09/02/2013 2:23PM

Louisiana Downs: Departing heads list of Super Derby probables

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Departing, winner of the West Virginia Derby, is the likely favorite in Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.

Departing is set for Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs after turning in his final breeze for the race Monday at Churchill Downs. He will lead an anticipated field of six to eight starters.

Others confirmed for the 1 1/8-mile race include Bashaar, the fourth-place finisher in the Jim Dandy, and Cameo Appearance and Treasury Bill, a pair of stakes-placed runners trained by Wayne Catalano.

The Super Derby anchors a blockbuster card of six stakes worth a cumulative $950,000. Some of the races will be part of a $100,000-guaranteed pick four, with the sequence to be determined when entries are taken Wednesday. The Super Derby is the richest race of the meet.

Departing enters off an 8 3/4-length win in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 3. Robby Albarado was aboard for that race and has the mount Saturday, trainer Al Stall Jr. said. Departing’s final work for the Super Derby was a half-mile move in 49.40 seconds.

“I was really happy with it,” Stall said Monday. “He just galloped around there. He did his major work last time. We’re just trying to keep the tank full going into the heat.”

The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 95 degrees, according to weather.com. Stall said Departing would van out of Kentucky on Tuesday night for the trainer’s division at Louisiana Downs.

Stall said the timing of the Super Derby was a good fit for Departing on a couple of levels. He likes that it is five weeks from the horse’s career-best effort in the West Virginia Derby. It also leaves open the option of running back in either the Indiana Derby or Oklahoma Derby.

“This race gives you a shot to catch those, if we should decide to do so,” said Stall, who trains Departing for Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider.

Bashaar was to ship out of his Arlington Park base on Monday, trainer Dan Peitz said. Channing Hill has the mount in the Super Derby. Hill was aboard Bashaar for his final work Friday, when he breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 at Arlington. Peitz had Bashaar galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.60.

“We’ve done everything we need to do,” Peitz said Monday. “When we get down there, we’ll gallop him a few days and run him.”

Bashaar is owned by Shadwell Stable.

Catalano said Cameo Appearance, who is based at Arlington, and Treasury Bill, who is stabled at Churchill, were both to ship Monday. The horses race for Gary and Mary West, and each had a five-furlong work at his base last Wednesday.

“They’ll get there and probably two-minute-clip on Wednesday,” Catalano said of final preparations for the Super Derby.

Louisiana Downs leading rider Richard Eramia is scheduled to ride one of the horses, while a second rider is still being determined, Catalano said Monday.

Holiday Mischief is on deck for the Super Derby, according to trainer Joe Offolter. The horse won the local prep, the $100,000 Prelude, in his last start Aug. 3. Cliff Berry was aboard and has the mount Saturday, Offolter said. Holiday Mischief, who is based at Remington Park, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.20 Saturday in his final work.

“I thought he worked well and galloped out strong,” Offolter said.

Holiday Mischief is scheduled to ship Thursday.

Sunbean was second by a head in the Prelude, but is unlikely to run back Saturday.

“We’re probably going to pass on the Super Derby,” trainer Ron Faucheux said.

Runaway Stephen, the third-place finisher in the Prelude, will run in the Super Derby, trainer Joey Foster said. Chris Rosier has the mount.

Louisiana Downs racing officials said other possible runners include Ruler of Love, runner-up in the West Virginia Derby, and Nutty Brown, who was fourth in the Prelude.