Updated on 09/10/2012 2:23PM

Super Derby: Bourbon Courage's big late run keeps him perfect for Louisiana

Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.
Bourbon Courage pulls away to win the Super Derby by five lengths under Leandro Goncalves.

BOSSIER CITY, La. - Bourbon Courage loves Louisiana. He is now 3 for 3 in the state after winning at two turns for the first time in Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Earlier this year, Bourbon Courage won the first two starts of his career at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, putting up triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in both races.

The Super Derby was Bourbon Courage’s second two-turn race following a runner-up finish in last month’s Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. He rallied from well off the pace in the Super Derby for a five-length win under jockey Leandro Goncalves.

Fly Lexis Fly was second, edging Master Rick by a nose. It was another neck back to Rousing Sermon in fourth. Blueskiesnrainbows, the 8-5 favorite off his win in the Grade 2 Swaps at Betfair Hollywood Park, was hooked on the lead and ended up seventh after a long duel with Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner Hero of Order.

Bourbon Courage ($7.20) hopped at the start of the 1 1/8-mile Super Derby, and settled in seventh as Blueskiesnrainbows and Hero of Order took the field through an opening quarter in 23.14 seconds, a half-mile in 47.19, and six furlongs in 1:12.43. Bourbon Courage, meanwhile, began to pick up steam approaching the second turn, made a four-wide bid around the bend and continued his rally into the stretch, where he overtook Master Rick, who had taken the lead.

“He turned for home, I asked him and he just went on,” said Goncalves.

Bourbon Courage covered the distance on a track rated fast in 1:51.40.

Trainer Kellyn Gorder said he was pleased to see how the race was unfolding early on in the Super Derby.

“Watching the race I was tickled when I saw a speed duel developing on the front end, which was kind of what we thought would happen,” he said. “I was happy that they went the half in 47 [seconds] and change, and he looked like he was traveling really comfortable. I told Leandro, one of the things that this horse really likes to do is he runs the turns so well, and if you watch the race he really ran the turns well.”

The Super Derby win was the richest of Gorder’s five-year training career, and he was quick to credit the work of his assistant, Evan Downing, who has been a constant with Bourbon Courage since he debuted at Fair Grounds in February and won a maiden special weight sprint with a Beyer Figure of 103. Overall, the horse has now won 3 of 6 starts for the partnership of Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn. Bourbon Courage earned $300,000 for his win in the Super Derby, which pushes his bankroll to $520,345.

Gorder said next race plans are to be determined, but options include the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 6, and the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sept. 30.

* Louisiana Downs handled $5,311,900 on its 13-race card from all sources Saturday, up 17 percent from the corresponding program in 2011, said Trent McIntosh, director of operations for the track. Of the total, $578,900 was wagered ontrack.