Is Revolutionary a beatable favorite? Code West is also an interesting Risen Star returnee. Here are some intriguing exotics plays for Saturday’s Louisiana Derby, a Kentucky Derby points race.
(7) Departing (B. Hernandez/A. Stall) (8-1) Is he one of the top 3-year-olds in Louisiana? This undefeated colt finally gets his class test here in his first graded stakes try. On paper, he fits in well among this group despite the fact he’s lightly-raced. He boasts an advantageous running style for the likely pace scenario, plus Hernandez is a solid tactical rider, particularly at Fair Grounds. By War Front and out of a Pulpit mare, he boasts the top Tomlinson distance rating of the field at 410 according to the Daily Racing Form.
(9) Proud Strike (C. Nakatani/S. Asmussen) (10-1) Inside post forced his position in the Risen Star, as jockey Gary Stevens hustled him to an early lead before he faded to eighth. He didn’t look comfortable in that spot, and he’s come from off the pace in his other races. Although his ideal post would be outside, post three is a better slot and Nakatani could put him in a prime position behind the pace. He’s a risk as his best accomplishment remains a maiden win, but tough to believe last out was his best effort. Asmussen is on a tear of late at Fair Grounds, finishing in the money in 7 of 10 races since Wednesday.
(4) Golden Soul (C. Borel/D. Stewart) (20-1) On a ledge here, but can’t overlook the jockey switch back to Borel, the rider from his memorable debut at Churchill Downs. He broke poorly and spotted the 10-horse field several lengths before rallying, dirt flying in his face, to narrowly lose. This scenario might be to his liking in contrast to the Risen Star, in which he rode the rail until swerving out to make his move and falling short. He hit the board in his other three races, one a Grade 3 (Lecomte), so these odds are worth a play in an exotics box.