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Derby Trail: Louisiana Derby Odds, Analysis, Free PPs

2018 Kentucky Derby Prep Races

2018 Louisiana Derby – (G2) $1 million, Distance – 1 1/8 miles, 100 Points to the winner

A field of 10 has been already drawn for the G2 $1 million Louisiana Derby to be run at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 24 when the first four finishers will be awarded their share of the 2018 Kentucky Derby points on a 100-40-20-10 point split of the total.

The Louisiana Derby is the first race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby to offer as much as 100 points to the winner towards their place in the field for the May 5, Kentucky Derby in Louisville. So no matter who wins, they will have just guaranteed themselves a place in the starting gate on Derby Day and jumped to the top of the list on the leaderboard.

As a handicapper, you gotta love the fact that the field has already been drawn for this Derby prep a week out from when the runners will make their way to starting gate for what will be the 11th race on card and a 5:21 p.m. local post time.

Free Past Performances for the 2018 Louisiana Derby with Odds & Analysis

Note: Odds shown are from HorseRacingNation.com and may not be the same as the official morning line odds on the day of the race.

1.) Bravazo – 7 to 2. As the recent winner of the Risen Star Stakes, one of three local Derby prep races at Fair Grounds, he has the angle advantage of a winning race over the Gentilly oval. Sitting on a bullet move at Oaklawn where High North, who finished fifth in the Risen Star, returned to run an even 8th throughout on a Hot Springs track that favored speed in the Rebel. Hard to knock back to back wins to open his 3YO campaign and picks up HOF jockey Stevens once more for “The Coach” who’s proving he still has it after all these years. Respect.

2.) Noble Indy – 7 to 2. Also returns from the Risen Star where he finished two back in 3rd after winning his first two career starts at Gulfstream. Gets blinkers for the increased distance and expect him to be prominent early. Pletcher first won this race in 2007 with Circular Quay. And again in 2013 with Revolutionary for WinStar Farm who happens to own this guy in partnership with the Repole Stable. Ran even behind the one, two horses but with the equipment change he’ll be headstrong and on the lead from the break.

3.) Marmell – 50 to 1 – On paper, with his speedy style and Russian born trainer, reminds of 2012 when longshot Hero of Order took them wire-to-wire at 99-1 to win this race for Gennadi Dorochenko and I told my wife that “he couldn’t see this far” as she begged me to bet $1.00 on him because he looked good in the post parade. I’m still living that down. Anyway, this guy is a maiden with some speed. And I’ll say it again,”he can’t see this far!”

4.) Givemeaminit – 20 to 1. Son of hometown favorite, and multiple state bred stakes winning sire, Star Guitar. Contested the BC Juvenile and finished 4th at 63-1 with Castellano who returns for this one. Took a drop into state bred MSW and the addition of blinkers to get his first and only win. Sire could route but this guy looks more like a sprinter, so far. Well beaten LTO in the Risen Star at long odds but Castellano willing to give him another try and suspect, like his sire, that he will be a good one down the line in like company but graded company is probably above his pay grade.

5.) Retirement Fund – 12 to 1. Won his first two races here for Asmussen before finishing in a dead heat for 7th LTO in the Southwest. Maybe he didn’t like the mud that day so toss it and we’re back to New Orleans where he’s shown his affinity to carry his speed all the way home. Forecast is for partly cloudy skies on Saturday in the Big Easy with a 10% chance of rain. Either way, he’ll have plenty of company on the front-end in here and would have to improve “bigly” if he’s gonna beat this field, which is mediocre at best. But you can’t win if you don’t play.

6.) Hyndford – 8 to 1. The results of this guy’s efforts here will tell us more about recent Derby trail newcomer and stablemate Magnum Moon who won last weekend’s Rebel Stakes to leapfrog on to the board with his first 50 points for Pletcher. Nosed out the show runner in only a five horse field but it’s always a good sign when a race comes up “key” and this guy gets a new rider in Joe Bravo who has made his mark on Fair Grounds in his first ever “wintering” there riding 41 winners from 148 mounts. The Play.

7.) Snapper Sinclair – 9 to 2. Battled Bravazo throughout in the Risen Star at 40-1, and just missed. Son of City Zip, who isn’t known for long distance prowess, adds another 1/16 miles in a race where he’ll face several speedy newcomers in addition to Bravazo. Gets new rider in Ortiz and will need to employ different strategy to carry the day here.

8.) Lone Sailor – 20 to 1. Wouldn’t be the Louisiana Derby without an Amoss entry. Broke his maiden by 11 lengths in the slop at Saratoga in second career start but has managed only two runner up finishes in next five at the races. They tried blinkers with him two back in the Lecomte  and he turned in his worst performance. Definitely only has one run in him and will need to take back with ‘Jack’ if he’s going to get up at this distance. Probably better suited at 1 mile.

9.) My Boy Jack – 5 to 2. Ran his best race last time out in the Southwest over the mud but it’s expected to be dry in Nola when they spring the latch. To make him favorite in here just doesn’t seem right given the trouncing that the Combatant and others from the Southwest took in the Rebel last weekend. Can’t see him improving enough to come from far back and nail the pacesetters. Caution.

10.) Dark Templar – 12 to 1. Unlike Retirement Fund who beat him two back and failed next time out in the Southwest, this guy won his next out here taking them all the way around on the lead beating Lone Sailor (20-1). He’ll have to send to get position from the farthest slot and will need every ounce of conditioning to reach the top of the stretch on the lead. Can’t see him having much impact.

Louisiana Derby PPs (See Pletcher)

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