Seven graded stakes winners, including grade I winner Square Eddie, lead the list of 93 early-bird nominations to the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), the headline event of Fair Grounds' 137th season March 14, 2009.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Lion Heart, currently the freshman sire leader, and Friends Lake, who is ranked eighth, got big boosts from their recent graded stakes winners Azul Leon and Screen Your Friends, respectively. The talent both of these sires showed as juveniles appears to be passing along to their offspring.
It seemed only fitting that Calvin Borel would reach a career milestone victory in a familiar manner, at Churchill Downs, on a longshot, and by flying up the rail. The 41-year-old rider recorded his 4,500th victory aboard 18-1 Screen Your Friend in the $164,550 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) July 5 in Louisville, Ky.
Steve Asmussen has an excellent chance to capture the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) for the third time in his career, as the leading training sends out the top two choices in the $150,000-added event July 5 at Churchill Downs.
The first winner by grade I winner Friends Lake won June 4 at Churchill Downs.
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