09/03/2012 3:50PM

Louisiana Downs notes: Super Derby shippers to include Blueskiesnrainbows, Rousing Sermon

Shigeki Kikkawa
Blueskiesnrainbows, trained by Bob Baffert, is expected in from Southern California for the Super Derby.

The field for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Saturday is starting to take shape, with officials looking for a least nine starters, including a number of shippers from Southern California and Kentucky.

Blueskiesnrainbows, who breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 at his Del Mar base on Monday, is scheduled to fly into town Wednesday morning, according to David Heitzmann, racing secretary at Louisiana Downs. Blueskiesnrainbows, a Bob Baffert trainee who won the Grade 2 Swaps at Betfair Hollywood Park, is expected to be joined on the flight by Rousing Sermon, a graded-stakes-placed runner trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, and Fly Lexis Fly, a Group 1 winner in Peru now trained by Neil Drysdale.

Bourbon Courage, the runner-up in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park, was due Wednesday afternoon aboard a flight from Kentucky, said Heitzmann. Others expected from the Midwest are Hero of Order, the winner of the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in April, and Key Donation, who last month shipped in from Churchill Downs to win the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs.

“I think it’s an extremely competitive field, well-balanced,” Heitzmann said Monday. “It should be a good race.”

Heitzmann said other probables include Tensas Cold Front and Mr Bluegrass Music, who finished second and third in the Prelude. He said the list of Super Derby possibles includes Master Rick, who was fourth in the Prelude; Macho Macho, winner of the West Virginia Derby; and Daddy Nose Best, winner of the Grade 3 Sunland Derby.

Entries for the Super Derby, which will be run over 1 1/8 miles, are to be taken Wednesday. The race is the richest run at Louisiana Downs, and it anchors a card of six stakes worth a cumulative $1 million. Other major races on the program include the $150,000 Sunday Silence for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf, and the $100,000 River Cities for fillies and mares, which is expected to draw Grade 3 Sixty Sails winner She’s All In.

“I’m looking at 10-horse fields for most of the stakes,” said Heitzmann. “Last year we had about 15 horses ship in from out of state for the races, and this year it’s looking like it might be closer to 24 to 25.”

The track anticipates the undercard stakes will draw shippers from such trainers as Mike Maker, Ken McPeek and Gary Thomas.

The Sunday Silence should lure the Arlington Park-based Brown Almighty, who captured the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo at Louisiana Downs, while Heitzmann said that Apart, the runner-up in last month’s $125,000 Evangeline Mile, is a candidate for the $100,000 Unbridled.

New auction house debuting

Equine Sales of Louisiana, a new auction house built in Opelousas, La., will put on its inaugural sale on Wednesday. The auction is for Thoroughbred yearlings, and it begins at 10 a.m. Foster Bridewell is the sales director for the new complex, located just off Interstate 49.

There are 282 yearlings cataloged for Wednesday, by such stallions as Any Given Saturday, Dunkirk, Half Ours, Leroidesanimaux, My Pal Charlie, Northern Afleet, Pioneerof the Nile, Sky Classic, and Stevie Wonderboy.

The auction can be seen online at www.equinesalesofla.com.

◗ Tommy Sibille, who for the past four years was the stakes coordinator for Louisiana Downs, died Friday and was buried on Saturday in Grand Coteau, La. Sibille, who had battled cancer, was 62. Sibille was a jockey agent for 30 years before working in racing administration. He was a native of Sunset, La.

◗ Louisiana Downs has increased all overnight purses $1,500 each in boost that went into effect Friday.