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A CLOSER LOOK at Louisiana Downs races on 10/05
1st La. Downs
Has a couple of conditioned wins for a lower tag and will need to run back to those if she is to have a chance to win; she has not started here but the fact that she broke her maiden at Kee is a possible plus; not sure about her readiness but she can compete if she runs a good race.
Is zero for 23 here with a couple of finishes on the board; she has freshened up but has not run well fresh recently; up against it today.
Blue Grass Lena
Has failed to win in a dozen starts this season though some of the races look as if they would make her competitive; will be looking to others, but were she to beat us, that would really be no surprise.
Has run two decent races since her return from the summer break and she looks to be the fastest and the most likely if she can run back to her latest; she was claimed and the pace and match up should suit her; contender and the one to beat.
My Kona Girl
Has only two career wins in her career and that could put her at some disadvantage along with the fact that she is a little slower than the others; even her penultimate race might not get her more than a minor award; others preferred.
Time for a Peach
Hard to know which one will show up off the layoff as that varies from time to time; a trip to the paddock could reveal a lot and off her latest there is reason to be suspicious; she was claimed for this price and she was in against much tougher last time; not impossible if she makes the right pre-race impression though we always insist on works when playing returnees.
Won a couple of conditioned races off layoffs since the FG meet ended and she could be the speed of this group if she returns in full flight; at least she has a couple of works, the latest improved and she could be dangerous in this pace match up.
2nd La. Downs
Black Alley Cat
Has showed little enough in any of his races and Lasix does not seem to have helped; will wait for him to send more positive signals, which might happen as he stretches out.
At least he has the excuse of having run only with better and unless the drop produces an improved race he will have trouble with these though he at least has been the distance; others preferred.
He has the best race at the distance though not many have tried and with the drop back in for a tag and with his early route speed he should both trip well and be around at the finish; contender with a repeat effort.
Stepped up and stretched out to try the turf last time and ran a much better race; now the question is whether or not he will repeat that race with this kind of company at the longer distance; very often turf to dirt produces better; contender.
Returned from a layoff in the slop and after forcing the pace he backed up a bit but still beat two-thirds of the field; he has run evenly and is the type who might stretch out well; interesting.
Has been improving and has some of the best running lines though he might be a little slower than some of the others; like the fact that there are a couple of works and can see him running well enough as he tries two turns to make a race of it in here.
Ran the big race in the slop a couple of starts back but was unable to repeat that last time when favored; might simply have bounced off the tough beat or it could have been the wet surface; will have to run better as he stretches out for the first time but if he runs his good race he probably can win.
Both of his races have come over wet surfaces and he did run a lot better last time and has come back to work from the gate; with continued improvement he can make a race of it, though sometimes sprint closers cannot muster the late kick after running so far; he might even start better after the gate work and might not be impossible.
3rd Louisiana Downs
Did not show much interest in racing in his debut last out, beating just a few of his rivals; he figures to move forward with the experience of a race under his belt, and his cause is furthered with the drop in class to maiden claiming ranks; still, others seem more probable for the win.
Showed some interest then tired in the later stages in his debut and he might have had an excuse for not doing more in that race as he returns with first Lasix; the move to state-bred as well as maiden claiming ranks is a significant class drop, and with a great name like his, you have to root for him; things to like.
Here Comes Tee Pro
Dropped in class to state-bred maiden claiming ranks last out and he ran a strong second; figures to be competitive this afternoon as he wheels back at the same level; overall he has been a consistent sort, his one distant finish coming behind a winner who has gone on to be stakes-placed; win candidate.
High Hopes Canyon
From the first crop of his winning sire, who has gotten a decent number of winners from limited starters, among them one who placed in the Ruidoso Thoroughbred F.; dam has eight winners from nine starters, including stakes winners Anita's Dancer($118k), and High Hopes Lyre, a stakes winner at 2 who has earned $61k; consider.
Showed marked improvement in his second career start last out and his cause was no doubt helped by the drop to maiden claiming ranks; his cause is furthered this afternoon with the move to state-bred ranks for the first time in his career; seems to be coming the right way, and he would be no surprise.
Leading rider LeBlanc teams with colt who was well regarded in his debut, having been sent postward as the favorite; he has speed, he has flashed it in both of his races, but has been unable to seal the deal in the stretch; could stick around longer in his third start; consider.
Consistent sort has managed to bring home checks in both of his starts, one over a fast track and one over a wet one; seems like a good fit at this level, and could be sitting on his best race yet in his third career out; might have to settle for a piece again, however, as others in this race are taking a drop in class.
