Updated on 09/08/2012 10:27AM

Louisiana Downs: Blueskiesnrainbows early favorite for Super Derby field of nine

Shigeki Kikkawa
Blueskiesnrainbows has been made the 3-2 morning-line favorite for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

BOSSIER CITY, La. – Rousing Sermon will get another crack at Blueskiesnrainbows on Saturday, when the Southern California shippers meet at Louisiana Downs for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

Blueskiesnrainbows won the Grade 2 Swaps over Rousing Sermon back in July, and on the strength of that effort Blueskiesnrainbows was installed the 3-2 morning-line favorite for the 33rd edition of the Super Derby when entries were taken Wednesday. Blueskiesnrainbows will break from post 3 in a field of nine for what is the richest race of the meet at Louisiana Downs.

The Super Derby also anchors a card of six stakes worth a cumulative $1 million. The program, which is the biggest of the local season, received an added boost Wednesday, when the connections of Gantry chose the $50,000 Temperence Hill on the Super Derby undercard as the horse’s final prep for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November. Earlier this year, Gantry won the Grade 2 Smile at Calder.

The Super Derby will go as race 10 on a 13-race card that will have a special early first post of 12:15 p.m. Central. There will be $100,000 guaranteed pick four that will run on the eighth through 11th races, all stakes. The Super Derby is scheduled to go off at 5:10 p.m. Central.
Blueskiesnrainbows, a Bob Baffert-trained runner who is to be ridden by Louisiana native Joe Talamo, arrived in Bossier City on Wednesday aboard a flight that also brought Rousing Sermon and Fly Lexis Fly from the West Coast.

Rousing Sermon, who will have the services of Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith from post 8, was made the 5-1 third choice for the Super Derby following a runner-up finish last out in the $200,000 Real Good Deal at Del Mar on Aug. 3. One start prior, he was fourth in the Swaps run at Betfair Hollywood Park. Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains the horse for breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, said the chance at a late-season stakes for 3-year-olds was one of the appeals of the Super Derby.

“The horse is doing good,” he said, “and we thought, with not that many big races left this year, we thought he had a good chance to show his stuff in that race.”

Rousing Sermon missed by a neck in last year’s Grade 1 CashCall Futurity, and from there was placed third to I’ll Have Another in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis, was fifth in the Grade 2 San Felipe, was third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, then finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby.
Hollendorfer is pleased to move the horse back to two turns after a seven-eighths start in the Real Good Deal.

“He’s plenty good at it,” he said of routing.

Adding further depth to the Super Derby is Bourbon Courage, the runner-up in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer. He was made the 3-1 second choice for trainer Kellyn Gorder. 

The complete field from the rail with riders and morning-line odds: Mr. Bluegrass Music, Chris Landeros, 20-1; Key Donation, Richard Eramia, 12-1; Blueskiesnrainbows, Talamo, 3-2; Hero of Order, Don Simington, 15-1; Fly Lexis Fly, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Master Rick, Gerard Melancon, 15-1; Tensas Cold Front, Mark Guidry, 12-1; Rousing Sermon, Mike Smith, 5-1; and Bourbon Courage, Leandro Goncalves, 3-1.

Fly Lexis Fly, a Group 1 winner in Peru making his second start for trainer Neil Drysdale, will remove blinkers Saturday.

The other four stakes on the card will all be on the grass. Apart will make his turf debut against Global Power in the $100,000 Unbridled, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up that drew nine, while She’s All In is back to defend her title in the $100,000 River Cities against seven other fillies and mares. Brown Almighty, a long-range candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, seeks his second stakes win at the meet in the $150,000 Sunday Silence that drew 10, while a dozen 2-year-old fillies go a mile on the grass in the $100,000 Happy Ticket.
A heat wave has gripped northern Louisiana this week, but temperatures are forecast to drop to the mid-80s for Saturday, according to weather.com. There is a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms Saturday.