Imperialism, third-place finisher in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), drew post seven Wednesday and has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's $500,000 Super Derby XXV (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
A field of nine is expected for the Super Derby.
A son of Langfuhr
, Imperialism arrived Wednesday morning at Shreveport's Tac Air along with Borrego, who also flew in from his home base in Southern California. Borrego will break from post six and is listed as the 5-2 second choice.
Imperialism has not raced since placing fifth in the Preakness (gr. I) May 15.
Trained by Kristin Mulhall, Imperialism won the San Vicente (gr. II) and San Rafael (gr. II) at Santa Anita, defeating Lion Heart, after being purchased privately by Steve Taub in early January. Imperialism was awarded second place in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) in April after being interfered with in the stretch by the runner-up, Rock Hard Ten.
Mulhall, 22, will attempt to become both the youngest trainer and first female to saddle the winner of the Super Derby. Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode Soul of the Matter to victory in the 1994 Super Derby, has the mount.
Borrego, who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby and seventh in the Preakness, earlier ran second in the Sham at Santa Anita, the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds and the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn, where he was 1 1/2 lengths behind Smarty Jones. Borrego returned to action after his Triple Crown campaign with a runner-up showing in the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 3.
Beau Greely trains Borrego, a son of El Prado
who will be ridden by Tyler Baze.
"This is an excellent field," said Ray A. Tromba, vice president of racing operations. "We are happy to once again draw an outstanding group of horses from across the country for our marquee event, and the locals have performed very well leading up to the race."
Cryptograph, trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, has been freshened since winning the Round Table at Arlington Park in July. The son of Cryptoclearance
has been working in splendid fashion leading up to the race, and will be accompanied by regular rider Don Pettinger on Saturday. Cryptograph is the only runner in the field who has won at the Super Derby distance of 1 1/8 miles. He'll break from the inside post.
South Africa, winner of the Prelude Stakes, will try to give perennial leading local trainer Cole Norman his first Super Derby victory. Owned by Gary and Mary West Stables, Inc., South Africa is unbeaten in three starts at Louisiana Downs. John Jacinto rides.$500,000 Super Derby XXV (gr. II), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, ML ODDS
1. Cryptograph, Donnie K. Von Hemel, Don Pettinger, 6-1
2. Britt's Jules, Eric Guillot, Guy Smith, 6-1
3. South Africa, Cole Norman, John Jacinto, 12-1
4. Xirius, Dallas Keen, Fernando Jara, 20-1
5. Fantasticat, Bobby C. Barnett, Gerard Melancon, 12-1
6. Borrego, C. Beau Greely, Tyler Baze, 5-2
7. Imperialism, Kristen Mulhall, Kent Desormeaux, 8-5
8. Mr. Jester, Steve Wren, Lonnie Meche, 12-1
9. Caballero Negro, Mario Morales, Corey Lanerie, 15-1