Be sure to tune in to Fair Grounds on Saturday because we have a tremendous card! There are eight stakes races in store. Over $2.8 million of purse money is on the line throughout the 14-race program. First post time is 11:20 AM CT, last post time is 5:44 PM CT.
The headline of the evening will be the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2), where its winner will receive 100 qualiyfing points for his road the Kentucky Derby. The ladies receive the same deal. The winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) will receive 100 qualifying points for her road to the Kentucky Oaks all the same.
Don't forget to read Rich Bieglmeier's article The Profile of a Louisiana Derby Champ. He shares his insight from observing the race's previous winners, which could very well help pick Saturday's winner!
Let's have ourselves a sneak peak of the action.
The $100K Crescent City Oaks — six Louisiana Bred fillies of age three will run one mile and seventy yards over the dirt. AUSTRALASIA for trainer Brad Cox looks like the class of the field. She'll break from the two-hole as she aims for her fourth win in a row. There are five other competitors to overcome, including BIG TIME for trainer Dallas Stewart. Despite coming off of two consecutive losses, she won the first three races of her career. If BIG TIME can run back to her December 2020 form, she'll be tough to beat. Post time is 11:20 AM CT.
The $100K Costa Rising Stakes — a five and half furlong dash over the turf for Louisiana Breds, three years old and upward. The group will have to face Grade 1 winner NO PAROLE for trainer Tom Amoss. He comes off a win in the LA BRED Premier Sprint, where he earned his highest speed figure to date. This will mark his second race off his four-month layoff. Sharp as we'll expect him to be, he'll have thirteen others to contend with, including MONTE MAN who enters off a win in the LA Champions Day Sprint. MONTE MAN is trained by Ron Faucheux and will be aiming for his third consecutive victory. Post Time is 2:42 PM CT.
The $100K Crescent City Derby — Thirteen Louisiana Breds of the age of three will enter the gate to go one mile and one-sixteenth over the dirt. Highly rated among them is WHO TOOK THE MONEY for trainer W. Bret Calhoun. WHO TOOK THE MONEY loves Fair Grounds; he is two for two and has already recorded a route win. He'll meet UNANIMOUSLY from trainer Steve Asmussen's stable, who is an impressive winner of an allowance race back in February. In that race he beat one of the competitors in this same race, HIGHLAND CREEK, who bounced back and won an allowance race in his next start. Other winners who warant a look are SARAH'S VISION trained by Allen Landry, and WRONGWAYHIGHWAY for trainer Aubrie Green. Post Time is 3:12 PM CT.
The $150K Tom Benson Memorial Stakes — Thirteen fillies and mares will line up to run one mile and one sixteenth over the grass. DALIKA heads the field, coming of a victory in the Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes back in early-February. She's got two wins over this trip at Fair Grounds. There is also CATCH A BID from the care of Joe Sharp who is putting up great stats over his last two weeks. CATCH A BID will be making her second start off a layoff. Last time she led every call but weakend late. Anticipate more staminia this time! A few competitors who are coming off of wins: LOGIC N REASON for trainer Christoph Clement, DREAMALILDREAMOFU for Brad Cox, and RUSSIAN MAFIA for trainer Eduardo Rodriguez. Post Time is 3:42 PM CT.
The $400K New Orleans Classic Stakes (G2) — A field of eight horses, four years old and upward, will run one mile and one eighth over the dirt. The charge is led by OWENDALE for trainer Brad Cox, who is still looking for his first win since last May. The INTO MISCHIEF horse comes off a third-place effort in the Razorback Handicap (G3), which was his first race off a layoff. We can expect him to be sharper this time around, plus he gets a chance to run over a fast track this time. One of the competitors he'll meet is ROADSTER, who will be making his first start for trainer Michael Stidham. Post Time is 4:12 PM CT.
The $300K Muniz Memorial Classic Stakes (G2) — COLONEL LIAM, the Todd Pletcher trainee who won the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) , makes his appearance in this one mile and one-eighth race over the turf. He'll aim for his third consecutive win as he faces a large field of eleven horses, including CAPTIVATING MOON and SPOOKY CHANNEL, who are both coming off of Grade 3 victories. Post Time is 4:43 PM CT
The $400K Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) — this is a one mile and one-sixteenth race over the dirt for fillies only. The winner will be awarded 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks. What a field we have here! The Kentucky Oaks rank #2 CLAIRIERE and the rank #6 TRAVEL COLUMN will face each other again. They've ran 1-2 in their previous two meetups, each with one win over the other. They'll face six others which include ZAAJEL for trainer Todd Pletcher. We last saw ZAAJEL winning the Forward Gal Stakes five weeks ago at Gulfstream Park. Don't forget SOUPOR SENSATIONAL — after two troubled trips, she seeks to rebound while switching to high percentage jockey John Velazquez for trainer Marke Casse. Post Time is 5:14 CT
The $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) — this is a one mile and three-sixteenths event for three-year-olds over the dirt. The winner of this race will receive 100 qualifying points to his road to the Kentucky Derby.
There will be a field of eight horses competing, notably the presence of MANDALOUN, MIDNIGHT BOURBON, and PROXY. These three horses have finished 1-2-3 in their last two meetups! They are set to clash again. MIDNIGHT BOURBON won the first time, MANDALOUN the second time. They'll be traveling further in distance and be joined by West Coast invader HOT ROD CHARLIE — who was last seen finishing third to MEDINA SPIRIT in the Robert Beverly Lewis Stakes back in January. He'll look to rebound in a big way in his second start off his layoff. Post Time is 5:44 PM CT.