Trainer Larry Robideaux, who believed Witt Ante should have been undefeated going into Saturday's $75,000 Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds, showed his confidence was not misplaced thanks to his colt's 2 3/4-length win in the 1 1/16-mile test for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds.
In the process, the chestnut son of Upping the Ante turned the tables on Champions Day Juvenile winner Meteor Impact, who finished second, in a winning time of 1:45.13.
Making his first start at two turns under Kirk LeBlanc, Witt Ante recovered nicely after being pinched back at the start to settle in third in the 10-horse field. Witt Ante made his move entering the stretch and pulled away for the win.
Pacesetter Lac Laronge finished third.
"I had a super trip," LeBlanc said. "I was pinched back at the start, but he settled in real well. I was just sitting on him and he picked it up on his own."
Witt Ante ran his record to four wins from six starts with a pair of seconds and pushed his career bankroll over the $150,000 mark. According to Robideaux, if not for a slow beginning in the Pelican Stakes at Louisiana Downs and a blinker addition in the Champions Day Juvenile, Witt Ante could have a perfect record.
"That was a mistake in the (Champions Day) Juvenile I made adding the blinkers," Robideaux said. "I thought once we stretched him out he would be okay. (LeBlanc) used his head. I told him in the paddock it might be a rider's race so don't get him in trouble. I thought there would be a lot of early speed and they would back up naturally."
Witt Ante paid $7.20, $3 and $2.80.