Louisiana Derby undercard analysis, 3/21/20

The Fair Grounds will run seven stakes races worth nearly $2.5 million this Saturday, including the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby. Here are our previews of a pair of undercard races that precede the day’s main event.

Fair Grounds Race 9 (Post time: 4:10 p.m. ET)

The Grade II, $400,000 New Orleans Classic Stakes

1 1/8-miles on dirt

#8 BY MY STANDARDS (6-1) has done little wrong in his brief career, missing the board only once in seven lifetime starts. That was in a sloppy renewal of the Kentucky Derby. He’s raced only once since then, crushing four others in an allowance event over this course. BY MY STANDARDS has three wins in five prior efforts at the Fair Grounds, including his 2019 Louisiana Derby score. He’ll have Gabriel Saez aboard once more.

#6 SILVER DUST (2-1, morning-line favorite) is a logical alternative in the New Orleans Classic Stakes. He won both the Louisiana Stakes and Mineshaft Stakes at the Fair Grounds earlier this year. SILVER DUST now owns an 8-3-3-0 record over this course. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the call.

The play: $6 win 8, $2 exacta box 6/8 ($10)

Fair Grounds Race 10

The Grade II, $300,000 Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes

1 1/8-miles on turf

#1 DOT MATRIX (8-1) returns to the Fair Grounds off a strike in Sam Houston’s John B. Connally Turf Cup. He got a heads-up ride from Florent Geroux in that 1 1/2-mile heat, going to the front and setting slow fractions to waltz home a winner. DOT MATRIX will cut back in the Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes, but he’s 3-2-0-0 all-time at this distance. The son of Freud also has two wins and a place in three prior efforts at this circuit. Geroux just has to avoid getting into a pace duel with Fair Grounds Handicap winner FACTOR THIS.  

If there is an honest tempo in the Muniz Memorial, #12 SYNCHRONY (3-1, morning-line favorite) stands to reap the benefits. He’s 6-4-1-1 over this course and nearly caught FACTOR THIS in the Fair Grounds Handicap last time out. Joe Bravo maintains the assignment.

The play: $10 win 1

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