For this weekend’s Horse Racing Race of the Week we go to Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana where we will take a closer look at the 2012 Grade:2 Super Derby. Blueskiesandrainbows, another talented 3 year old Bob Baffert trained colt, will spearhead the field of nine.
The Super Derby, which is run at one and one eighth miles for a purse of $500,000, is one of six stakes events on Louisiana Downs’ card on Saturday that are worth a combined $1.1-million.
Before we breakdown the Super Derby field, I saw just one other race that you may want to watch this weekend.
A field of five will go postward in the Bowling Green Stakes, the opening day feature of Belmont Park’s fall meeting, Saturday in New York.
Grade 1 winner Brilliant Speed, Group 1 winner Brujo de Olleros, and Grade 2 winners Air Support and Newsdad are set to run in the 1 ¼ mile event on the Belmont turf course.
Albeit, Brilliant Speed is winless in five starts this year, he did finished third in both the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes and Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes most recently. He also finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year.
Brujo de Olleros appears to (literally) be the dark horse in the race. A winner of four of five starts in Uruguay with the highlight being a 14 ¼ length romp in the Grade: 1 Gran Premio Pedro Pineyrua at the beginning of the year. His four wins came by a combined 35 ¼ lengths. He was recently purchased by Team Valor International (who also own 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom) and sent to trainer Graham Motion. He finished fourth in his first U.S. outing, the Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Air Support, a graded stakes winner on the Belmont turf as a two year old, is another who is 0 for 5 this year although he did finish second in the Grade: 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Newsdad won the Pan American Stakes in March but hasn’t done much since as he’s been unplaced in three starts since.
Louisiana Downs – September 8, 2012
Super Derby (Grade II)
For Three Year Olds
Race 10 – 5:10 PM
|1||1||Mr. Bluegrass Music||3/C||L||C Landeros||124||R D Jackson||
|2||2||Key Donation||3/C||L||R E Eramia||124||T M Amoss||
|3||3||Blueskiesnrainbows||3/C||L||J Talamo||124||B Baffert||
|4||4||Hero of Order||3/C||L||D E Simington||124||G Dorochenko||
|5||5||Fly Lexis Fly||3/R||L||M Garcia||124||N D Drysdale||
|6||6||Master Rick||3/C||L||G Melancon||124||S M Asmussen||
|7||7||Tensas Cold Front||3/G||L||M Guidry||124||A M Stall, Jr.||
|8||8||Rousing Sermon||3/C||L||M E Smith||124||J Hollendorfer||
|9||9||Bourbon Courage||3/C||L||L R Goncalves||124||K Gorder||
Analysis: (By Post Position Order, Selections Below)
PP#1-Mr. Bluegrass Music- shows six of seven career starts on the board so you have to like the consistency. But, he could finish no better than third in four previous (against weaker opposition) stakes races including his last was he was beaten and “outkicked in the end” by the #2 and #7 horses….pass.
PP#2- Key Donation- is a winner of three of five career races including his last (the $100,000 Prevue Stakes) where he stalked the early pace 3 wide before assuming command while winning going away. That race was also his first try over this (Louisiana Downs) surface.
He’s worked three times since that race (his last work being 5F–1:00.2) and I think those 12-1 morning line odds are quite generous and offer some value….he might be worth taking a flyer on.
PP#3- Blueskiesandrainbows- is yet another talented good looking colt from the Bob Baffert barn and, to me; it looks as though he towers over this field.
Baffert, like he always does, must have seen something in this horse early because the Hall of Fame trainer, off of just two minor wins, ambitiously placed him in the Santa Anita Derby.
This chestnut colt proved Baffert right. He went off at an eye popping 42-1 odds that day, set an honest pace and then held well to be third, beaten just over half a length by eventual dual classic winner I’ll Have Another and Grade 1 winner Creative Cause.
After a failed turf experiment (ninth in the American Turf Stakes), the English Channel colt bounced back to score a wire to wire victory in the Swaps Stakes July 4 at Hollywood Park.
Bottom line is he meets no such rival like I’ll Have Another or Creative Cause in this race….not even close actually…..down the road here.
PP#4- Hero of Order- pulled off one of the biggest upset this correspondent has ever seen when he won the Louisiana Derby at an astounding 109-1.
From where I sit, that was his “15 minutes of fame” because he hasn’t even sniffed the winners circle in his next five starts. He lost by double digit lengths in four of those five races as well….that comnbined with his 2 for 19 record makes him an easy throw out for me.
