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Louisiana Derby; Looks Like Trouble On The Horizon

Louisiana Derby 2014; Looks Like Trouble On The Horizon: The GII 2014 Louisiana Derby is set for Saturday, March 29th 2014 and is one of the last big-prep races for the 2014 Kentucky Derby with the largest amount of points awarded for the top four finishers with 100:40:20:10. The race is run in New Orleans, Louisiana at Fair Grounds’ Race Course and is for three-year-olds running 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs) on the dirt with a huge purse of $1,000,000.

Louisiana Derby 2014

The Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course will award it’s winner with 100 points towards the Kentucky Derby starting gate and a $1 million purse!

The Louisiana Derby has sported two winners that have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby; Black Gold in 1924 and Grindstone in 1996. Risen Star, the 1988 winner, went on to win the Preakness and the Belmont stakes and became a “Dual Classic Winner”.

The first race was held in 1894 and called the Crescent City Derby to later be renamed the Lousiana Derby in honor of Fair Grounds’ home state. It was held at Crescent City Race Course from 1894 to 1908. It was not held from 1909 until 1919 for some reason and went to Jefferson Park from 1920 to 1931. It’s been cancelled a number of times, too many to be honest to list. Most recently in 2006 because the track was partially destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

The race has been contested at 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/16 miles and it is now back to being ran at 1 1 1/8 since 2010. At this distance the record is held by Clev Er Tell, 1977, in 1:48.80. For the 1 1/16 distance it’s held by Crypto Star, 1997, at 1:42.60. Last year it was won by Revolutionary for Todd Pletcher in 1:50.28.

The 2014 Louisiana Derby is the 11th race of the day on a card of 12 with a start time of 6:10 pm, CST and follows the New Orleans Handcap (GII).

He’s back! Our guest handicapper Sigifredo Mendoza (Sigi) is going to tackle this monster of a race. Last weekend we took a shot at the Sunland Derby and our picks came in first and third with Chitu and Commissioner. Sigi hails from Venezuela and is an Industrial Engineer who loves horseracing. He considers himself an amateur handicapper and I must say, he does a fantastic job. Take it away Sigi…..


Guest handicapper Sigi likes In Trouble (4-1), Vicar’s In Trouble (4-1), and Intense Holiday (2-1) for the 2014 Louisiana Handicap at Fairgrounds on Saturday, March 29, 2014.

Sigi’s Picks: Here we go….In the Louisiana Derby, the tougher Derby prep of the week, I think one of the “Trouble” horses might win the race.

In Trouble returned with a good third place finish, behind the unbeaten Samraat and Uncle Sigh. He tried to wire the field but lost by a half-length. I think he should improve in his second start of the layoff and he’s training very well leading up to this race.

Vicar’s in Trouble lost in the Risen Star before the race due to the outside post. He might have some distance limitations but he’ll benefit with post #6. If he gets a clean trip, the little guy from Louisiana will be very tough.

The Risen Star winner, Intense Holiday, draws the rail, which is not the best spot for him. He is the class of the field and should like the extra half-furlong. On the other hand, he doesn’t need to win the race to run in the Kentucky Derby. My play in this race is an exacta box 9-6-1.

I’m spending a few lines to write about an Argentinian horse named Cooptado who is going to run in the UAE Derby. He is a (GI) winner in his native Argentina and should love the distance. The logical choice is Giovanni Boldini, but if you are looking for a great value, Cooptado is the boy!


Our in house handicapper Kari likes Intense Holiday (2-1), Commanding Curve (20-1), and Albano (9-2) for the Louisiana Derby.

Kari’s Picks: Great picks Sigi! I’m on board with Intense Holiday. I’m not digging his post draw here; however, he’s tough and hopefully can make his way around any traffic. I’m giving Albano another chance in this race. What a tough beat to lead the whole way around last time to lose by a nose and the outside post should help him here. I’ll go with Commanding Curve, big longshot, to hit the board too with a better post draw this time. I’ll play an exacta box with 1,7,10. If Sigi’s right, which wouldn’t surprise me, I’m in trouble with my play here, oh well.

Good luck to all and thank you to my good friend Sigi for taking the time to handicap this race. You are the bomb! Good luck to all and safe run.

Related Links:
More on Intense Holiday
What to wear to Fair Grounds

Louisiana Derby 2014 Post Positions & Odds
1. Intense Holiday 2/1 M.Smith/T.Pletcher
2. King Cyrus 15/1 J.Graham/T.Pletcher
3. Louies Flower 20/1 M.Mena/W.Calhoun
4. Flat Gone 50/1 K.Desormeaux/K.Desormeaux
5. Gold Hawk 12/1 S.Bridgmohan/S.Asmussen
6. Vicar’s in Trouble 4/1 R.Napravnik/M.Maker
7. Commanding Curve 20/1 R.Albarado/D.Stewart
8. Rise Up* 10/1 G.Melancon/T.Amoss
9. In Trouble 4/1 J.Rocco Jr./A.Dutrow
10. Albano 9/2 K.Clark/J.L.Jones
*Rise Up – Blinkers Added