Mark Valeski, 13 Others in Louisiana Derby
Photo: Hodges Photography
Mark Valeski

The coupled entry of Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling was made the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a full field of 14 for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots April 1.

Post positions for the 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-olds were drawn March 26. Post time for the Louisiana Derby is planned for 4:55 p.m. CDT on the Sunday program.

Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling, both bred and owned by Brereton Jones and trained by Larry Jones, exit the Feb. 25 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. Mark Valeski (by Proud Citizen  ) finished a strong second, only a nose behind El Padrino, while Mr. Bowling (by Istan  ) checked in 11th after having won the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds in his previous start. Mr. Bowling had his final work for the race March 26 when he went five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 at Fair Grounds, co-fastest time of 29 working that distance.

Jake Ballis’ Cigar Street, who broke his maiden by 13 3/4 lengths at Fair Grounds March 10, is the 7-2 second choice in the morning line. Trained by Steve Margolis, the Street Sense   colt finished far behind Bourbon Courage in his career debut, but that colt returned to win again impressively at Fair Grounds March 24.

Rousing Sermon, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is 6-1 in the morning line. The Lucky Pulpit   colt most recently finished fifth and fourth, respectively, in two grade II stakes in California.

WinStar Farm’s Windsurfer, who broke his maiden Feb. 18 at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher, figures to get a close look at 12-1 in the early line. The Speightstown   colt has shown improvement in his last two starts.

Donegal Racing’s Finnegans Wake, who finished a distant third in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 3 behind Hansen and My Adonis after a troubled start, worked five furlongs in :59 4/5 on a fast track at Fair Grounds March 24 and seems poised for improvement. The Powerscourt colt is trained by Dale Romans and listed at 15-1.

Here's the field for the Louisiana Derby in post-position order with jockeys and odds:
Fire Alarm, Miguel Mena, 20-1
Windsurfer, John Velazquez, 12-1
Finnegans Wake, Corey Lanerie, 15-1
Flashy Sunrise, Rajiv Maragh, 30-1
Cigar Street, Shaun Bridgmohan, 7-2
Shared Property, Leandro Goncalves, 10-1
Mr. Bowling, Robby Albarado, 2-1 (entry)
Mark Valeski, Rosie Napravnik, 2-1 (entry)
Arm Force, Julien Leparoux, 20-1
Comisky's Humor, Richard Eramia, 20-1
Z Dager, Shane Sellers, 8-1
Rousing Sermon, Mike Smith, 6-1
Hero Of Order, Eddie Martin Jr., 30-1
Afford, James Graham, 15-1

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