Rousing Sermon is expected come from California for the Louisiana Derby.

Rousing Sermon is expected come from California for the Louisiana Derby.

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Alpha Decision Leads to Wider La. Derby Field

Field expands for $1 million race at Fair Grounds Race on April 1.

With Godolphin Racing now pointing Alpha  toward New York for his final Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep, the field of prospects for the April 1 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) continues to expand.

Following indications by trainer Kieran McLaughlin that Alpha would likely contest the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial (gr. I) on April 7, some strong possibilities for the $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Races & Slots emerged.

Among those being considered for the race is Jake Ballis’s Cigar Street , a dominant 13 3/4-length maiden winner earlier this month whose planned workout March 23 was postponed until March 24 due to inclement weather. A decision on Cigar Street’s status will be made after trainer Steve Margolis returns to New Orleans from Turfway Park, where he is saddling Toxis in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) March 24.

Mike Munna Racing Stable’s Comisky’s Humor, winner of consecutive sprints over the Fair Grounds main track by a combined 18 lengths, will breeze March 24 immediately following the renovation break. “We’re going to work and if all things go as planned, we’ll enter” for the Louisiana Derby, trainer Ron Faucheux said.

Casner Racing’s Arm Force, a 3 3/4-length maiden winner and a son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow  trained by Eoin Harty, is also probable for the Louisiana Derby, according to Fair Grounds stakes coordinator Scott Jones. Jones said he also expects Brereton Jones’ Mr. Bowling, the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) winner trained by Larry Jones, to return for the final leg of the local sophomore series and be coupled with Brereton Jones’s  Mark Valeski , second by a nose in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 25.

Jones is also optimistic that the Louisiana Derby will draw Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ Rousing Sermon, second in Hollywood Park’s Cash Call Futurity (gr. I) for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer; West Point Thoroughbreds’ Flashy Sunrise, the runner-up to Cigar Street last time trained by Dallas Stewart; and WinStar Farm’s Windsurfer who broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino by 2 1/4-lengths and is trained by Todd Pletcher.