PP#5- Fly Lexis Fly- is the proverbial dark horse in this race and it’s kind of hard to get a read on him.
On one hand he was a multiple Grade: 1 stakes winner in Peru last year, but on the other hand, his first race in this country (and his first in eight months) was abysmal.
Did he need that start and he will be tighter for this race? Or are the horses in the US tougher than in Peru? Either way, I’m not crazy about him…and wont be until he shows he can compete in this country.
PP#6- Master Rick- set the pace in the aforementioned Prevue Stakes but tired in last sixteenth of a mile in that race to finish fourth.
In his three races prior to the Prevue, he shows a win in a $100,000 Stakes race, followed by two blowout losses at Belmont (Peter Pan Stakes…lost by 20+ lengths) and Churchill Downs (the Matt Winn Stakes…lost by 14 1/2 lengths).
However he does get, what looks like to me, a class drop in this race and I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he runs well.
PP#7- Tensas Cold Front- tasted defeat for the first time when he ran a very good second to Key Donation in the Prelude Stakes.
Prior to that, he only had two other races in his career. (Broke his maiden by a head and came back to blow away an allowance field by 15+ lengths.)
With just three career starts, there is lots of room for improvement for this War Front colt and also comes into this sporting a nice work (5F- :59.4)…he might run well again.
PP#8- Rousing Sermon- has spent a good part of his career chasing around the likes of I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, and Creative Cause.
I still haven’t forgotten this stretch running colt’s very respectable finish (8th), while being “blocked” on the turn for home, in the Kentucky Derby.
Colt by Lucky Pulpit shows nine of 12 on the board finishes in his career and I expect another on the board finish on Saturday.
PP#9-Bourbon Courage- another late running colt, he came from fifth and some 12 lengths behind to finish second beaten a half a length in the Grade: 2 West Virginia Derby in his last start August 4.
That race was his first try beyond a mile (it was a 1 1/8th miles race) and, based on the one outing, he seems to relish the longer distance.
Good looking bay colt by the aptly named Lion Heart is another who has room to improve as he shows just five career starts so far.
2) Rousing Sermon
3) Bourbon Courage
Honorable Mentions: Key Donation and Tensas Cold Front
Record: 15-44 = 34%
Little Bets N’ Pieces:
**** Saturday’s card at Belmont also includes the Affiliate Stakes for sprinters. Please note it marks the return of Grade 1 winner Sean Avery off his latest layoff of over a year. The six-year-old Cherokee Run gelding, whose career has been interrupted by multiple ailments, won four of five starts last year after missing the entire 2010 season.
**** 2012 Haskell winner Paynter was “comfortable” as he continues to battle colitis and a series of complications related to the illness, including laminitis according to owner Ahmed Zayat
“Paynter was comfortable overnight and has been eating well,” Zayat posted on his Twitter account yesterday (Thursday) morning. “He continues to pass soft formed manure. He is walking very comfortably in the stall. He continues to have low protein levels but his edema has improved dramatically.”
Zayat, who has stressed that his colt’s comfort and quality of life will be key in determining his course of action, said he has not lost faith despite the overwhelming odds against him.
“I’ve heard from numerous people that it is impossible to beat laminitis particularly while fighting colitis,” Zayat added. “It’s a lethal combination. But I have hope because I know that Paynter is special and will get through this.”
**** Undefeated Black Caviar’s racing future is still up in the air and it will “be about a month” whether her connections will race her again or retire her according to trainer Peter Moody.
Black Caviar, Australia’s 2011 Horse of the Year, won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes June 23 at Royal Ascot in her most recent outing, to remain unbeaten (22 for 22) and earn her 12th Group 1 victory. However the almost black mare suffered minor muscle injuries to her back during that race.
Moody said she “will be put in light training and he will assess her attitude after about four weeks”.
“She’s had a nice break and looks well but the only call I will be making is after about a month in pre-training,” Moody added. “I’ll assess her and decide whether she goes to stud or we keep her going this season.
“If we decide to keep racing her, I’ll tip her out again for a month then bring her back in on November 1 and go full bore for the autumn.”
**** And finally in the “This has nothing to do with Horse Racing” section, I recently saw that on a highway that leads from Austin to San Antonio, the state of Texas increased the speed limit to 85MPH…..that’s funny….I thought the speed limit was 85 no matter where I drive.