08/05/2017 10:57PM

Mr. Misunderstood steals the show in Super Derby Prelude Stakes on Louisiana Cup card

Ann Switalski/Hodges Photography
Mr. Misunderstood was a 2 1/2-length winner of the Super Derby Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs on Saturday.

Saturday’s all-stakes Louisiana Cup card at Louisiana Downs put the spotlight on the statebred runners, but it was a Kentucky-bred who made the biggest splash.

The $60,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes, the local prep for the $200,000 Super Derby, was taken by Mr. Misunderstood.

The 3-year-old son of Archarcharch was shuffled back into a ground-saving position by jockey Chris Rosier after the break, as Queeten, Jilotepec, and Mizztic Tale engaged in a three-way battle for the pace. Queeten, on the rail, held a half-length advantage over his foes as they headed into an opening quarter in 24.56 seconds.

The leader expanded his advantage through the first turn, and was ahead by a length after setting a half-mile time of 48.73 seconds.

While Queeten fended off foes on the lead, Mr. Misunderstood was moved from the rail into a three-wide position as the field entered the final turn. He quickly advanced from fifth to second, and drew even with the pacesetter as they began to face the stretch.

Rosier continued with steady urging as he and Mr. Misunderstood carried past their rival and held a lead as wide as five lengths. A late-closing effort by Fast Talkin Man and a wrapped-up final sixteenth by Rosier whittled the lead down to 2 1/2 lengths at the wire. Magic Vow showed brief flashes in the later half of the race to finish third.

Mr. Misunderstood finished the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:41.88 over a firm turf surface. He paid $7 to win as the second choice.

Brad Cox saddled Mr. Misunderstood for owner Flurry Racing Stables. The gelding was bred in Kentucky by Athens Woods.

Mr. Misunderstood received an automatic starting berth to this year’s Super Derby, scheduled for Sept. 9, which will be held over the Louisiana Downs turf course for the first time. Previously a Grade 3 race, this year’s Super Derby will be a non-graded race due to the surface switch.

The remainder of the card consisted of $50,000 stakes races. Six of them made up the state-bred Louisiana Cup races, joined by three additional open stakes with the same purse.

The Louisiana Cup Juvenile Stakes was taken by Aceguitar, who led at every point of call as the heavy favorite and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths over runner-up Drewcitable.

The 2-year-old Star Guitar colt stopped the clock in the six-furlong race in 1:12.47 over a fast main track with Ted Gondron in the saddle, and he paid $2.40 to win. He races for owner Scott Brown and trainer Danny Pish, and he was bred in Louisiana by Clear Creek Stud.

Big Changes took the open John Henry Stakes with a stalking trip that saw him shake loose of his rivals in the stretch and win by 1 1/4 lengths. Paternal Pride moved late up the rail to outkick pacesetter Ibaka for second.

Big Changes, a 5-year-old Midshipman gelding, took the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:41.43 over a good turf course. He paid $3.80 to win as the favorite, with Diego Saenz aboard.

Cox trains Big Changes for owner Steve Landers Racing. The gelding was bred in Florida by Joanne Crowe and Joe Pickerrell.

The Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint was taken with authority by Sunny Oak, who pulled away under steady urging by jockey Emanuel Nieves to cross the line 5 3/4 lengths ahead of Can’t Touch Me.

A 4-year-old Giant Oak filly, Sunny Oak stopped the clock in the six-furlong race in 1:10.75 over a fast track, and she paid $10.80 to win as the second choice. Bred in Louisiana by Jeff and Darlene Wahman, Sunny Oak is owned by Keith Plaisance and trained by Edward Johnston.

Illusionofreality won the Louisiana Cup Distaff Stakes with a stalking trip under jockey Alexander Castillo, who kept the 4-year-old Yankee Gentleman filly to task through the stretch to hold off a last-to-first rally by Safari Calamari by 2 1/2 lengths.

The filly crossed the wire in the 1 1/16 mile turf race in 1:42.55 over a firm course. She paid $16.40 to win.

Illusionofreality races for owners Maury and Leslie Harrington, and she is trained by Joseph Foster. Brett Brinkman bred the filly in Louisiana.

Another wire-to-wire trip took the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Filles, with Emily’s Lollipop putting away early challengers to pile five lengths on runner-up Sarah’s Holy Belle.

It was the second winner on the night for Saenz, who rode Emily’s Lollipop to six furlongs in 1:12.05 over a fast track. She paid $18.40 to win.

Emily’s Lollipop, a 2-year-old Tiz the One filly, races for owner Anton Kubacak and trainer Scott Gelner. She was bred in Louisiana by Jay Adcock and Hume Wornall.

Berniestrike took the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic Stakes in dramatic fashion, getting up in the final strides to score the upset by a neck over favorite Trust Factor.

The 4-year-old Wilburn gelding won the 1 1/16-mile turf race in 1:41.16 over a firm course, and he paid $46.20 to win. Edguard Tejera rode Berniestrike for James Boyd, who campaigns the gelding as a homebred. Henry Johnson Jr. is the trainer.

A duel on the lead in the Louisana Cup Sprint Stakes resulted in a 3 3/4-length victory for Jockamo’s Song over Nubin Ridge.

Jockamo’s Song, a 5-year-old Half Ours gelding, won the six-furlong race in 1:10.83 over a fast track, and he paid $5.20 to win as the favorite. Gerard Melancon rode the gelding for owner Michael Faber’s Dare To Dream Stable and trainer Michael Stidham. Debbie and David Allen bred Jockamo’s Song in Louisiana.

Rounding out the card was the Opelousas Stakes, an open race for fillies and mares three and up won by Sister Blues, who patiently tracked a runaway pacesetter and reeled her in to win by a length over an also-closing Emerald Pond.

Sister Blues, a 5-year-old Pioneerof the Nile mare, finished the one-mile race in 1:35.93 over a firm turf course. She paid $2.80 to win as the favorite.

The Opelousas gave Cox three training wins on the night. Sister Blues races as a Kentucky homebred for Lucky Seven Stable, and she was ridden by Colby Hernandez.