You'll Believe Me
Gets the chance to run with state-breds after spending his career banging heads with open rivals; his best career race came when he was second two starts ago; he contested the pace throughout in that race, lost a heartbreaker at the wire; can share with flashback to that effort.
Dismissed at long odds in his debut, he had trouble at the start in that race and never put in his run; looking for him to fire a much improved race this afternoon, and note his sire is one who gets winners early, so perhaps this one can run to that pedigree with a better break; worth a closer look.
4th Louisiana Downs
Last look with similar two races prior was a bid-and-fail stretchout; but there's still a nugget of hope in his last two; as gelding moves inside, and Guillory can hang tough as potentially the lone speed from the fence; if Java Time doesn't pursue, watch out; 5yo could clear the field; even if hooked, should stay on for at least trifecta action.
Only three of these fit close on conditions; of those three (Bearhouse & He's a Fine Deal), this one is the liveliest and could have found the perfect spot for third win of the year; bang-up race with Cajuns two prior; slop flop can be excused last time from impossible post; perfect pace target in Directed Verdict; serious threat.
Drop the Gun
Three local starts off the board fails to appeal much; as does winless stretch for the better part of a year; failed twice in the EvD basement despite favoritism; measure of tactical speed keeps 7yo from cold pitchout; but not expecting gelding to get the Drop on these.
Nickel tag duds bookend with Aug. caboose trip and raise an eyebrow; slips into marginally easier conditions with Cajun kin; but the race that beats these is a distant memory back at EvD; 15th start of the year and he may just be out of gas for now; particularly hard to back when something of a need-the-lead sort; not today.
Charged Up Taco
Had forward position over Tom Tom last time but that foe came on to go clear for the place, while this 7yo was static in mid-pack; bettors thought the drop & third start off the layoff signaled wake-up; Ardoin sticks; but gelding is overdue stretching back to '99; anything like 7-2 again would be an extreme underlay; can't support.
Couldn't handle the 'Sauce vying against the hardiest open 5k sprinters on the grounds; surely needed the start after nearly a year's vacation; useful breeze since; moves into Cajuns & easier conditions; but borders on guessing game whether he's ready to fire second start back; was win-or-bust at 6, but could be the right Time to thump this kind; consider.
He's a Fine Deal
Ground-saving trip prompted tri kicker with so-so N3L La.-bred dashers; overlooked slightly off the EvD claim; but figures hard to back for more moving out of conditioned claimers, with the uncertainty that he can produce more than a similar effort; yet lifetime willingness to scrape on for a share makes for lower-rung tri/super include.
Went nowhere with basement N3L lifers in Acadia; any minor late chug evaporated last two; cutting back to 6f, colt could be shuffled back outside and quickly forgotten; seems like tune-up trip before resuming conditioned claiming quest; no thanks.
5th Louisiana Downs
Cycled up a bit late at EvD before a five-week break; but takes on serious task shipping back to the first circuit; sire was juvenile main track miler specialist ? progeny's turf prowess still forming; Cat doesn't appear to have long enough claws to slice through these, even with inside trip; some other spot.
Backed off late in both grass starts this meet; splitting similar but smaller field in early Aug.; has run on slightly in last two turfers when fresh, but can't possibly afford to be one-paced with these; appreciate encouraging Sept. a.m. trio; but going with others.
Top pilot couldn't get much more out of her than anyone else; but was committed to follow Grad home in the only decent path outside over the soup; versatile filly may appreciate return to the lawn; but will Rose Glitter & Lady Countess hand her the lead without effort?; the latter did so in diploma drive; short price but serious player.
Baton took a big swing at the leaders, but couldn't put the race away when favored on the 15k drop; now takes another grass attack; dam went 7-1-1-0 on the lawn & not her firster ? maybe persistence pay here; yet Franks-bred has spent awhile at N2L and is a frustrating sort to pursue with any confidence; fit enough, but is she fast enough?
Surely runaway quarter tag diploma promised more than N2L dud delivered; Humble One One One went back for more; but this filly took seven-week freshener instead; with only two mild works in the interim; can need-the-lead sort completely rebound and drive Rose Glitter under early?; seems a stretch, but might run right to her odds.
Four Aces Girl
Full sis Wave Stalker won first turf, sire gets surprising 13 percent turf firsters, although factor Tex.-bred assignments into that equation; hinted at useful sprinting potential until third start in 23 days & rough start put her over the top last time; drops 9lbs. and reunites with Ardoin; but not sure filly has an Ace up her sleeve; your call.
