized.
Finished 5th or better in eight of his last nine races and was pulled up and didn't finish the other; in this field, that record looks pretty good; however, he finished about five lengths behind Sequoia Man in his last start and must deal with that rival again today; he does get a good post today, while that rival is drawn outside, so he could give that one a better run for the money; Melancon rode him in his last and should have him well-placed all the way.
Makes his LaD debut today, after finishing 4th vs. $3,5K N2L claimers at EvD; he finished far back in his previous three races and his only win in 11 starts came on a sloppy racetrack four races back; he was 23-1 vs. much cheaper in his last and should be a very big price today; a sloppy track might move him up some today, but he would have to run much better to be a threat in this field.
Forced the early pace vs. $25K N2L claimers in his last race and gave way badly to finish dead last; that race was on a sloppy track, and he finished a good 4th at this claiming level in his previous start; his best speed figure ranks right up there with the best in this field, and the drop in class could really help his chances; Simington, who rode him to two fourth-place finishes, is back aboard; don't be surprised if he bounces back with a big effort today.
Finished dead last vs. much better on the turf in his first start at LaD, after beating $20K mdn claimers at EvD in his previous outing; moves back to the main track today and has enough early speed to get good position from this post; has a win and two 2nds in just eight starts and some of these have accomplished a lot less after more chances; should like the drop in class and switch back to the main track.
Was entered to run Sunday, so he is apparently scratching to go in this spot; closed well to get the lead in the stretch and faltered right on the wire to lose by a head vs. this kind in his last; has little early speed and this post may present a problem, but he showed enough in his last to make him very tough in this soft spot; Perrodin may have moved him a bit early in his last but won't make that mistake again today; should go favored and looks very tough to beat.
With just six starts, is the least experienced runner in this field; has a win and a 3rd and both of those were posted in four starts at LaD; he finished 5th vs. $15K N2L claimers in his first race around two turns; he could run better with that experience under his girth, and the drop in class should also help; may need to be used early from this outside post, but he worked well since his last race and could be sharp enough to hang on for part.
Finished far back vs. alw foes at EvD in his last two starts and beat an MSW field going away at that track in his previous races; his speed figure in his winning effort wasn't good enough to threaten here, but he posted a figure prior to that race that might be good enough; the outside post could be a problem today, but he has never raced this low on the claiming ladder and might be good enough to break into the trifecta if he has a decent trip.
6th La. Downs
Beat three last time out routing against $10K maiden claimers; Kentucky-bred ran well in her 3yo debut two starts back at Evangeline Downs; fared well breaking from the inside four starts back at FG; should finish in the better half of these.
Texas-bred has been beaten by double-digit lengths at double-digit odds in her first two starts against local maiden claimers; bay filly draws an inside post for her third start over this main surface; will have to surprise.
Coley's Little Gun
Didn't break well at low odds in her last against $10K maiden claiming routers; Big Pistol filly finished a distant third as the chalk on the slop two starts back; should prove well off of her last; money finish.
Arkansas-bred has been beaten over 43 lengths in her first two Louisiana Downs starts against similar; hasn't been able to move forward off of her even efforts in five lifetime starts; hard to figure.
My Blonde Honey
Picked-up checks against lesser at River Downs; Wild Gale filly didn't work too fast over this main surface five days back; likes to come off of the pace; should fare well against state-breds in the future.
World Appeal filly wasn't up to the task in her last sprint effort against similar; she's picked-up checks over this main surface, and she has over come the two-turn hurdles; throw out her last; check tote for value in the bottom portions of the exotics.
Should have been more of a factor in her last at Evangeline Downs effort against $17,500 open maiden claimers; recorded her best race here two starts back, but that effort wasn't too impressive; best effort yields minor award.
Ran well with Woolsey aboard in her last; Fortunate Prospect filly is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Arthur L. (5 wins-$232K); should move forward off of her last; must wheel in the exotics.
7th La. Downs
Zarbs Miss Grifter
Honest enough sort but the wins have come too infrequently to fell real confident; favored three times since her last victory and has not delivered; great candidate in the gimmicks but appears like she is better suited for the second and third slots.
Not exactly a well-kept secret in her return in August and she ran to her price and then some to cruise home with something left; ventures out of state-bred company for the first time and catches some veteran multiple winners; might be better suited for a straight non two but little doubt she has considerable talent.
Like the rival to her immediate inside, she is a little short on seasoning although she has faced winners one time and ran pretty well; looks like she is ratable and while she will not be much value, she should run another good one.
Nine times she has had her picture taken although most of those have been for a lower-level tag; looks equally effective going one turn or two; likes to make the one run when she sprints and there certainly looks to be a lively pace scenario; can see her picking up at least a few of the pieces.
Burnin Ana Lootin
Major roll she was on came to a screeching halt last time and she was short in price to boot; almost exactly the same early fractions as she helped set in winning two back so the fade job a little disturbing; other speed both to her inside and out and she appears a little iffy for a rebound wire job.
Peaks And Summits
Caught a pretty salty group for her return and ran creditably while lacking a late punch; should be tighter for this and may be closer to the early pace; nice maintenance work between starts and she should be in good position to strike while heading up the second flight.
