09/08/2016 3:16PM

Super Derby shapes up as four-way battle

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Benoit & Associates
California-based Dalmore returns to facing 3-year-olds for Saturday's Super Derby.

There’s a little something for everyone Saturday in the Grade 3, $400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.

Southern California fans have a rooting interest in Dalmore. The Midwest set can claim Mo Tom. Wise guys can find reasons to latch onto Whateverybodywants, and those wanting reliability can turn to five-time stakes winner Texas Chrome.

Those horses are the chief players in the 37th running of the Super Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race that drew a field of seven. The Super Derby is the meet’s richest offering and will be showcased on a card of five stakes worth a total of $700,000. Louisiana Downs will offer an all-stakes pick four, and the sequence that runs on races 8-11 will have a pool guaranteed to be at least $100,000.

There is a special first post of noon Central.

Super Derby, Race 11

KEY CONTENDERS

Dalmore, by Colonel John

Last 3 Beyers: 88-102-91

◗ He returns to racing with straight 3-year-olds after running fifth behind California Chrome and Beholder in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 20 at Del Mar. Dalmore had defeated his own age group one start earlier, taking the Grade 3 Affirmed on July 2 at Santa Anita.

“He had a long freshening between the win in the Affirmed and Pacific Classic, and we knew we were taking a shot against those super horses in the Pacific Classic,” said trainer Keith Desormeaux.

◗ Dalmore’s performance in the Affirmed was a powerful one. He stalked the pace in the 1 1/16-mile race, proving a half-length best in a swift time of 1:40.80. The Beyer Speed Figure of 102 that Dalmore earned is the best career number in the Super Derby.

:: LOUISIANA DOWNS: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

“In the Affirmed, he was second choice to Danzing Candy, a very nice horse that ran in the Kentucky Derby and was one of the Santa Anita Derby favorites,” Desormeaux said. “For us to beat that horse legitimized our ability, along with the fact that he got a nice big Beyer in the race. He’s been developing nicely since his maiden breaker. That Affirmed affirmed his quality.”

◗ Kent Desormeaux has the mount on Dalmore, who will break from post 6.

Mo Tom, by Uncle Mo

Last 3 Beyers: 93-88-82

◗ He enters off a sweeping, three-length win in the $500,000 Ohio Derby on June 25. Mo Tom rallied from next to last and earned a career-high 93 Beyer.

“I think it was a chance for a lot of people to see that he’s got a really great turn of foot late,” said trainer Tom Amoss. “It was a race where he was able to stay out of trouble, something he hadn’t done in the last few, and he just came around horses and won. He showed he was a dominant horse that day, against that field.”

◗ Joe Bravo has the mount from post 2.


DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 2 Mo Tom. Trainer Tom Amoss is 22-3-1-4 with a $0.81 ROI over the past five years in dirt route graded stakes with last-out winners. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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Whateverybodywants, by Giant Oak

Last 3 Beyers: 89-79-77

◗ He enters off a big second to Cupid in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 6. He was making his fifth career start and was 74-1.

“We took the tongue tie off him,” said trainer Kellyn Gorder. “We shipped to West Virginia a couple of days before the race, and I was galloping him, and he sort of had the brakes on. On the way back from the track, I was kind of wracking my brains, ‘What’s he doing?’ ”

◗ Gorder said the groom helping with Whateverybodywants that morning mentioned that he had a tough time putting on his tongue tie. Gorder took it off for the horse’s training session the next day.

“It was like I was on a different horse,” Gorder said. “He kind of got confident.”

◗ Gorder likes Saturday’s distance for Whateverybodywants.

“This is a mile and an eighth, and that’s where we saw the jump last time,” he said. “I can’t wait until he goes a mile and quarter.”

◗ Jose Valdivia Jr. has the mount from the rail.

Texas Chrome, by Grasshopper

Last 3 Beyers: 95-89-89

◗ He earned a fees-paid berth in the Super Derby by virtue of his win in last month’s $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs. He battled for a half-length win over Grade 3 winner and odds-on favorite Sharp Azteca, and the 95 Beyer that he earned is the best last-race number in the Super Derby.

◗ C.J. McMahon has the mount for trainer J.R. Caldwell.


DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 5 Texas Chrome. Trainer J.R. Caldwell is 48-12-10-7 with a $2.97 ROI over the past two years in dirt routes with last-out winners. Click for more details. Mike Hogan