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Louisiana Derby day at Fair Grounds
For more video analysis of the top stakes races across the country, watch our Weekend Stakes Videos »
|Race 1 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 12:10 CDT||entries »|
|Race 2 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 12:42 CDT||entries »|
|Race 3 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 1:13 CDT||entries »|
|Race 4 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 1:45 CDT||entries »|
|Race 5 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 2:17 CDT||entries »|
|Race 6 at Fair Grounds - New Orleans Handicap||Sat. 3/26 POST: 2:49 CDT||entries »|
|Race 7 at Fair Grounds - Duncan Kenner||Sat. 3/26 POST: 3:23 CDT||entries »|
|Race 8 at Fair Grounds - Fair Grounds Oaks||Sat. 3/26 POST: 3:56 CDT||entries »|
|Race 9 at Fair Grounds - Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap||Sat. 3/26 POST: 4:29 CDT||entries »|
|Race 10 at Fair Grounds - Louisiana Derby||Sat. 3/26 POST: 5:03 CDT||entries »|
|Race 11 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 5:32 CDT||entries »|
|Race 12 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 5:59 CDT||entries »|
|Race 13 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 6:26 CDT||entries »|
|Race 14 at Fair Grounds||Sat. 3/26 POST: 6:53 CDT||entries »|
Analysis and Selections
By Marcus Hersh
BEST BET: Moryba (9th race)
(1) Hands Up (2) My Orthodoc (3) Tensas Canebrake
Several appealing first-timers in an over-filled La-bred MSW -- we'll take three of them. HANDS UP has been posting above-average works pretty much all along; his last two drills look particularly encouraging for an La-bred maiden, the little-known trainer has won with two of his last three first-timers. MY ORTHODOC has a pretty good pedigree by La-bred standards, and brings good work pattern to first start. TENSAS CANEBRAKE has major work gaps, but his EvT training race last month was a fast one; look out.
(1) Moon Buzz (2) Nakano (3) Marvel Gaye
MOON BUZZ is coming back on surprisingly short rest after one of the best 3yo filly maiden wins of the meet; that's a bit of a concern at a short price, but we'll go with the "simply the best horse" approach. If not MOON BUZZ, then another Margolis-trained last-out maiden winner, NAKANO, might do; in fact, it was the promising filly Might she beat last time. MARVEL GAYE rallied pretty well for second last time in first start back from long break; this may be a deeper field.
(1) Upperline (2) Valli With a Vow (3) Category Seven
UPPERLINE has won before at this nine-furlong distance, comes off a solid victory, may still be improving, and is well drawn for a favorable pressing/leading trip in what should be a slow-paced race. VALLI WITH A VOW back from a planned freshening following an impressive age-restricted stakes win; that win did come with outside run over the best part of the FG course at the time; that said, she appears to have upside on turf, over which she's made limited starts. CATEGORY SEVEN always seems to run her race at Fg, and that race is good enough to contend.
(1) Bind (2) Prime Cut (3) Friendly Banter
BIND ran the fastest six furlongs at Fair Grounds in five years last out, and did so in his career debut; the scary thing is that this grand-looking colt is bred and built to be better at this two-turn trip; seems totally relaxed and capable of getting the route; the 2-5 morning-line seems high; he's 1-5 at best. PRIME CUT has nowhere near the raw ability of the top pick, but does have two-turn experience. FRIENDLY BANTER might have been a good claim; blew out maidens when taken last time from first dirt start.
(1) Archon (2) Bauers Got Hours (3) I Am the Sheriff
The male N1X turf-route allowance division has been mushy all meet, and ARCHON is a new face on the scene; he was a close third going a distance perhaps farther than his best while making his lone prior turf start. BAUERS GOT HOURS just was second at this level and has taken to the FG turf this meet. I AM THE SHERIFF's turf debut last out came in a sprint, and the way he ran that day suggests this longer trip might suit him.
(1) Mission Impazible (2) Giant Oak (3) Apart
MISSION IMPAZIBLE dueled through some of the fastest two-turn fractions this winter and at the finish he still was coming back on deep-closing winner; a look at the recent works -- slow -- suggest we will see a more settled trip this time, but even if he slows down, a clear early lead may be his for the taking; going to be tough to run down. If GIANT OAK really is a changed horse this year -- finishing off his races like never before -- maybe his previous apparent dislike for the FG main track has changed, too; his Donn win last out was powerful; might not get much pace help. Think APART is going to put forth his best performance of the winter; that March 13 bullet work looks like a marker; but even if he moves foward, can he handle the top two on their game?
DRF Coverage: Giant Oak looks for elusive Fair Grounds victory
(1) Cash Refund (2) Mambo Galliano (3) Riley Tucker
Really was looking for alternatives to likely solid favorite CASH REFUND, who might not ne quite the horse he was winning this race last year; but isn't he going to be on a fairly moderate early pace here? Has been pointed to the Kenner all meet; never lost at FG. MAMBO GALLIANO pressed a slow pace before being out-finished in the Gaudin last time; he should get a more favorable trip in this race, and will be the better for it. RILEY TUCKER's last start came in the BC sprint, and he has posted some fast work for his comeback.
