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A CLOSER LOOK at Louisiana Downs races on 9/30
1st Louisiana Downs
Tensas Lake St Joe
Showed some early speed in his opener elsewhere but is going to have to stay around a little longer if he hopes to be around at the end of this one; could improve off that one but looks to still have some work to do, even with the drop to claiming.
Ran in the slop in his debut and managed to pass several to get the place money; the extra half furlong might help but how he handles the local surface and claiming company may be even more important; would have like to have seen some interim activity in order to make a serious play but he has to be respected as possible today.
Has now had several starts and the slop did not deter him from a better race when he was the favorite with the drop; that said he still came up short but that better race could still lead to better today, back in with the same company; won't take too short a price but would give him a serious look should the odds climb above 3-1; a possibility.
Was in against easier last time and while the pace and the race were on the slow side and while he did not win, his gameness is to be admired; while that will not beat faster horses, if he does improve at all off that he will be competitive and the determination could be the deciding factor in his favor; second time with blinkers and Lasix; tough call being a little too slow for many of the others.
Has freshened up a bit and will have to show a lot more than he did before the break; with only the one slow interim work will be looking at others today.
Has run four similar races and sometimes the class changes especially with maidens are less than significant; the blinkers came off last time with little change and that was going farther on the turf; back to the dirt and in for a tag again, he is relevant and the surface switch might even have a beneficial effect; likely contender in this one.
J T's Devil
Has run four races each with time between and the same pattern will prevail today; he is tagged and will need a major performance reversal; have no reason to forecast that.
Shawklit N Cream
Opener was interesting and he showed speed only to fall back under pressure while still outfinishing half of the big field; he has a slow sloppy breeze and while better might be expected he will have to run too much faster to call him a player today.
Not a lot of pedigree history to work with; dam was placed and her lone runner did not win early; sire is low in the debut category and more room is the likely order of the day; tabbing him for later as he should benefit from a start or two judging by the preparation.
2nd Louisiana Downs
Steps up off a race that was not bad and she might have a chance if she does run better in her second start back; a good rail would be helpful too; she does seem to be getting better and the pace of the race could be a little softer in spite of the class rise.
Has not run particularly well at the meeting and while she has a work during the month's absence it would appear that she will need better if she is to be competitive today; she is somewhat of an iffy proposition.
Went to the turf and open company last time and the proof of the experiment will depend on what kind of performance she turns in today; her normal style is as a rallying type and she will have a good chance if she runs back to her best in this match up; looking for better; contender.
First State Banker
Shortens up after a couple of recent routes and she will need to run a whole lot better than she has been; can't say that we care for her chances today.
Suzy could and should be salty though the primary concern is her failure to win in 11 previous starts this year; she does drop down again and we may find out if is it her or her previous opponents; the blinkers go on and if she doesn't blow the break, she could be the tough one; contender.
Exits the same race as Suzy and will have to contend with her again; she has been running well since the turf race and she is a factor for the win after a useful 5F work; just not certain about taking a short price on the likes of her or Suzy either.
Was in the easier condition and winning her second race of the year; she will have to deal with a faster pace and a faster race but she could be one who will continue to develop; risky today but one to tab for future engagements.
Has raced a lot this year and the general lack of recent interest could be for that reason; maybe her latest signals a return to better form but she will have to prove that and there are others in the mix who look a lot more interesting than she.
Has just missed from far back in her last two and she was in against slightly better and in a bulky field the last time; don't know if the slop helps or hinders and how she trips will have a big effect on her performance today; should be a threat for all with a good trip or at least some part of it with the drop.
Sec C Cowgirl
Is a winner of one and has had too many starts; her greatest asset may be her clever name and unless she suddenly starts to run much faster unexpectedly and unpredictably off the layoff she will not get much today.
3rd La. Downs
By a stakes winner of 3 races and $274k who rates as an average debut sire; dam is a winning full sister to LaD juvenile stakes winner Willie Nac($135k), and from two foals to race she has one winner, Pancho Mac($12k).
Showed good speed in her debut before fading in the later stages, and she figures to be stronger in her second career start; her cause is also helped by the drop in class to this level; experienced runner appears in line for at least a minor award under return rider Jacinto.
By a stallion who rates below average as a debut sire from a limited number of starters; she is the first foal from her placed dam, who is a half-sister to two minor winners; shows average works for career bow.
Ddi not break with the crowd in her debut last out and failed to make an impact after that; she might have had an excuse for not doing more in her that race as she returns with first Lasix; figures to benefit from the new medication, and the recent workout; later.
