06/23/2012 5:11PM

Louisiana Downs: Desert Ransom continues to show promise in Minstrel win


Desert Ransom, who owns one of the year’s best Beyer Figures assigned to a 2-year-old, backed the number up Saturday when he won his stakes debut in the $50,000 Minstrel at Louisiana Downs. Desert Ransom was a commanding 3 1/2- length winner over Themistocles, while it was another length and a half back in third to Prince Production.

The Minstrel was one of two turf stakes for 2-year-olds on the program, both designed as stepping-stones to a pair of six-furlong races on the Super Derby undercard Sept. 8.

Desert Ransom ($7) earned a Beyer Figure of 86 for a maiden special weight win against Louisiana-bred rivals at Evangeline Downs on May 16. The number is tied for the second-highest Beyer for a 2-year-old this year and it made the horse the 5-2 favorite in both his stakes and turf debut Saturday.

Desert Ransom broke inward from the rail post in the Minstrel, then straightened up and took after Prince Production, who was out of the gate in a flash en route to an opening quarter in 22.22 seconds. Desert Ransom raced alongside that rival and the pair continued to duel while clear of the field, covering a half-mile in 44.98. Desert Ransom then began to pull away, to win the five-furlong stakes on firm ground in 57.09.

Diego Saez rode the winner for Jerry Namy and trainer Karl Broberg.

Love You Baby ($5) remained undefeated in two starts when she darted to a 2 3/4-ength win over Fleet Dawn in the $50,000 Princess. It was a neck back I third to Joyful Angel.

Love You Baby was part of a three-way duel for the lead in the five-furlong turf race, as the trio rolled through fractions of 22.14 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.46 for the half-mile. Love You Baby separated herself from the pace pack in the stretch, and won in 57.43.

Chris Rosier was aboard Love You Baby for Bayou Fitness Thoroughbred Division and trainer Ronnie Ward.