There are three crucial prep races for the Kentucky Derby taking place this weekend. The Grade 2 $500,000 Lane's End at Turfway Park features synthetic specialist, Connemara. The Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby will have Conveyance facing off against Tempted To Tapit on Sunday. However, the biggest and best of the preps this weekend is a Saturday race in the Crescent City. The Fair Grounds hosts the Grade 2 $750,000 Louisiana Derby and the race drew a very competitive field of thirteen for the 1 1/8 miles distance.
I know he drew outside in the field of 13, but I will put #13 Drosselmeyer on top. He was the betting favorite in the Grade 2 Risen Star over the same track and finished an uninspiring fourth. I think the pace scenario sets up better for him today. There will be more speed than was on hand in the Risen Star and he will have no choice but to close into what is expected to be a hot pace. This will be the last, best chance for the Bill Mott trainee to earn enough graded stakes money to get into the Kentucky Derby. #9 Stay Put has a Derby winner on the Sire side of the lineage in Unbridled. He won his two starts before running fifth in the Risen Star. He is another that will be closing, but I expect him to be further off the pace than Drosselmeyer will be in the early stages. The winner of the Risen Star, #7 Discreetly Mine, won that race when he was completely unchallenged on the front end and was able to hold everyone off at the end. I highly doubt that he will be able to do that again. There appears to be more speed in here to battle with him and I think that will compromise his chances. For fourth, I will go with a minor price in #3 Fly Down. He is 10-1 on the morning-line and while he has never been with better than Allowance company, he does have a previous win at this distance on February 21 at Gulfstream Park. Here is the play for the Louisiana Derby:
$5 WP #13
$1 EX BOX 3-7-9-13
$1 TRI 13 with 3-6-7-9 and $1 TRI 3-6-7-9 with 13 with 3-6-7-9
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!