09/09/2017 9:29AM

Hersh: How I'll play Louisiana Downs on Saturday, Sept. 9


It’s Super Derby Day at Louisiana Downs. Alas, the feature, moved to turf from dirt for this year’s renewal, did not come up a super race. Just six were entered, and at most, five are expected to start, with Gorgeous Kitten’s connections opting for Kentucky Downs on Sunday. But there are 11 other races to consider, including several more turf stakes, and some decent betting opportunities on the card.

Here’s how I’ll play.

Pick four, races 5-8

I’ll take a swing at the pick four spanning races 5-8 using SITTING BULL (#5) as a single in race 6. Sitting Bull was given a very tough trip two starts back in his first grass race, where High Providence, who’s back here, got the best of him late. The thing about winning a 2-year-old midsummer maiden race is you can wind up sitting on the sidelines for quite a bit, which is what’s happened to Providence, who’s also in the Sunday Silence. Meanwhile, Sitting Bull got in another race, and while wide again, he showed a stronger finish and easily beat 11 rivals.

Those wishing to dig deeper into their pockets might consider backing up with Drewcitable (#9), who ran pretty well in a Louisiana-bred dirt-sprint stakes and has some superficial grass in his pedigree. But while his dam is by the grass influence Dove Hunt, she was a dirt sprinter.

The first leg, race 5, a Louisiana-bred maiden sprint at six furlongs on dirt, lacks anything like a standout. It also lacks early speed. And horses with much ability. ALPHA SUE (#8) blew the start last time in a race she might’ve needed, and she could make the front. First-time Lasix with a sharp interim half-mile drill, and she’d be my top choice. If not her, then DANCE TIL TWO (#7) and MIGHTY NICE RAGS (#9), and hope for the best.

Race 7 is for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old maidens, a field filled with first-timers and a smattering of horses who haven’t shown a lot in their races. I prefer, in order, the first-timers RACER’S IMP (#8), PEACE TREATY PAT (#6), and NEW YEAR’S PARTY (#2) and suspect that Racer’s Imp and New Year’s Party will be bet lower than their morning lines. Will use three backups – COOL KITTY (#10), LOVELY BERNADETTE (#11), and WAITIN ON THE GOLD (#12) – and hope for the best.

The cashing leg, race 8, is the Tellike, a filly-and-mare five-furlong turf dash packed with speed. JUSTA LADY (#3) will be favored and might have the right style for this race, but while I’ll use her, I’d pick her second behind LOOK INTO MY EYES (#8). The latter classes up adequately, trips out the right way with a natural stalking style, and brings a very grassy pedigree into her belated turf debut. Also including as an “A” BOOM BAM BING (#7), who can’t win if she runs like she did last time but can if she improves to her best form. One backup here, RACH’SLASTSCARF (#2). She might not be good enough and is all speed in a pace-filled field, but there’s a chance she’s the speed of the speed, and given her turf-heavy pedigree in her grass debut at a price, I want to at least have her in play.

The play is $36 per 50-cent increment using all A’s, A’s with one B, and A’s with two Bs.

Here’s a link to the play in DRF TicketMaker.

Race 5
A: 7,8,9
B: none

Race 6
A: 5
B: None

Race 7
A: 2,6,8
B: 10,11,12

Race 8
A: 3,7,8
B: 2

Race 8

If she’s 5-1 or higher, I’ll bet LOOK INTO MY EYES (#8) to win. I’ll key her in exactas with JUSTA LADY (#3), BOOM BAM BING (#7), and, to a lesser extent, with RACH’SLASTSCARF (#2), and in a trifecta with those three plus FANCY MADELYN (#5) and D’BOLDEST (#6).

$20 win 8
$5 exacta 8 with 3/7 ($10)
$3 exacta 8 with 2 ($6)
$3 exacta 3,7 with 8 ($6)
$1 trifecta 8 with 3,7 with 2,3,5,6,7 ($8)