DRF Coverage: Siblings clash for first time in Duncan Kenner
(1) St. John's River (2) Inglorious (3) Daisy Devine
Was disappointed ST. JOHN'S RIVER couldn't run down return rival Switching Gears in last-start allowance race, but in retrospect the effort wasn't so bad at all; she'd missed a little time leading to that race with a minor physical problem, was making her first start against other winners, and rallied into a really slow pace; her win two races back really caught the eye; could jump forward now. INGLORIOUS's dirt and 2011 debut produced a fine runner-up finish behind Kathmanblu in the Rachel Alexandra, but bettors will be all over her today; while she may well prove best, she's drawn wide and probably won't offer anything resembing fair value. DAISY DEVINE loves the FG main track and enters this spot a fresh horse, having skipped the R. Alexandra; work pattern is encouraging.
DRF Coverage: Fair Grounds Oaks sees McPeek's B team
(1) Moryba (2) Smart Bid (3) Workin for Hops
Given the state of the national turf route division, the appearance of a new player merits close attention; Brazilian import MORYBA faced only four foes at GP in his US debut last out, but there were solid horses in that race, and he ran over them with a final three-eighths in about 35 seconds and a final furlong in something like 11.60 seconds; G1 winner in BRZ came back to post good-looking works for Mott at Payson; have strong feeling we'll not be seeing those 5-1 morning-line odds, however. SMART BID was a nose away from wininng the GP Turf H'Cap last out, a race that was Grade 1 in name only; 5yo has made but four turf starts and may yet have upside on the surface. WORKIN FOR HOPS could come forward in his second start of the year and might wind up loose on lead, but we don;t yet know where he fits with older horses.
DRF Coverage: Change of scenery may help Battle of Hastings in Muniz
(1) Mucho Macho Man (2) Elite Alex (3) Machen
Going all chalky in the La Derby, but was nothing but impressed with MUCHO MACHO MAN's Risen Star win; granted, he got an ideal trip, but that's partly because he has a versatile running style, and was so relaxed until called upon for run; pedigree is a little hard to read, but this is a horse with quite a bit of scope who certainly looks the part of animal capable of showing his best at nine furlongs. ELITE ALEX has started in a pair of two-turn races this year, but both ended at the sixteenth pole, and he may be much more comfortable launching his bid coming off the far turn rather than coming into it; seems to be quite a bit of talent here; may be ready to step up. MACHEN finished fourth making his stakes debut in the Risen Star after two impressive wins to begin career; his performance that day probably was stronger than it looks on paper, since he moved sharply into the fastest part of the race; would be no surprise. Hard to fault LEFT, who has two wins in routes. WILKINSON is a grinding type who will stay the distance better than many.
(1) Hear No Angel (2) Carson's Honor (3) Flight
HEAR NO ANGEL is 20-1 on the morning line, but may have a better chance than that price suggests; last out comeback from long layoff against very tough field of La-bred sprinters; he has a win and a third in FG turf routes, and the victory came over this 7.5-furlong distance; dropping in for a tag might not be all that negative considering the big purse for which he's running as La-bred in an open claimer. CARSON'S HONOR has run two good ones over the tricky FG turf, and the shorter two-turn trip here should suit him well. FLIGHT, another class-dropper, also has some appeal at long odds.
(1) Might (2) Tapia (3) D'oro Princess
MIGHT had a spot of trouble before rallying well for a close second last out in her career debut; since her full brother won the 10-furlong BC Classic, it's a fair guess that she'll be all right at this two-turn distance in her second start; between Bind and Might, trainer Al Stall might have two winners today that pay less than $5 combined. TAPIA dueled on a hot pace with Snow Fall, who stayed on to win the race with the fastest mile-70 of the meet; has worked three times since then; rates more today? D'ORO PRINCESS was no match for sharp winner She's Picky last time; had trouble two back, but perhaps not as talented as Might?
(1) Burn Rate (2) Meteor Attack (3) Choctaw Bill
Take a look at the short comment for BURN RATE's turf race at this class level on Jan. 22 -- "inside turns"; that was one of the strongest "wider is better" turf days of a meet that had many such cards; the horse did quite well to finish fourth there considering his position; sleeper in wide-open race. METEOR ATTACK ran into a pretty decent winner when second in lone previous grass start, and probably is a better horse now, as well. CHOCTAW BILL was rained off turf his last two starts; should appreciate return to grass if he's not over the top by now.
(1) Time to Intimidate (2) Rose Lips (3) Diamondsandthrills
TIME TO INTIMIDATE shows a $1K purchase price and debuts for $15K tag with some decent works; the sire has thrown some precocious runners. Class-dropping ROSE LIPS figures to be favored and a factor. Blinkers on for DIAMONDSANDTHRILLS, who was claimed two starts ago.