03/05/2011 3:42PM

Louisiana Derby target for Fair Grounds allowance winner Left


Turns out trainer Al Stall and owners Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider will have an undefeated 3-year-old in the Louisiana Derby after all. No, it’s not Bind, impressive winner of his career debut on Feb. 19. Stall said Saturday that Left, a two-turn allowance-race winner on Feb. 26 at Fair Grounds, was being pointed to the $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 26.

KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail

Left could be part of a large, competitive field for the Louisiana Derby, which is expected to be headed by Risen Star Stakes winner Mucho Macho Man. Mucho Macho Man and Rogue Romance, who was third in the Risen Star, both are probable Florida shippers for the race, and they might be joined by Risen Star runner-up Santiva. Santiva worked for the first time since the Risen Star on Saturday at Palm Meadows, and will race next either in the Louisiana Derby or the Blue Grass, trainer Eddie Kenneally said. Risen Star fourth-place finisher Machen also is probable for the Louisiana Derby, as is his stablemate, Lecomte Stakes winner Wilkinson.

Left, a gelded son of Arch out of the Pulpit mare Leave, hadn’t even made his first start at the time of the Jan. 22 Lecomte, but a week later he won his career debut in a two-turn turf race, and late last month beat his stablemate, Sour, by one length after being switched to dirt. Stall thought Left idled after making the lead in midstretch last out. A periodic work partner for Bind, Left had was not accustomed to being in front during the stretch run, Stall said.

“That was new territory making the lead,” Stall said.

Left is a raw-boned, angular type of horse, a grinding stayer without flashy acceleration, and the longer 1 1/8-mile distance of the Louisiana Derby could suit him.

“For a million dollars, we’ll roll the dice,” said Stall.

Sour, meanwhile, is being considered for the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.

Sam’s Bliss capable on turf or dirt

With more heavy rain hitting New Orleans on Saturday, consider Monday’s featured ninth race as good as moved from turf to dirt. The race, a first-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies, had been carded for 5 1/2 furlongs on grass, but almost certainly will wind up on the main track.

Sam’s Bliss scored her maiden win on turf, but looks like a major player for trainer Bret Calhoun even in the event of a rain-off. Sam’s Bliss finished second by a half-length in her most recent start, a Fair Grounds dirt race at this class level.