08/04/2012 7:25PM

Louisiana Downs: Prelude win by Key Donation gives him boost toward Super Derby

Hodges Photography Lynn Roberts
Key Donation, with Richard Eramia aboard, holds off Mr Bluegrass Music to win the Prelude.

Key Donation put himself on the path to next month’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Saturday, when he swept past dueling leaders Tensas Cold Front and Master Rick to win his stakes debut in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs.

The Prelude was the richest of four stakes on the card, all designed as preps for Super Derby Day stakes on Sept. 8. The four races Saturday were worth a cumulative $250,000.

Key Donation ($11) settled into fourth in the Prelude, biding his time as Master Rick and Tensas Cold Front set the tempo up front, dueling around the final turn and into the stretch. Jockey Richard Eramia angled Key Donation out for the drive and the horse rolled past the leaders, winning by two lengths over Tensas Cold Front. It was another length and a quarter back in third to Mr Bluegrass Music, who finished a length and a quarter in front of favorite and fourth-place finisher Master Rick. 

Key Donation, a son of Lawyer Ron, was making his fifth career start in the Prelude, and entered off a runner-up finish in a second-level allowance against older horses at Indiana Downs on July 9. He covered 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast in 1:45.65. Tom Amoss, who trains Key Donation for Maggi Moss, was well-pleased with the horse’s effort Saturday.

“He’s a lightly raced horse,” Amoss said, “and so at this time of year to step up and win a stakes and look good finishing, looking like he’ll go further, is a real good sign.”

Amoss said provided Key Donation comes out of the Prelude in good order, the Super Derby would be a goal. The horse earned a fees-paid berth into the 1 1/8-mile race by virtue of his Prelude win, a perk worth $6,000. Amoss said Key Donation would ship back to his Churchill Downs base on Sunday.

Key Donation earned $60,000 for his win in the Prelude. He has now won 3 of 5 starts and $109,881.

Guidry sweeps undercard stakes 

Jockey Mark Guidry swept all three stakes on the undercard, each run on the grass and each worth $50,000. His streak began in the fifth race, when he guided Promise Me More to a debut win in the Donnie Wilhite Memorial for 2-year-old fillies. 

Promise Me More ($16.60) trailed pacesetter My Daughter’s Song through an opening half-mile in 48.30 seconds, and then put in a determined bid in the stretch to catch that rival nearing the wire. Promise Me More won by two lengths over My Daughter’s Song. It was another 2 ½ lengths back in third to Fleet Dawn. The winner covered 7 ½ furlongs on firm turf in 1:31.35.

Promise Me More, a daughter of Grade 1 winner More than Ready and the stakes-winning mare Aly’s Vow, is owned by Holt Racing, Robert E. Orth and trainer Wes Hawley.

Guidry was back to take the seventh, the Sunny’s Halo for 2-year-olds, aboard Brown Almighty, who won by 2 3/4 lengths over Mr. Bandini’s Band. Brown Almighty, in from Arlington Park off a maiden special weight win at a mile on turf, was always prominent from the rail, covering the 7 ½ furlongs in 1:30.92. Brown Almighty ($4.60) is a son of Big Brown who races for Tri-Star Racing and Joe B. Denson. He is trained by Tim Ice.

Guidry’s final stakes winner came in the ninth, the Barksdale, with Go Tiger Jack ($4.80). The horse defended his title in the one-mile race when things opened up along the rail late and he forged past Regions Reward, winning in a tight finish in 1:36.80. Heavenville rallied for third after hitting traffic. Go Tiger Jack is owned by Melissa Cantacuzene and trained by Ralph Irwin.