Ms Maggie Sue
Showed marked improvement in her last start when she dropped down to this level for the first time; she shortens up a little in distance after running a demanding seven furlongs last out, and suspect she will appreciate having to get one less furlong this afternoon; win candidate under the capable Bourque.
Leading rider LeBlanc teams with half-sister to stakes winner Nickel Parade($127k), who hooked some bears in her debut, which came in trials for the TTA Sales F.; the winner of that trial had won the Manor Downs F., going in, and the second-place finisher went on to win the TTA Sales F.; sire gets winners early, and she looks like one who could add to his stats; this one adds blinkers, and appears to be a win candidate.
By a stakes winner of 4 races and $162k who rates above average as a debut sire; she is the first foal from her dam, a stakes-placed winner of $38k and half-sister to five other winners; near bullet gate drill four workouts ago; consider.
Run Kiva Run
From the second crop of a Grade 1 winner of $1.5mm who is off to a good start at stud; she is the first foal from her unraced dam, who is a half-sister to seven winners including Boulder Run, a multiple stakes winner of $316k.
Guillory sticks with four-time starter, who has yet to get a fast strip to run over; since she has worked well over a fast track in the past, would like to see her get the chance to run over one in the afternoon; has some speed, and looking for her to at least share.
You Lov Racey
By a placed stallion who shows no debut winners from a limited number of starters; dam was a stakes-placed winner of 5 races and $34k, and from three foals to race she has produced two winners, her best being Colonial Quest($52k).
Smith charge had the misfortune of debuting in the mud; she did not have much luck in that race, and figures to turn in an improved performance this afternoon with the benefit of a race under her belt; sire gets winners early, and perhaps runner who has speed influences on both sides of her pedigree can share.
4th Louisiana Downs
Bad Bad Red
Clipped heels last time out around this level; Arkansas-bred ran her best race here two starts back on the slop; she earned all of her lifetime earnings over this surface in six LaD starts; hard to figure; will have to surprise.
Couldn't hold on late after her effort as the chalk last time out against $10K maiden claiming sprinters; Cold Reality filly was game in her debut, although it was against four other rivals; early pace factor.
Split the field as the chalk last time out in her Louisiana Downs debut against open maiden claimers; Louisiana-bred has hit the board in four out of her six lifetime starts, and she should move forward off of her last; board finish.
Closed well at odds over 38-1 here last time out with the drop down to this level; Big Woods filly posted her lone money finish five starts back in her 2yo debut; late factor; best effort yields minor award.
Texas-bred displayed early speed here last time out against turf $25K routers; that race was her best, but she didn't finish too well at odds over 92-1; she's a full sister to multiple stake-placed Heather Ann, and a half to stakes winner Luzianne Suzanne (13 wins-$168K); needs a swift break.
Terms of the West
West by West filly gets Ricky Faul aboard for her Louisiana Downs debut; couldn't move forward off of her even effort last time out against MSW sprinters at EvD; will have to surprise for the top prize today.
Four-year-old daughter of Cien Fuegos didn't debut well over this main surface before the two-month lay-off; she's the first foal out of her dam who was 0 for 2 lifetime as a racehorse; will have to build off of her recent published works.
Sam's Rocket Girl
First dam is a winning half sister to two stakes winners, including G3 winner Donut's Pride (who is the dam of multiple stakes winner Last Vice-$223K); this filly is a half sister to stakes winner Image Of Prospect (22 wins-$188K); should fare well with the drop; check tote for value.
Wasn't much of a factor here in her last around this level; she put two good races together before her last over this main surface; connections are looking for a better effort today; should finish in the better half of these.
Native Tactics filly didn't finish too well on the slop here last time out in her first two-turn effort; she's the second foal out of her Island Whirl mare, who was 7 for 27 lifetime as a racehorse; looks promising if you throw out her last.
Royal Manor Way
Arkansas-bred has hit the board in all seven of her lifetime starts; closed well here in her last breaking towards the inside; half sister to multiple stakes-placed Joe K's Legend (10 wins-$125K); poised for another solid effort today; money finish.
Mr. Redoy filly has posted some productive local published works leading up to her debut; chestnut filly is out of a winning Native Charger mare, who has produced one winner from two foals to race; will probably need the experience; check post parade for more clues.
