Tag: Louisiana Derby

Hot Rod Charlie owns the second-fastest Beyer Speed Figure of anyone in the Kentucky Derby field. His trainer, Doug O'Neill, owns two Kentucky Derby victories in the last nine years. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Hot Rod Charlie Roars to Life for Kentucky Derby Vet O’Neill

Doug O’Neill already has two of these Kentucky Derbies on the mantle, both with colts he planned on taking to Churchill Downs —  I’ll Have Another and Nyquist. But when Hot Rod Charlie came to his Santa Anita Park barn as a $110,000 yearling purchase, the trainer looked at his […]

O Besos has never been the lone speed in a race. But the live Kentucky Derby long shot was during a predawn Thursday workout at Churchill Downs. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Looking for a Derby Down-Ticket Dark Horse? Say ‘Hello’ to O Besos

Let’s be clear about O Besos and his Kentucky Derby victory prospects upfront. This is not a victory endorsement for a closer in a race where closers’ victory hopes routinely die painfully short on the Churchill Downs stretch. O Besos has minimal tactical speed, one run in him, and an […]

Proxy finished second in both Fair Grounds Derby preps: the Lecomte and the Risen Star. Can the 7/2 third-favorite break through in the Louisiana Derby? (Image: Hodges Photography)

Louisiana Derby Offers Big, Familiar Names in the Big Easy

Yes, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby has a familiar look to it that goes beyond bringing us familiar names like Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Proxy – and yes, California import Hot Rod Charlie. It’s those first three that give the first of the 170-point Kentucky Derby preps that déjà vu look. […]

Front-running Wells Bayou won the Louisiana Derby last year. He returns to Fair Grounds Saturday for the Louisiana Stakes, his first race in eight months. (Image: Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography)

Ex-Derby Hopeful Wells Bayou Finds Another Trail — the Comeback

Wells Bayou put himself on last year’s Kentucky Derby Trail with an electric, front-running style comprising equal parts promise and peril. Now, the reigning Louisiana Derby winner puts himself on the comeback trail in Saturday’s Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes. The $125,000 Louisiana is one of six stakes on Saturday’s Fair […]

Fair Grounds offers 51 stakes races on its 76-day winter/spring card. Three Kentucky Derby preps -- the Louisiana Derby, Risen Star, and Lecomte -- headline the meet. (Image: NOLA)

Three Kentucky Derby Preps Headline Fair Grounds’ 2020-21 Stakes Cards

Three key Kentucky Derby prep races headline Fair Grounds Race Course’s 51 stakes schedule for the 2020-21 season, which begins Thanksgiving Day. Those stakes on the Louisiana track carry a combined purse of more than $7 million over the 76-day meet, which runs through March 28. What’s interesting about the […]

Wells Bayou will have plenty of time to cool down now. The Louisiana Derby winner and former Kentucky Derby contender is out with bone bruising. (Image: Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography

Bone Bruising Sends Wells Bayou to the Triple Crown Sidelines

Right on the hoofprints of Maxfield’s injury and subsequent departure from the Kentucky Derby Trail, Louisiana Derby winner Wells Bayou suffered bone bruising that will keep him out of the Sept. 5 Derby. Currently third on the active Derby qualifying points ladder with 104, Wells Bayou breezed a half-mile in […]

With his gate-to-wire victory in the Louisiana Derby, Wells Bayou currently leads the Kentucky Derby points standings. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Kentucky Derby Qualifying Trail Becomes Longer, More Unpredictable

With the postponement of the Kentucky Derby from May to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Derby Trail just got a lot longer. That means the Derby’s qualifying points system figures to get a lot steeper in terms of how many points are required to earn a spot […]