09/09/2012 1:20PM

Louisiana Downs: Bourbon Courage eyes Breeders’ Cup after Super Derby victory

Hodges Photography / Lynn Roberts
Bourbon Courage wins the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs by five lengths on Saturday.

BOSSIER CITY, La. – Bourbon Courage was back in Kentucky early Sunday morning, a day after winning the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby, and all race options are on the table for his fall campaign, including a possible start in either the Breeders’ Cup Classic or Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, trainer Kellyn Gorder said. For the immediate future, however, his connections are debating a start in the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby or the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby.

Bourbon Courage won the Super Derby by five lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94. He raced well off the pace set by the dueling Blueskiesnrainbows and Hero of Order, put in a sustained run four wide around the final turn, and pulled clear in the 1 1/8-mile race. Sunday, he flew back home to Kentucky and touched down at 9 a.m. Eastern. 

“They had an early start,” Gorder said. “I’ve sent him back over to WinStar [Farm]. He’ll go there for about a week, then come back to at Churchill. It’s just something we’ve done for the last three races, and it looks like it’s working, so we’re not going to change anything. We’ll let him get his head down, eat some grass, be a horse for a week, and make sure everything is okay and bring him back to Churchill.”

The Oklahoma Derby is Sept. 30, which might be too quick back for Bourbon Courage,  Gorder said. The Indiana Derby, meanwhile, is Oct. 6 at Hoosier Park. Decisions on the horse’s path the remainder of the year will be made after he returns to Churchill.

“The horse will have to tell us,” Gorder said. “We’ll see how he is in a week, where his energy level is. I’m not even certain it will be one of those spots. We’ll just kind of look and see what’s out there.

“We always have the Breeders’ Cup in the back of our minds. That would be a possibility. I need to race him before that. I think I’d need a race before that. We’re just [throwing] some different ideas around, watching what the other horses in the division are doing. The 3-year-old division is just decimated with injuries and illness. We’ve got to pick our spot.”

The Indiana Derby ranks high on the options list because of the ties jockey Leandro Goncalves, who rode Bourbon Courage for the first time in the Super Derby, has to Hoosier Park.

“That’s Leandro’s stomping grounds,” Gorder said. “He’s a leading rider there. That probably had something to do with putting him on for the Super Derby.”

Bourbon Courage is now 3 for 3 in Louisiana, after winning the first two starts of his career in the state this past winter at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Both races were sprints, and in both he put up double-digit Beyer Speed Figures. He moved to two turns for the first time for last month’s Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and finished second by a half-length before conquering the trip in the Super Derby and pushing his career earnings to $520,345.

The win was the biggest career victory for Gorder, a 45-year-old horseman who opened a public racing stable five years ago after working as a farm trainer at WinStar. It also ranked No. 1 for the Bourbon Lane Stable that is managed by Jamie Hill and Mike McMahon. The horse also is co-owned by Wayne Lynn. Bourbon Courage, a son of Lion Heart and the Carson City mare Shine Forth, was a $15,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky in July 2010.

“We liked everything about him physically,” said McMahon, who also owns a bloodstock agency with Hill. “He was one of our favorite-type horses physically. He was in the price range, in fact he was way below it, so we felt very lucky. We were absolutely thrilled, and not a bit worried about the price. We just thought it was a slam dunk.”

McMahon said Bourbon Lane has had horses racing for about three years.

“He’s our best horse so far,” he said of Bourbon Courage. “We only have six 3-year-olds.”

The others include the Grade 2-placed Bourbonstreetgirl and the stakes-placed Johannesbourbon.

The Super Derby was the richest race of the meet at Louisiana Downs, and it was supported by five undercard stakes. Together the races were worth $1 million and they helped Louisiana Downs achieve its highest Super Derby Day handle since 2008. A total of $5,311,900 was bet on the track’s 13-race card from all sources, up 17 percent from last year, said Trent McIntosh, director of operations for Louisiana Downs.

