Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn's Bourbon Courage bided his time in the rear of Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs before coming with a four-wide rally rounding the second turn and drawing off for a five-length victory under jockey Leandro Goncalves. The Kellyn Gorder-trained sophomore was making only his sixth career start in the 1 1/8-mile contest, and stopped the clock in 1:51 2/5 on the fast main track.
Blueskiesnrainbows tried to wire the field, taking command out of the gate through splits of :23, :47 and 1:12 2/5. Unfortunately, the English Channel colt was pressed the entire way by Hero of Order to his outside and began fading in the lane. Master Rick tracked those two in the second and launched his run in the stretch, but Bourbon Courage came gunning down the center of the track.
The bay son of Lion Heart easily grabbed the lead and pulled away to return $7.20, $4 and $3.60 as the 5-2 second choice.
Fly Lexis Fly, Master Rick and late-runner Rousing Sermon all hit the wire together, with the former just getting his nose in front of Master Rick to take second. Rousing Sermon was just a neck farther back in fourth, and was followed under the line by Tensas Cold Front, Hero of Order Blueskiesnrainbows and Key Donation. Mr. Bluegrass Music was fractious in the gate, rearing up before the start, and gave way early to be distanced on the wire.
Bourbon Courage returned to the winner's circle in this spot following a pair of unplaced runs against graded company and a half-length second in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby most recently on August 4. The bay sophomore opened his career in February at Fair Grounds, breaking his maiden debut by 4 1/4 lengths before posting a 6 3/4-length romp in an optional claimer at that New Orleans venue on March 24.
Gorder shipped his charge to Churchill Downs to face stakes company for the first time in the Grade 3 Derby Trial, and Bourbon Courage wound up fourth in that one-mile contest, 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner. He then headed north to Belmont Park and a meeting with sprinter Trinniberg in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens, where he ran fifth on June 9.
The bay was given a brief freshening after that race and showed signs of his previous form in the West Virginia Derby last out. A return to his winning ways in this one boosted his career earnings to $520,345 and his line now stands at 6-3-1-0.
Bred in Kentucky by Oscar and Eloise Penn, Bourbon Courage sold for $15,000 as a Fasig-Tipton July yearling. He is out of the Carson City mare Shine Forth, who is herself a daughter of the unraced Danzig mare Sister Crown.
Bourbon Courage's third dam is Grade 1-placed stakes queen Six Crowns, who is best known for producing champion, multiple Grade 1 victor and sire Chief's Crown as well as dual Grade 1 heroine Classic Crown. His fourth dam is champion filly Chris Evert.