Tiff's The One
Changed tactics on the slight step up with diploma holders last time with only a more conclusive drubbing as a result; the flipside is that she's bred for the lawn and dispatched nearly-full 25k Sawyer course field in July; still hard to see where a complete rebound is due; barn & pilot light on the wins this meet; exotics?
Dime tag diploma laugher came in the best part of an extremely off track; margin fails to impress all that much knowing how poorly some footed that surface all day; was left behind against Vigorous Attack and a not-too-dissimilar bunch in Sawyer course bow back in July; would be a surprise.
Chalk players had to wait a few while she got her act together over this course; but finally put it away over perennial runner-up Nelta in mid-Aug.; N2L thumping going turf-to-dirt can be forgiven ? Grad & Summertime both due for quick conditioned claiming progress; is there enough pace to set up sweeping rally?; logical trifecta player but might shop the win first.
Slop romp no surprise for daughter of Glitterman; Perrodin a sneaky-good turf pilot; enough speed to clear the post and maybe even establish dominance; five week interval after blast-off diploma ? did they aim for this spot?; late work?; some options, some obstacles, but impossible to ignore.
Has one first-turf sibling from 11 starters; sire averaging over 10 percent with his turf firsters; both Lone Star diploma & seasonal return with 20k diploma holders hint at potential first-turf success, with Asmussen even adding another breeze in the 18 days since 6f tune-up; filly worth a long look if gets in.
N2L quest ran out of gas on the main after another EvD excursion; Bourgeois opts for another turf look; if gets in, she'll be outside from impossible with just barely enough speed to get into trouble swung widest into the first turn; can't find the dig-down effort that beats these.
6th Louisiana Downs
Boundary colt dominated his foes in his first two starts over this main surface; he's won four out of seven starts this year, and he's three for eleven lifetime at this distance; major pace factor; money finish.
Texas-bred has hit the board seven out of his last eight starts; bay gelding has posted four of his five lifetime wins at LaD; should have his sights on Be Yonder; early factor; board finish.
Tired after his early effort here last time out on the slop against $12,500 claimers; Arkansas-bred scored his last win four starts back over this main surface against N3L sprinters; will have to benefit from the drop.
Tired after his early effort here last time out against state-bred $5K sprinters; six-time winner is 1 for 19 over this main surface, and 1 for 23 lifetime at this distance; will have to hold on late against most of these.
What's Up Wail
Rail colt wasn't a factor here as the chalk last time out on the slop against open $12,500 company; his last race was his first off the board finish of the year; 3yo gets LeBlanc back aboard for the drop; should appreciate a dry surface; check tote for value.
Down and Out
North Prospect gelding couldn't last as the chalk here last time out against $8K routers; 4yo scored his last win two starts back against $5K routers between the lay-offs; gets the drop in class and distance; minor award.
Oklahoma-bred picked-up checks in his last two starts at Retama Park; he held on well in his last three sprint efforts in the $5K range; should get out early with the other front-enders; will have to last.
Wasn't a factor sprinting against $15K claimers before the lay-off; bay colt broke his N3L condition here two starts back, and he's 50% in the money over this main surface; should fare well with the drop.
Bet a Whirl
Split the field breaking from the inside last time out at this level; 6yo son of Island Whirl draws the outside post for his fourth start over this main surface; will have to overcome the speed of most of the others.
7th Louisiana Downs
Set the early pace and weakened to finish 6th on a sloppy track in her last race, but she led deep into the stretch and finished 2nd on the turf in her previous outing; she posted a good speed figure in that race and finished 4th after a rough trip in her only other turf race; she finished a good 4th in that race without getting the early lead, so she doesn't have to have it; looks very tough to beat from the rail.
Forever Bad Secret
Broke slowly and closed well for 2nd vs. $25K mdn claimers in her last start; this field should be a bit tougher, but she raced well at this level in the past and wasn't disgraced in the Chapel Bell Stakes; she will need a fast early pace to set up her stretch run, but there are some sprinters stretching out here, and an early battle could develop; regardless, she should be rolling late and is tough to leave off trifecta tickets.
Tried the turf in her racing debut at FG and finished far back; her ensuing races were all on the dirt and all pretty good; finished 2nd at this distance on a sloppy track in her last out; she was shuffled back turning into the stretch in that one, but recovered to finish well; her breeding suggests that she should like mud much better than the turf, and this race may be moved to a wet main track; if so, she's the pick.
Finished 2nd vs. this kind, two-turning on the main track, in her local debut and 2nd vs. $20K mdn claimers at EvD in her previous outing; both of those races were vs. state-breds, and she is facing open company today; her best speed figure is a bit lower than several of these have recorded, so she is going to have to improve to be a threat in this field.
