Louisiana Derby Entries: Hot Rod Charlie ships in
Saturday is Louisiana Derby Day down at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans and eight horses have been entered into $1,000,000 Grade II race which is firmly on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Topping the entrants is Risen Star winner Mandaloun. The Into Mischief colt may not have the star power that Life is Good - another colt of this superb horse has - but that win has firmly catapulted him into the potential Derby mix. I had him sitting around the bottom of my top ten Derby horses throughout the early weeks of the season based on his pedigree. That win at the Risen Star certainly made me feel vindicated and the three-year-old is currently 4th, 5th and 6th among the three of us in our rankings. Clearly there is a lot to like and victory in this race will surely put him into that bracket below LIG and Essential Quality as genuine contenders for the big one on May 1. There is little doubt he'll break as the favorite.
Tapit colt Proxy is another who continues to intrigue. Twice a bridesmaid on the Kentucky Derby Prep Trail so far, Michael Stidham sends him out for a third time at the Fair Grounds knowing a second place is enough to get the qualification points needed to make the Run for the Roses. Both Sean and J.N. have Proxy at number nine in their current rankings and he's just on the outside looking in for me. Love the pedigree but still has a bit to prove for me. Beaten by Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon in his previous two starts.
Speaking of (or should I say typing of?) Midnight Bourbon. Yes he's entered as the top three from both previous Fair Grounds prep races meet one again. This is perhaps the horse I'm unsure of the most among the three. Arguably the highest floor but also the lowest ceiling. Four runs on the prep trail so far and he's hit the board on all three occasions but with just one victory.
Hot Rod Charlie has been shipped in by Doug O'Neill with an eye on grabbing some much needed Derby points. A very strong runners-up spot behind Essential Quality in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November hinted at bigger things to come but his only run so far as a three-year-old came at Santa Anita in the Robert B. Lewis where he was part of a fast-finishing duo with Roman Centurian trying to chase down eventual winner Medina Spirit. My gut says this may well be the value play of the eight.
The other four horses have all broken their Maiden's at Fair Grounds but haven't exactly set the world on fire with their performances so far O Besos, Rightandjust and Starrininmydreams all participated in the Risen Star but finished 4th, 6th and 9th respectively. I struggle to see any of them as win contenders. Run Classic is the final horse in the field.
The Post Positions and Entries are all listed below.
Our turf-man will be here with his horse-by-horse analysis early in the week with our in-house handicapper handicapping the race on Friday...
- Post Position
- Run Classic
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Midnight Bourbon
- O Besos
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