The days of Super Derby winners such as Alysheba, Sunday Silence, and Tiznow are long gone. The distance is shorter and the purse is lower, and the race now brings out mostly 3-year-olds exiting races like the Ohio Derby, West Virginia Derby (gr. II), and Super Derby Prelude Stakes.
This year’s edition of the $400,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs Sept. 6 drew a competitive filed of 11, headed by the one-two finishers of the Ohio Derby, the first three finishers of the Prelude Stakes, and the third-place finisher of the West Virginia Derby.
Jessica’s Star, winner of the Iowa Derby (gr. III) June 28 and second by a head in the Ohio Derby; East Hall, winner of the Ohio Derby; Vicar's in Trouble, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) back in March and third in the recent West Virginia Derby; and Alamo Heights, Ide Be Cool, and Louies Flower, the one-two-three finishers, respectively, of the Prelude Stakes over the Louisiana Downs track, all have a big chance to land the Super Derby, making this year’s running extremely competitive.
Another with stakes credentials, albeit minor ones, is the Robert LaPenta-owned Louisiana Flyboy, winner of the Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline Downs and A.L. Erwin Stakes at Louisiana Downs in his last two starts.
The class horse of the race appears to be Vicar’s in Trouble, who also won the LeComte Stakes (gr. III) and was third in the Iowa Derby. Although he was beaten by Jessica’s Star in the Iowa Derby, he did finish a solid third in the West Virginia Derby, beaten two lengths by the top-class Tapiture , in his last start.
Normally, Vicar’s in Trouble, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, is a threat to take his field wire-to-wire, as he did in the Louisiana Derby, but no one has been able to outrun Ide Be Cool early in his last seven starts, whether at six furlongs, seven furlongs, 7 1/2 furlongs, a mile, or 1 1/16 miles. Prior to his second-place finish in the Prelude Stakes, in which he was pressured the entire way, he rattled off six straight victories, and should make life miserable for Vicar’s in Trouble, unless the son of Into Mischief can be effective laying right off the pace, as he did in the LeComte.
Gold Appointment, fourth in the Prelude, also has some early speed, which could set it up for a tactical speed horse like Jessica’s Star, laying back in fourth, or closers East Hall and Alamo Heights.
A horse like Louies Flower can wind up anywhere in the field, coming from nine lengths back, as he did in the Prelude or being on or near pace, as he was early in the year at Remington Park, where he captured the Springboard Mile.
An unknown factor in the race is Announcement, who drew the far outside post. The son of Tiznow , owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Kellyn Gorder has run only twice in his career, both at a mile at Ellis Park, and he won both, earning some pretty decent speeed figures. He does, however, pick up 10 pounds off his allowance victory Aug. 10 and 13 pounds off his maiden score. He gets the services of Junior Alvarado.
Harrah's Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack, Saturday, September 06, 2014, Race 11
- Grade II
- 1 1/8m
- 3 yo
- 5:12 PM (local)
|1||1Jessica's Star (KY)||James Graham||124||Michael Stidham||-|
|2||2Louies Flower (FL)||Jamie Theriot||124||W. Bret Calhoun||-|
|3||3Ide Be Cool (LA)||Chris R. Rosier||124||Henry Ray Dunn||-|
|4||4Vicar's in Trouble (LA)||Rosie Napravnik||124||Michael J. Maker||-|
|5||5Louisiana Flyboy (LA)||Richard E. Eramia||124||Patrick Mouton||-|
|6||6Victory Nor Defeat (KY)||Edgar S. Prado||124||Ralph E. Nicks||-|
|7||7Alamo Heights (KY)||M. Clifton Berry||124||Danny Pish||-|
|8||8Gold Appointment (LA)||Colby J. Hernandez||124||Robert Rockwell||-|
|9||9Declan's Fast Cat (KY)||Gerard Melancon||124||Steven B. Flint||-|
|10||10East Hall (FL)||Juan C. Leyva||124||William A. Kaplan||-|
|11||11Announcement (KY)||Junior Alvarado||124||Kellyn Gorder||-|