Sarah's Butter Cup
Switched to the turf, after two dull races on the main track, and finished a distant 4th vs. state-bred, MSW foes; she posted her best speed figure in that race, but it wouldn't be good enough to get any part of this purse; she was 21-1 in her last race and deserves to be a big price again today.
Jamie T. James
Broke slowly and beat just one horse at 32-1 in her racing debut; she switched to the turf for her last race, broke slowly again, and finished one length behind Sarah's Butter Cup; might run better today if she breaks promptly, but she is facing better and would need to improve sharply to get any part of the purse.
Finished 3rd at this class level on a sloppy track in her last race; but she was five lengths behind Calma Prado in that one and must deal with that foe again today; she turned in two decent efforts on the grass at CD, despite racing wide in both; this field is probably easier than she faced at CD, so any improvement could make her a real threat here; if the race stays on turf; she is worth a long look and may be a decent price.
Sarah Sits South
Finished 4th vs. $25K mdn claimers in her only start on the grass and would have been much closer if she hadn't been forced to race wide on both turns; her three races on the main track this year were all dull, so the switch back to grass should help her chances; she was 43-1 for that 4th place finish and should be a big price today; faces a very tough task, but could be the upsetter here.
Finished far back in all seven races, and they were all vs. mdn claimers; seems to be very ambitious moving to the MSW ranks with that record; is making her first start on grass, and her connections may think that she will run better on that surface, but her breeding doesn't suggest that that is the answer; strictly for those who want real long odds with little chance of winning.
Chasing a Rainbow
Forced the early pace and faded to 5th vs. $25K mdn claimers in her last start; she finished about three lengths behind Forever Bad Secret in that race and faces that rival again today; drew the outside post for that race and has the same bad luck today; she did finish in the money in her two previous races but is facing better today and will need a big effort to be part of the trifecta today.
Was never close vs. $30K mdn claimers in her last start and her speed figure wasn't good enough to get any part of this purse; she tried MSW foes twice and wasn't close in either race; she finished almost eight lengths behind Forever Bad Secret in her last race, and even if she draws into this field, she will face a very tough task from the outside post position.
Fit to Kiss
Comes out of the same race as several other here and finished in the middle of the pace; she was a couple of lengths ahead of La Britnay but about four behind Forever Bad Secret; she was fanned six-wide in that one and will be drawn farther outside today if she draws into this field; she did finish 3rd and 4th in two previous races on turf, but both were vs. mdn claimers.
Sprinted at this class level three times, finishing 2nd and 3rd in her first two, then fading to 7th in her last; she appears to have more early speed than anything in this race and will probably go right to the lead from the outside post; gets LaD's all-time leading rider and could lead a long way if she draws in to the field.
8th La. Downs
Connections will no doubt be watching the skies given his success in the slop of late and there is a chance of rain the forecast; seven furlongs a bit further than the two recent six furlong efforts but at least it is not two turns; both Guillory and LeBlanc riding elsewhere but no one works harder than Jacinto.
Returns to best surface today and also gets a class break as that was a pretty good group for the 15k turfer; at his best when with the early pace but others look quicker; high percentage Lovato will handle the riding chores and looking at his off-track record, another who hopes it rains.
Close a couple of times here since finishing his conditions and he returned after some freshening last time to run a nice one while taking the overland route; has some pace to run at and Simington stays after riding a couple of others in here recently.
Exits Cajun-bred company for the first time in awhile and comes off an effort where he failed to keep up early through some rather quick fractions; this field a little softer and think he will be closer in the early stages; rider has been heating up lately and may be on a live mount here at a price.
Consistent sort all meeting long and he comes off one of his best ever on the grass; last win came at today's distance when he laid just off the early pace, a running style that would fit nicely against this bunch; will likely return to a short price.
Ventured into multiple winning company most recent after tidy non three victory and ran another good one; arguably better around two turns although that non two tally came going three quarters; this field looks awfully deep and possible he will be a little better value today.
Wings Of Jones
Current trainer and Asmussen's barn have been swapping this one back and forth all year long; had done little wrong whoever saddled him up until most recent when he staged a steady retreat; perhaps he did not care for the drying out strip that day as his mud record not nearly as good as career mark; training well between starts and possible he rebounds over a fast strip.
Barn enjoying a terrific meeting and had a double one day last week; the mud may also have been responsible for a poor effort most recently although he has now been on the shelf for six weeks; is another who has been working very well and expect improvement now he is back sprinting.
