Updated on 09/17/2011 10:04AM

Peace Rules victorious in Louisiana Derby

Lou Hodges Jr.
Peace Rules ($20.80), the fourth choice in the field of 10, wins the Louisiana Derby by 2 1/4 lengths at Fair Grounds on Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS - Willie Sutton used to say he robbed banks because that's where they kept the money. Bobby Frankel decided at the last minute to switch courses and run Peace Rules at Fair Grounds in Sunday's $750,000 , in part because it offered a far bigger purse than Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby.

Frankel's confidence did not go very far, though. He told Ed Gann, the owner of Peace Rules, not to bother traveling from San Diego. "I told him we've got no chance," Frankel said. "I told him I thought it was a tough race, and I didn't think we'd win."

It was a tough race, featuring the best field of 3-year-olds assembled this spring, but Peace Rules proved up to the challenge. He disposed of the unbeaten Badge of Silver at the top of the stretch, then held off Kafwain to win by 2 1/4 lengths and rocket up the charts of Kentucky Derby contenders.

Kafwain finished steadily to get second, one length in front of Funny Cide, the early pacesetter. Lone Star Sky made a belated rally for fourth. Badge of Silver, who had won his previous three starts by 26 lengths and was sent off the 6-5 favorite, faded to sixth, 5 3/4 lengths behind Peace Rules.

Edgar Prado, who teamed with Frankel to win the Santa Anita Handicap one week earlier, rode Peace Rules, who was timed in 1:42.67 for 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track.

Fair Grounds's main track is notorious for being tiring, thus favoring horses who have raced here. On Sunday, however, the track was much tighter than usual, and horses shipping in for the race claimed the first three spots.

"The track's playing a lot like a California track," Frankel said. "There's not much cushion. It's not cuppy at all."

Peace Rules, the fourth choice in the field of 10, paid $20.80 to win. He has now won four times in seven starts. All his previous victories had been on turf. Peace Rules is a colt by the Forty Niner stallion Jules. He earned a first prize of $450,000, and is now eligible for a $1 million bonus that goes to any horse who can win the Louisiana Derby and Kentucky Derby.

"I liked the way he galloped out," Prado said. "He wasn't blowing hard at all."

Funny Cide, taking advantage of post position two, broke quickest and set off for the lead. Peace Rules was right next to him, with Badge of Silver three paths wide.

Funny Cide led through fractions of 23.23 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.74 for the half, and 1:10.60 for six furlongs. Peace Rules moved to challenge for the lead on the turn. Badge of Silver moved powerfully, too, and appeared to stick his head in front between calls.

"I had put the winner away," said Robby Albarado, who rode Badge of Silver, "but he wasn't there for me from the three-sixteenths home."

Kafwain, the 7-5 second choice, rallied four paths wide on the final turn and could not gain on Peace Rules in the final furlong. Bob Baffert, Kafwain's trainer, told jockey Victor Espinoza after the race, "You gave him too much to do."