5th Louisiana Downs
Fourty Four Red
Sophomore didn't take long to get his act together for EvD diploma; stop-and-start summer set a little unsettling; first-Lasix in June prompted mild tri ticket; bred to get the extra turn; but pedigree slim angle if banking on huge wake-up call; at least colt figures as one of several with tri/super spoiler aspirations; tab tote.
Intriguing dueling rematch with Cutoff Blaze gives this one the rail this time around; could be the difference, at least for exotics position; 15k diploma laugher contained nugget of N2L-ability; with all of the main players catching mud last time, you have to wonder how a fast main track will scramble pace scenario; colt merits top-two consideration.
Took just light interest off overdue EvD diploma; lost ground at a critical moment against Sauce Pecan & Aly Nick; but after long diploma quest, easy to see where winners would give him a hard time; follows that group up to full allowance crew; can't see him advancing much in rematch; no thanks.
Three straight in the slop offers minor excuse for stretch fades; hard to believe he went off as the ultra-mild 4-1 favorite last time; gives you indication of the weakness of that quarter tag N2L; could prove the pace target winging it with Aly Nick again; maybe scrapes on late for tri/super slice.
Way of the Knight
More like get out of the way Knight; ok, so he surely needed the EvD comebacker; but bookended eight-month vacation with similar deep-pack dud; racing into shape for FG?; much later.
Almost his race to lose after outnodded when clear by daylight over the likes of Cutoff Blaze & Zarb's Luck Charm last time; not much of an a.m. sort, is he?; no matter; surging 3yo is sitting on big race third start off the layoff; Nuesch has been the best fit; and should wear these down with colt's grinding bid from just off the pace; choice.
First start against winners encouraging; but he makes his 7th start in 11 weeks; and the rise to entry-level allowance from diploma holders seems the potential spot for regression to catch up with him; Proper Sunday finished two ticks faster in similar gooey conditions; 3yo would need a breakthrough race to surprise that foe; doubt.
Distant second with plain conditioned claimers not bad when overlooked at 29-1 for exacta crash; could be climbing out of summer form trough with the onset of fall; but a little hard to like on the allowance upgrade when not convinced he can finish them off in the drive; although another double-digit price would prompt lower-rung exotics inclusion.
The amazing thing about LeBlanc's run this meet is that he's not locked into one, two or even three barns; Sunshine Classic's :57.2 not all that far off of Zarb's Echo's meet-best of :55.84; 4th could prove adequate prep for turf-to-dirt stretchout; yet it's still a filly against the boys; you'd want every bit of 9-2 again, particularly when unproven around two turns; iffy.
Zarb's Lucky Charm
His meet started off so promising; Clever Brick a good trier, and the placing suggested 4yo was next in line for N1x; but either the effort put him over the top to stay, or turf series discouraged colt; earned 'dull' comment last two; a serious underlay if anything like 5-2 again.
Turf debut has been just short of developing into a key maiden mile; took a ton of play in scratch-reduced slop fiasco last time - one-paced from the far turn home; no.2 pilot sticks in vote of confidence; but posts 11 & 12 combine for a bet-against 12-0-1-2 this meet; maiden needs maidens.
Late-bloomer finally ended career maiden draught with out-of-nowhere shocker against turf special weights; 4yo appears to improve in cooler weather; had been an off-track specialist; yet have to believe N2L quest could last a while given prior inconsistency; shuffled back wide and forgotten today.
6th Louisiana Downs
First of the Franks-owned duo with each sporting different trainers; also different riders named at entry time so both may indeed go; this one is an improving maiden who is really going to have to take a step forward to compete; did run better with Lasix last time although it may be up to the other half of the coupling to carry the load.
Got beat by a pretty good one in debut which was a tough spot going two turns on the grass; as a daughter of Dynaformer, it is no wonder that she went right to the turf; very nice five furlong move earlier in the week as she should be tight for this; what is lacking is experience.
Like her entrymate, she did move up with the addition of Lasix; involved in the trifecta last two but they came against fellow Cajuns and there are a couple of nice ones in this dash; likes to stalk and while unlikely anyone can handle Dreams, she might give Queen a fight for the second spot.
Queen of the Isle
Second best to stablemate Dreams in the Rebel going five and a half and was a much closer runner up to that same rival in the Delta Miss going six; six and a half panels today and she would have liked to have had it last time when she closed well; still may have some improvement in her and she will be a better price than Norman's other one.
Also finished in the same position to today's favorite in her last two but unlike Queen, she was not a factor in the late going; thought she may take back in most recent and make one run but she chased and then tired once again; at least her price will be better.