Tim Roberts More than 1 year ago
He is as good, probably better, as any of the other mediocre 3 year olds still in training.
mikedorr77 More than 1 year ago
May want to correct this line... " Both races were sprints, and in both he put up double-digit Beyer Speed Figures. " I'm sure you meant triple-digit - double digit Beyers aren't impressive
Alex Martinez More than 1 year ago
This gave me a good laugh. The BC Classic, really? How about you see what this horse can do against G1 company first. You had your chances to enter the Haskell and Travers because obviously you didn't think this horse could win those races. He wins a lame G2 and you think he can tackle the likes of Game on Dude, Mucho Macho Man, To Honor and Serve and/or Richard's Kid? Good luck with that! Owners and their trainers can drive me nuts sometimes with their logic.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
one of the biggest race fixing scandals has been going on in australia involving the top jockeys there and some prominent trainers.including black caviar's trainer and not one mention or article in the racing form.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Because it's a blemish on racing Ray. And it's not news here. Until it happens here.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
Ray--Can you cite your source(s) so we can see what's going on? I combed all of the best horse racing news in Australia as far back as last May, but could find any relevant news. I found only three and here they are: Jockeys, trainers answer RVL summons Brad Waters Sept 3, 2012 Some of Australia's best-known jockeys as well as handful of trainers have attended Racing Victoria's offices as demanded last week to participate in an inquiry into a race at Caulfield on February 2012. Racing Victoria stewards distributed written requests to all jockeys and trainers involved in the Listed Victoria Gold Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on February 4 this year to present themselves at a hearing on Monday. Stewards have launched their inquiry to ascertain whether there was any wrongdoing from any party involved in the race. Racing Victoria would not comment publicly on the progress of the inquiry. ====================== Stewards and Police investigate Facebook fraud By Clinton Payne August 30, 2012 Queensland police and Racing Queensland stewards are working together investigating a fake Facebook account claiming to be champion jockey Larry Cassidy. The Courier Mail revealed that Cassidy was alerted to the problem last week by a fellow jockey. "It was saying stuff along the lines of I try to get some horses beaten and pull up horses in the run," Cassidy said. "Whoever it was pretending to be me even made contact with another jockey and told them some really hurtful stuff that just wasn't true. "I have never had a Facebook account and never will. I was only able to access this page through my wife's Facebook account. "I don't find it funny at all and a lot of the stuff was really harmful and potentially career-damaging." The Facebook account has since been shut down but Racing Queensland chief steward Wade Birch said investigations continue to find the culprit of what Cassidy described as a "sick joke". "We've been in contact with police and we hope to establish who set up this account." Birch said. "If it is a licensed person, we (stewards) have got jurisdiction. It is something the police would take a keen interest in too." ======================= Jockey and trainer get drug bans in Queensland Brad Waters August 30, 2012 Racing Queensland stewards have handed down bans to a jockey and trainer for submitting urine samples containing banned substances. Trainer Daniel Wheeler and jockey Ashley Butler faced separate inquiries this week before stewards banned them for six months and one month respectively for breaches of AR81(A)(1)(a). Wheeler tested positive to amphetamine and methamphetamine while riding work at the Gold Coast on August 7. Wheeler pleaded guilty to the charge. Stewards heard Wheeler's submission on his penalty before disqualifying him from midnight on August 27 until midnight on February 27 next year. Butler also pleaded guilty to his charge after he tested positive to the weight-loss drug Phentermine at Eagle Farm on July 25. Stewards considered Butler's forthright evidence and his previously clean record before suspending him for a month, backdated to August 16. Stewards told Butler he must submit a clean urine sample before he resumes riding trackwork.
james More than 1 year ago
Are they going to pay Dorochenko to enter Hero of Order to wear down Game on Dude? Seems to be working out quite nicely.
Joseph More than 1 year ago
very funny
Steven Simonovich More than 1 year ago
He would get crushed in the Classic
russell More than 1 year ago
I think he should run in Oklahoma or Indiana. BC Classic? Be serious and stop dreaming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this horse has a lot of potential
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hope this horse stays healthy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This horse keeps improving, Hope he stays healthy!