Looks the quickest of the front runners in here although he does have to break from the outside; veteran almost always shows up and he may not have to go quite as fast early today despite his outside post; definitely a player.
9th La. Downs
High Wire Man
Failed to do much in return when he raced in the back from the start and stayed there; this is a softer condition and he has the benefit of a recent start after all those months away; might not move up enough to contend for the win, but a minor award possible.
Mr. T. K.
Not as concerned with the surface switch as much as the added distance; previous two-turn try was not very good and his one win came going a short sprint distance; certainly looks like a pace player but he will have company up front in the form of the two on the far outside.
Tried one of these non two allowance affairs against state-breds a few races back and outran his 50-1 price; unable to move forward in his next start for a tag and his most recent was a major disappointment; surface switch could wake him back up as the barn wins sometimes when least expected.
Rare that you see 12-1 on Norman these days but the public did not go for him in return; another who should find this spot softer than the other than condition of last time; wins have always been hard for this one to come by and he has not found the winner's circle in two years; that aside, a trifecta finish very possible.
Jonnie And Nancy
Has shown enough on the local lawn this year to qualify for a look at least; traffic problems last time or he might have improved upon that finish position; betting public still thinks that the maiden win on the grass was a fluke but some of us are not quite sure.
Modest string of successes came to a screeching halt with his return to the main as he never showed any interest at any point; this will be his sternest test in entire career and difficult to think he can turns things around so dramatically as to contend.
In-laws Mouton and Perrodin team up to bring this one back after over a year on the sidelines; steady string of works on the dirt which he apparently does not like; tough call as one would like to wait at least one but Perrodin has proved time and time again he is difficult to leave out of the mix on the turf regardless of what he is riding.
Mr Clever Socks
Carried his speed to fruition on the main but the turf in allowance company may be a different story; Guillory got by with some very slow splits last time and was unable to hold off the winner; with the rival to his outside almost sure to go along with the sprinter T. K., think the early battle will take its toll.
Faul unable to throttle him up front last time as the steady Rennie will try today; outside will not help nor will the other speed to his inside; turf may not be his best surface either as he looks extremely iffy to pull off the wire job.
10th La. Downs
Money is a key and this one has less than $200 to show from half a dozen starts; the one check came two back against state breds then she reverted back to her olds way in last; little to indicate a reversal today.
A little more steady performer here although she has never really justified the attention she has garnered on tote; failed to break sharp last time and then drifted out down the lane, two tendencies she can ill-afford to have today.
Pocket Phones Baby
Dramatic improvement in second start here last fall then was not heard from in eleven months; two not-so-recent works up at the training center does not lend any clues either; would feel better if either Smith or Guillory were riding her back but each has another mount; keep an eye to tote.
Cope With Dorothy
Eventful debut as he failed to break then was carried out to Highway 80 turning for home; managed to show some late interest as she split the field; barn's money rider this season has been LeBlanc but he rides elsewhere; tough call but she is not without possibilities.
Leading rider LeBlanc's mount who has had more than her fair share of chances, including a couple of spots when she was favored; tumbles out of the maiden special ranks and despite her reluctance to win, the public will be all over her; several of these professional maidens have been odds-on here this meeting and have not delivered the goods.
Dropped into the softest spot of her career last time and after angling out to the best part of the strip, managed to finish in front of everyone but the winner; think the 50 percent reduction in claiming price had more to do with her improved finish than the removal of blinkers; perhaps another share.
Green as grass in the early stages of first start then improved her position slightly while never making up any ground on the leaders; pretty good half mile drill since and maybe she will be more focused for this.
Could not utilize her new found early speed last time as she was squeezed back at the start; showed more late interest than ever before as she moved up to complete the Super; rider has been one of the hottest things going the last couple of weeks and a clean break may mean a diploma for his mount today.
Race two back sticks out like a sore thumb when she completed the exacta at a hefty price; before you go trying to make a case for a repeat here, keep in mind that the rail was a huge advantage on that afternoon and her most recent effort supports that point.
High points in her career have been few but she did come off a bit of a layoff in May and ran a good third while going two turns; works between outs do nothing to instill confidence and it has been almost a month since she had one published; looking elsewhere.
Much better effort last time and needless to say, if she moves up that much again today, she will be tough; like Guillory on these maidens and he somehow manages to be involved in the last race almost every day for some reason; not much to choose from in here and she will likely be second or third choice behind Allie.
Well-supported at the windows in both starts and backers failed to get much run, especially in that final start; barn dangerous in bringing one back and those five furlong works have been getting better; dangerous to completely omit from the gimmicks.