Norman has swept the last two juvenile stakes for fillies and looks to have this bunch over a barrel once again; she is very quick and while her effort in the Delta Miss was not as impressive as the Rebel, it did come over a rather deep and sloppy strip; fast track for Sunday as another wire job appears likely.
Interesting to see what the public does with her as she as not done anything wrong, including defeating the boys twice at Delta; while the Jean Lafitte is not as noteworthy as it once was, it still had some talent and the fact that she was even money in both the trial and finals indicate that word on her was out; works steady and she gets Hernandez back; might be most suited for the upset.
Useful looking filly who has black type with the Silver Spur win at Lone Star; bit of a disappointment on the grass at Retama then she went on a bit of a break; she has tempered her speed somewhat since that maiden wire job and if able to settle off Dreams, may make a run at her out of the turn.
Go And Look
Found the company in the Rebel considerably tougher than what she saw up in Iowa; leading rider LeBlanc riding elsewhere which is not much of an endorsement; training well between starts so improvement may be in order but the win does not look to be in the cards.
7th Louisiana Downs
In a good position to use her speed from the rail and other than Ali, there does not appear to be much other pace present; huge in price for her two local starts and if you can excuse the races in the slop at EVD three and four back, she might just be worth considering.
Honest sort who has not run a bad one in five local starts here including the belated rallying effort in allowance company three back; LeBlanc back in the saddle today which is a plus as he guided her to a win the last time she was entered at this level.
Ali Can Go
Ali did go last time, at least for a while; she was used considerably in the early going to get the lead, especially after going to her knees at the start; non winners of two sort in tough today against veterans so other than perhaps ensuring an honest early pace, doubt she makes much of an impact past five furlongs.
One Tough Halo
Reality hit when she completed her conditions as she showed little going two turns at EVD most recent; has shown some good versatility from on or off the pace but again, that was when she was in against conditioned claimers; might need a softer spot than this group.
Miss Misty Girl
Another EVD import who has shown up every start since coming off the shelf in July; looks dangerous from a stalking position today since Cort and Ali have not exactly stuck around lately when the real running started at the head of the lane; certainly looks in line for at least a share at a fair price.
Game win on the turf last time and she also accounted for a 10k victory on the main at Lone Star back in the Summer; will not be too far off the pace herself and as long as the strip stays fast, she looks deserving of the support she will garner on tote.
Poker Little Sugar
Not much happening from this corner lately and today she has to double up in claiming price; wins come infrequently and her last was in the slop which she prefers; looks up against it today.
Honey Don't Belate
Non three type as turned in almost identical efforts in every start this year at three different racetracks; reluctance to win will not serve her well today against some proven veterans.
Cracker Jack D
Connections got a little ambitious after back-to-back conditioned wins and she was out of it early for the quarter; this group not as tough and she should find herself closer in the early going which is her best lick; no stranger to two turns and think a much better effort is in order.
8th Louisiana Downs
Failed to move forward off that good second in first try against winners so the patient Young sent him to the sidelines for some freshening; couple of nice works over off tracks in the interim and now he is back in action; don't know about the move up to the allowance ranks but he does get the services of the meeting's leading rider.
Played musical barns over at Lone Star as Asmussen went back in after him after losing him for half of claim back tag so knew what he had; good efforts in both local starts and took the worst of the big rail bias in his most recent; even at half the price he was on tote that day, he is a bargain.
Throw Me Out
Threw some good efforts around two turns down south but was most impressive when he made the big run going short in his last; no blazing speed present in here but there should be a legit pace; class level another matter as virtually all of his success has come for a lower-level tag.
Diablo For Certain
Another bouncing up from the conditioned claiming ranks and while he has performed creditably, it has not been against this type of competition; running style fits Ziesing and he did pilot him to a win back early in the year; maybe a minor award at best.
Probably looking at the favorite and on paper he looks the part; outran his price in a rather tough turf chase last time as Nuesch saved all the ground; reunited with Lovato today and they have teamed up for a couple of tidy victories; one to beat.
Favored in three of his last four and has delivered just once; only the one career win which puts him at a disadvantage against most in here, even the claimers; toughest condition to date in his career and he may need a little softer spot for second career win.
Exits the same race as the rival to his inside and finished half a dozen lengths behind him; also has just the maiden score and it came way back in the spring; lightly raced since then and recent work does not signal a turnaround.
Leading barn has few weaknesses, including sending one out after a lengthy layoff; Norman seldom uses Romero but since he got the diploma, he gets the return call; did not beat the best maiden special field assembled last time but it is difficult to eliminate anything trainer throws a saddle on.
