03/05/2004 1:00AM

Gradepoint heads 11-horse La. Derby


Risen Star Stakes winner Gradepoint leads a field of 11 horses who have been entered in Sunday's Grade 2 $600,000 Louisiana Derby at 1 1/16 miles at the Fair Grounds. Gradepoint, trained by Neil Howard, is listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the race along with entrymate Breakaway. Gradepoint will break from post nine with regular rider Robby Albarado aboard.

Gradepoint will face several out-of-town invaders in the Louisiana Derby including 4-1 second choice Borrego, who exits a runner-up finish behind Master David in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. Borrego will break from the rail with Victor Espinoza aboard. Bob Baffert also ships in from California with Wimbledon (post 3, 8-1).

Trainer Todd Pletcher brings in two contenders from Florida including Shaniko (post 4, 5-1) and Pollard's Vision (post 7, 12-1). John Velazquez, who had been the rider of both horses, sticks with Pollard's Vision while Jerry Bailey picks up the mount on Shaniko.

The complete 11 horse field is listed below.

Louisiana Derby

Purse: $600,000; 1 1/16 miles; Grade 2; Wt 122 pounds

# PP Horse Jockey ODDS
2 1. Borrego V. Espinoza 4-1
1 2. a- Breakaway C. Borel 3-1
3 3. Wimbledon J. Santiago 8-1
4 4. Shaniko J. Bailey 5-1
5 5. Stolen Time C. Velasquez 10-1
6 6. Shadowland P. Day 10-1
7 7. Pollard's Vision J. Velazquez 12-1
8 8. Indian War Dance E. Prado 20-1
1a 9. a- Gradepoint R. Albarado 3-1
9 10. Fire Slam S. Sellers 6-1
10 11. Nightlifeatbigblue E. Martin Jr 15-1
a - Coupled
Blinkers On: Stolen Time
Odds by Bill Howard