Louisiana Derby and Fair Grounds Oaks Highlight Saturday Stakes Races
The 103rd Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds highlights the weekend of racing on Saturday, March 26. In addition to the tracks biggest Kentucky Derby prep race, the Fair Grounds card will feature the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), New Orleans Handicap and Muniz Memorial Handicap. The Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita will features the ladies on the lawn, and the rest of the Saturday stakes races around the country are listed below.
Mo Tom heads a strong field in the Louisiana Derby. But before you get too excited about this year’s winner making a strong bid at the Kentucky Derby, know that just two Louisiana Derby winners have gone on to win the Run for the Roses, Black Gold (1924) and Grindstone (1996). However, four Louisiana Derby winners have gone on to win the Belmont Stakes.
Betting favorites fare well in the Louisiana Derby, winning 47.8 percent of the time since 1920 and finished in the top three at a 77.8 percent clip. Twinspires.com will once again lead the way with online wagering action.
In the Fair Grounds Oaks, Stageplay has been established as the morning-line favorite at 5-2, but she must contend with familiar New Orleans-based foes as well as a few new faces from California, including Grade I winner Street Fancy and multiple Grade I-placed and certified Songbird chaser Land Over Sea, who is expected to vie for favoritism with the Kentucky-bred.
Stageplay owns the co-highest Beyer Speed Figure of 88 with Land Over Sea, a number she earned on debut when taking 6½-furlong Keeneland maiden special weight last fall. The good-looking gray daughter of Curlin will take another crack at the 1 1/16 mile distance after failing to win two previous times including in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes over this track February 20 as the 3-5 favorite. Also, the improving chestnut Adore, daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, ships in for the 2014 Fair Grounds Oaks-winning owner Winchell Thoroughbreds and trainer Steve Asmussen.
The Fair Grounds Oaks is also a Kentucky Derby prep race and awards 100 qualifying points to the winner with the top-4 finishers receiving points (100-40-20-10) in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Saturday’s Stakes Schedule – March 26
LOUISIANA DERBY (G2), Fair Grounds, $1,000,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m.
FAIR GROUNDS OAKS (G2), Fair Grounds, $400,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m.
NEW ORLEANS H. (G2), Fair Grounds, $400,000, 4&up, 1 1/8m.
MUNIZ MEMORIAL H. (G2), Fair Grounds, $300,000, 4&up, abt 1 1/8mT.
SANTA ANA S. (G2), Santa Anita Park, $200,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/8m.
Cicada S., Aqueduct, $125,000, 3yo, f, 6f.
Gazebo S., Oaklawn Park, $100,000, 3yo, 6f.
Crescent City Derby (r), Fair Grounds, $75,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m.
Crescent City Oaks (r), Fair Grounds, $75,000, 3yo, f, 1m 70yds.
Cutler Bay S., Gulfstream Park, $75,000, 3yo, 1mT.
Sanibel Island S., Gulfstream Park, $75,000, 3yo, f, 1mT.
Primonetta S., Laurel Park, $75,000, 3&up, f&m, 6f.
Southern Park S. (r), Mahoning Valley, $75,000, 3yo, f, 6f.
Costa Rising S. (r), Fair Grounds, $60,000, 4&up, abt 5 1/2fT.
Star Guitar S. (r), Fair Grounds, $60,000, 4&up, 1 1/16m.
New Orleans Ladies S., Fair Grounds, $50,000, 4&up, f&m, 1m.