One of the first "anti" rail horses to run back out of the 9/3 afternoon that saw winner after winner hug the paint; generous price last time over a neutral strip and the class drop; ascends back into the allowance ranks but faces mostly non two and non threes; major player.
9th La. Downs
Was 28-1 and showed little vs. this kind in his last start; 6-year-old has started only 15 times and won one race; he didn't hit the board in four starts last year and five this year; is making his third start after a layoff, a time when many horses turn in a good effort, but he would have to improve sharply to get any part of this purse; price should long and his chances of winning maybe even longer.
Finished 4th vs. $3.5K N2L rivals at EvD in his last race and 2nd vs. the same kind at DeD in his previous race; won just one of 16 career outings, and he seems to be picking a strange time to move up the claiming ladder; was 13-1 in his last race and should be a longer price today; this is his first start at LaD and he shows no local works.
Had some traffic trouble and finished 2nd vs. $20K N2L claimers on the turf in his first start at the meet; he posted the best last-race speed figure in this field in that race and, although it was on the turf, may repeat it today; his one win was on the dirt; won only one of 21 starts, but he finished in the money 11 times and should certainly be used on exotic tickets; his last race on dirt was dull, but he will probably run much better today.
Bested $10K mdn claimers in his 2nd start at the meet and posted a speed figure that would be very competitive here; however he regressed badly vs. winners in his last two starts, both at this claiming level; he raced wide on the first turn in both of those races and is drawn a bit closer to the rail today; he added Lasix for this last race and could improve in his second race with that medication; will probably get a long look from Longshot Louie.
Dropped to this level, switched to the main track, and was beaten just a head at 7-1 in his last race; he closed from far back and took the lead in the stretch, only to be caught right on the wire; he may have moved a bit early in that race and Perrodin will probably wait a bit longer to ask him today; he won only one of 18 starts, with three 2nds and no 3rds, but that probably won't stop him from going favored in this spot.
Stretched out around two turns for his last race and opened a long early lead before tiring and finishing 5th at 31-1; he finished about five lengths behind Sequoia Man in that race and must face him again today, but he could be much closer if his speed can be rationed a bit more; there isn't a lot of early speed in this field, and his new rider may be able to get the front and save a bit more for the stretch run; may be tough to catch.
Won only one of 20 starts and is winless in 15 races this year, but he finished 4th or better in five of his last six races, and several of his speed figures are good enough to make him very competitive in this field; Smith leaves to ride Dark Verdict, but Guillory takes the mount and should prove an able replacement; might not look good for a win bet, but he would be hard to leave off trifecta and superfecta tickets.
Finished 3rd at this distance in his last race but was beaten more than 11 lengths; that race was vs. $7.5K claimers and, although this race is at a higher claiming level, it may not be run any faster; his speed figure in that race was good enough to be competitive here, and he has improved in all three races at the meet; was 28-1 in his last and should be a big price again; those looking for a longshot would be hard pressed to find a better candidate.
Comes out of the same race as Dustysarollin and finished just over a length behind that one; he beat $12.5K mdns in his previous race on a muddy track and posted a good speed figure; he has one win and two 2nds in 15 races, and the win and one of the 2nds came in four starts on off tracks; he probably needs a wet track for his best effort and could move up if the track is off; he usually closes well and should pass tired ones in the stretch.
Has a win, a 2nd and a 3rd in 10 career starts and all of those finishes came in five races at LaD; has been sprinting and his breeding suggests that he will probably be able to handle the added distance of this race; he showed speed sprinting and could be the one to battle with Golden Gem for the lead today; the chances of either of those winning would improve vastly if the other should be a late scratch or decide to take back early.
Life Is Golden
Hasn't raced since March at DeD and was pulled up and didn't finish his last race; he beat $10K mdn claimers in his previous race at DeD, but is going to find this field much tougher; he finished far back at long odds in all three races here last year and is sure to be a big price again today; he shows four local workouts, all slow, and it would be a big shocker if he got any part of this purse.
Was 4th vs. $15K N2L claimers at this distance on a sloppy track in his last start and 4th at this level sprinting in his previous race; won his first start at the meet, beating $10K mdn claimers at seven furlongs, and switches back to the rider who was aboard for that win; his trainer is having an excellent meet and he gets the leading rider, but he has little early speed and faces a very tough task from the outside post position; was 16-1 for his mdn. win and might be worth a play at a similar price today.