This year’s edition of the Louisiana Derby should be renamed “the Broken Dreams Derby” or “the Last Chance Handicap.”  It features a wallet-busting lineup of Kentucky Derby prospects who contested stakes races in other places to no avail.

Bettors might be wise to side with the best of the local boys.

Todd Pletcher’s shipper Sanford couldn’t come close to beating stablemate Materiality at Gulfstream. To avoid a rematch (or a showdown with Pletcher’s other star, Carpe Diem), Sanford lands at the Fair Grounds.

St. Joe Bay couldn’t beat allowance foes at Santa Anita, so he takes a second bite at the muffuletta, after fading late in the Risen Star. And Keen Ice shipped in off losing efforts at Gulfstream last month and also notched a losing effort in the Risen Star.

The list goes on….

Mr. Z can’t beat anyone, anywhere. Nine consecutive defeats. Most recently he suffered a few narrow losses in Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby prep series. Come on down to the Crescent City, Mr. Z!

They all join War Story, who failed twice in efforts against the likely favorite International Star.

In both the LeComte Stakes and the Risen Star, International Star sat back and patiently waited for his underachieving rivals to burn each other out. That strategy yielded two straight wins.

A repeat of his prior efforts should suffice here. With no accomplished horses coming to town, International Star stands a good chance of going three for three against the Derby B-teamers down on the bayou.

Roger LeBlanc
March 27, 2015