Simply has not taken to the turf the way Asmussen had hoped so now it is back to the main; surface switch netted the maiden score and despite the fact that she has only sprinted once, it came on the surface she has proved she does not care for; not fast enough to push the early pace today, but she might run surprisingly well; worth a look in the gimmicks.
Kitten With A Gun
First time for the tag got her the money two back and she ran another good one for the quarter in first try against winning company; big jump on the class ladder today and LeBlanc is jumping ship; non three for a claiming price appears to be a much more realistic spot.
Took the plunge all the way to the bottom of the non three ranks and Norman not bashful about putting them in position to win; impressive that afternoon and looked equally as sharp in winning for the 10k open tag; might be that she needed a confidence booster as she has been competitive for this condition previously; could be a bit overplayed.
Throws a clunker every once in awhile but has not done so in quite some time; another router backing up to one turn and she can ill afford to miss the break as she did in last route try; not much late punch in any of her sprints this year other than the wire job a Delta; others look better.
8th La. Downs
Had the misfortune of squaring off against the very tough Kettle Man in two of his last three as he chased and faded both times; second place finisher in most recent, Warhead, came back and just aired on Friday so have to think he will find this group a little more to his liking; believe he sticks around longer.
Did not run much in his return to the turf but he already had proven he really does not care for the surface; far more effective on the main and he has not run badly on that surface for most of the year; another who represents himself better today.
Just the one win in two years and he finds himself in against another good group; could make a case for him as in two of his three starts here this season he has been out of his element but the one trailer job in that optional claimer two back troubling; dangerous if he fires but that is a big if.
Pace player again today as he takes another jump up on the class ladder; game win for the 20k two back but is in for almost double that tag today; did not go that fast early last time and faded although the strip was not favorable to speed; just think he will have too much company up front.
Has looked like a different horse since the first of the year as he has not been close; has two exacta finishes from four local out but that was some time ago; plenty to choose from in here and he might be able to be worked around until he shows something.
Mr. Tony Z.
Yet another Norman project that has paid big dividends off the claim; overcame trouble last time as he waited for room before exploding down the lane; this group might be a little tougher but the public will not care; short priced favorite once again and looks deserving.
Tough campaign during the Spring and Summer got him some time off for about five weeks; like the freshness angle as most of these have danced some tough ones lately; dirt form a little sketchy but he has won five times on the surface; likes to come from off the pace and there should be plenty to run at.
Slew's Double Ego
Honest as the day is long as he has not missed the board in his last nine trips to the post; this race does not need anymore pace but it looks like this one will likely go early as well as both wins came this year when he lead all the way; Lovato rides the other Norman charge as the lesser experienced Romero up here; another victim of a torrid speed battle.
9th La. Downs
Grin And Picture
Got awfully big-hearted in graduation when LeBlanc got by with some soft early fractions then drew out down the lane; will have to go faster to make the lead today but he does have the built in advantage of breaking from the rail; repeat possible.
Turned things around 180 degrees in second start has he held on in the final strides; final time very slow over a drying out racetrack and like the one to his inside, think he will find today's task more formidable; loses winning rider but newcomer Woolsey heating up as he had a double on Friday.
Changed tactics last time and came from far back unlike his previous two; showing some signs of life after that dreadful DNF in first start for new barn back in June; nobody rides harder than Jacinto and it will not be for lack of effort if he does not get the job done.
Suspicious class drop off the long layoff proved to be just that as he did not run a whole lot while at even money; probably needed one with only the one half mile published work so he may run better today and he certainly will be a better price.
Came within a length and a half of pulling off a major shocker in Lad return as he came flying down the middle part of the track; gets an additional half a furlong of real estate to work with today and could have used it last time; not the most consistent performer around but he did put back-to-back trifecta finishes together three and four starts ago.
Might be a little better at the shorter sprints although he did run a pretty good second going seven two back; career mark of one for 16 does not speak well of his desire to win but he has been fairly steady in gathering checks since breaking his maiden to begin the meeting here; trifecta player.
Hard to get exited about a 7-year-old who is still looking for his second career victory; double digit loses every start since coming off extended vacation with all coming at this level; pass.
If there was a time for him to wake up thought it would be most recent after coming off those two routes; don't see much changing here although he has carved out a couple of in the money finishes this year at pretty good prices; wide open affair and he could be worth a look in some flyer trifectas.
Yikes, this one has been out only three times in the last two years and began to head way south before that; did show a little more speed last time but was cooked before the real running started; doubtful today.
Once again flashed some speed in most recent but unlike his maiden events, he did not carry it very far; two best finishes careerwise came in the slop and nothing but clear skies are forecast for today.
Certainly outran his price in his return to the Ark-La-Tex as he just missed; has done little wrong in his career other than disappointing here last fall when favored both times; nice tactical speed and the public will be quick to jump on the bandwagon.
No Mor Dough
Probably should have been closer last time after he was forced to take up at the start; this level looks ideal for him and with only five starts, he still has some room to improve; will likely get a legit pace to run at and if 8-1 again, perhaps will be the value of the race.