Bravazo looms large in Louisiana Derby

The Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby will be renewed this Saturday at New Orleans’ historic Fair Grounds racecourse. A field of 10 looking to bolster their Kentucky Derby résumés will take part in this prestigious 1 1/8-mile heat. Post time for the Louisiana Derby, the 11th of 14 scheduled races, is 6:21 p.m. EST. Several important riders will be present, so take note if you’re playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#1 BRAVAZO (7-2) has been ‘living right’ this year, winning his first two starts by razor-thin margins. That includes his victory here in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes over SNAPPER SINCLAIR last time out. Gary Stevens regains the mount for D. Wayne Lukas, as Miguel Mena is currently out due to injury. The tactically versatile BRAVAZO gives Stevens options, as he can race near the pace or drop back and make a late run. BRAVAZO boasts the best speed figures in the field and appears to be in peak form based on his consecutive bullet works going five furlongs for this. The Louisiana Derby is his race to lose.

#7 SNAPPER SINCLAIR (9-2) was given a great ride by Adam Beschizza to just miss winning the Risen Star last time out, but Steve Asmussen will call upon recent Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jose Ortiz to try and turn the tables on the top choice. It appears SNAPPER SINCLAIR will make the lead once more, but the slight increase in distance may work against him based on pedigree. If he can replicate his Risen Star effort he’ll be involved late.

#9 MY BOY JACK (5-2, morning-line favorite) may be a little ‘dressed up’ off his Southwest Stakes win. He earned that lifetime-best speed figure in the mud and was fortunate to get through an opening on the rail. MY BOY JACK will have to prove he’s that good on a fast track and may have to sacrifice some ground from this post. Kent Desormeaux will try to make lightning strike twice on the probable post-time favorite.

#2 NOBLE INDY (7-2) had little trouble in the Risen Star aside from a bump at the break but could only manage third. He’ll keep John Velazquez and try blinkers, but he’ll also pick up six additional pounds.

The play: $10 win 1

DFJ analysis: Gary Stevens has six mounts in the body of the field on this 14-race program. Of those six, four are priced at single-digits, including Louisiana Derby contender BRAVAZO. Stevens will also get a leg up on Lulcullan (8-1) in the Muniz Memorial Handicap and Saguaro Row (12-1) in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking