The 4-year-old gelded son of Brahms looks to lend force to his claim as the best Louisiana-bred in training after a dynamite victory last out in the $250,000 Delta Mile at Delta Downs Nov. 22, in which he dismantled a quality field by five widening lengths under Richard Eramia.
Corey Lanerie, who has ridden the bay twice before for trainer Ron Faucheux, will substitute and ride from post 4 for the injured Eramia. Sunbean, the reigning Louisiana champion 3-year-old male, won last year by a nose over String King. A victory by Sunbean will boost the gelding's earnings—currently at $910,150—over $1 million, which would make him only the sixth Louisiana-bred to surpass that mark.
Rookie conditioner Joe Sharp, who has won with five of his 10 local starters to place him in a three-way tie for second in the trainer standings, will look for his first career stakes win in the Classic with new acquisition One King's Man.
Claimed two races back by the fledgling stable for national leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the son of K One King defeated 2013 Classic runner-up String King while winning his first race for the Sharp barn in a muddy optional claiming event Nov. 23. The gray 4-year-old gelding will break from the rail under journeyman Francisco Torres, who receives the return call.
The remainder of the Classic field includes Sunbean's stablemate and 2012 runner-up Watch My Smoke, who is owned by Faucheux and Cherie Munna. He will start from post 2 under Willie Martinez in his first race since July 2013.
Breaking from the 3-hole under Miguel Mena is Robert V. LaPenta's sophomore Louisiana Flyboy, who won two restricted stakes this year prior to a seventh-place finish in the Super Derby (gr. II) and a runner-up finish to Sunbean in Delta's $100,000 Gold Cup Stakes Nov. 1.
Roger Braugh, Jr.'s Jonas Gibson-trained longshot Request a Puck completes the field from the outside under leading Fair Grounds rider James Graham.
In eight stakes on the Louisiana Champions Day card at the New Orleans track, Little Ms Protocol and I Dazzle will clash in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies; Guadalupe High sets her sights on a $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint repeat; and New York invader Jumelaka takes on Louisiana Jewel winner Wind Chill Factor in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie, a race that includes Vivian Da Bling.
String King headlines the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf; Heitai defends his title in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint; undefeated Mr. L. S. Shoe will have to overcome the outside post in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile; and the $50,000 Champions Day Starter drew a competitive field of eight including Candiano, Over a Barrel, and Know You Now.