Fair Grounds’ centerpiece race, the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby, will be run this Saturday at the historic New Orleans oval (5 p.m., NBCSN). Fourteen colts and geldings (plus two also-eligibles) will be tasked with a 1 3/16th-mile journey on the main track. Post time for the Louisiana Derby, which brings down the curtain on a lucrative 12-race card, is estimated for 5:49 p.m. ET.
#8 ROYAL ACT (10-1) ships into the Fair Grounds following a solid second-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis. He was beaten less than a length by Bob Baffert trainee Thousand Words, which is nothing to be ashamed about considering how well Baffert’s horses are running at the moment. The son of American Pharoah is working well for this for Peter Eurton, and he’ll retain jockey Abel Cedillo. ROYAL ACT should be just fine picking up a furlong in the Louisiana Derby based on pedigree.
#3 WELLS BAYOU (8-1) could steal the Louisiana Derby on the front end. His runner-up effort in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn last time out, his first start on fast dirt, was an eye-opener. It took a perfectly-ridden Silver Prospector to beat WELLS BAYOU that day. Florent Geroux will try to guide this Brad Cox trainee to the winner’s circle once more.
#10 ENFORCEABLE (7-2, morning-line favorite) has been a factor on Louisiana’s road to the Kentucky Derby. He won the Lecomte two starts ago before checking in second in the Risen Star last time out. It just seems that ENFORCEABLE has peaked speed figure-wise while others have room to improve. Julien Leparoux will get a leg-up from Mark Casse here.
The play: $10 win 8, $6 win 3, $2 exacta box 3/8 ($20)
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