A11 – Louisiana, Sunland Derby

Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 144 on May 5th at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses on VegasInsider.com, culminating on Friday, May 4th with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 4th and May 5th, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year.
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Anthony's Eleven (3/24/18)

Anthony's Eleven (3/24/18)
Rank Horse Jockey Trainer Next Race Derby Points
1 Bolt d'Oro Javier Castellano Mick Ruis Santa Anita Derby (4/7 at SA) 64 pts
2 Enticed Junior Alvarado Kiaran McLaughlin Wood Memorial (4/7 at AQU) 63 pts
3 Audible John Velazquez Todd Pletcher Florida Derby (3/31 at GP) 10 pts
4 Noble Indy John Velazquez Todd Pletcher Louisiana Derby (3/24 at FG) 10 pts
5 Good Magic Jose Ortiz Chad Brown Blue Grass (4/7 at KEE) 34 pts
6 McKinzie Mike Smith Bob Baffert Santa Anita Derby (4/7 at SA) 40 pts
7 Solomini Flavien Prat Bob Baffert Wood Memorial (4/7 at AQU) 34 pts
8 Free Drop Billy Undecided Dale Romans Undecided 24 pts
9 Promises Fulfilled Robby Albarado Dale Romans Florida Derby (3/31 at GP) 52 pts
10 Combatant Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steve Asmussen Arkansas Derby (4/14 at OP) 22 pts
11 Quip Florent Geroux Rodolphe Brisset Wood (4/7 at AQU) or Blue Grass (4/7 at KEE) 50 pts

For the first time this season, 100 points will be awarded to the winner of a prep on the road to the Kentucky Derby when 10 sophomores go 1 1/8 miles in the G2 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La.

The first three finishers from the G2 Risen Star over the course - Bravazo, Snapper Sinclair and Noble Indy – will be joined by My Boy Jack, the G3 Southwest winner who ships in from Oaklawn for trainer Keith Desormeaux as the lukewarm 5-2 morning line chalk.

Winless in his first two starts on dirt, including a third-place finish in the G3 Sham behind McKinzie two back, My Boy Jack and his rider Kent Desormeaux never left the golden rail from their inside draw in the Southwest and rolled to a daylight score in the mud.

A stakes winner on turf as a juvenile, My Boy Jack should get plenty of pace to run at in here but will have to prove himself on dry dirt. He’ll break from post 9.

The pace figures to come from Bravazo and Snapper Sinclair, who mixed it up on the front end throughout the Risen Star last out over a speed biased course. Snapper Sinclair, another winless in his prior dirt starts but a stakes winner on turf last year for Steve Asmussen, led nearly every step of the way before Bravazo wore him down. Adam Beschizza has been replaced by Jose Ortiz aboard Snapper Sinclair. They’ll break from post 7 and will have to avoid both pace pressure and the karma police as “The Biscuit” did nothing wrong in the boot last out at 41-1.

Bravazo is perfect in two starts this season for D. Wayne Lukas after a solid juvenile season that saw him run second in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. He won an entry level allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn in January before his 21-1 upset of the Risen Star. Gary Stevens, aboard two back, replaces the injured Miguel Mena in the saddle from post 1.

Like he did unsuccessfully with Vino Rosso in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher will add blinkers to Noble Indy on Saturday. After getting bumped at the break of the Risen Star, he raced behind the front pair along the inside and just couldn’t pass in the stretch of his stakes debut. Perhaps the blinkers and a fairer race course will help his cause. John Velazquez rides from post 2.

Pletcher tried to get Hyndford into the G3 Sunland Derby but he was excluded from the field of 12 so he’ll stay here instead. After a fourth-place finish on turf in his debut, he dropped into a $50K maiden claimer that he won by just half a length before setting the pace and finishing second to his flashy, undefeated stablemate Magnum Moon at Tampa Bay Downs. Joe Bravo rides from post 6.

Retirement Fund returns to the Fair Grounds for Asmussen after a dismal effort in the Southwest under regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan. He romped in his debut at 12-1 before taking an entry level allowance/optional claimer, both in front running fashion, locally. He’ll break from post 5.

Dark Templar broke his maiden in his debut sprinting for trainer Brendan Walsh in November before a distant third in his local and two turn debut in his only other juvenile try. This year, he was second to Retirement Fund before winning against similar company gate-to-wire fashion. Florent Geroux, who was aboard last out, returns from outside post 10.

Givemeaminit has hit the board in all of his sprint efforts, including his maiden win two back and a third-place finish where he missed by just a neck in the second start of his career in the G1 Hopeful last summer at Saratoga for trainer Dallas Stewart. Unfortunately, his best two turn finish was his fourth-place effort in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and he’s lost ground in all four route starts late in the game. Javier Castellano rides from post 4.

Lone Sailor was third in the Breeders’ Futurity and second in the Street Sense last season before flopping in the LeComte to start the year. Trainer Tom Amoss tried blinkers on him that day and quickly removed them for his last start when he closed nicely to be second to Dark Templar. Jimmy Graham has the call from post 8.

Marmello entered against maidens earlier on the card for trainer Mikhail Yanakov, would break from post 3 with Jack Gilligan aboard should he stay in here.

Down in New Mexico, 50 Derby points are on the line in the Sunland Derby at nine furlongs that features a dozen three-year-olds who don’t appear ready for prime time just yet.

From the rail out, All Out Blitz was second in the Sham two starts back; Dark Vader was third in the G3 Robert Lewis most recently; New York Central has won half of his four starts; Hollywood Star is winless in four starts since his debut tally; Peace was a distant fourth in the G2 San Felipe just two weeks ago; Shane Zain has hit the board just once, his maiden win, in five starts; Prince Lucky won a minor stakes at Parx and makes his first start for Pletcher and Johnny V; Seven Trumpets just missed in the Jerome two back before an off-the-board try in the Southwest; Choo Choo takes the blinkers off having won the California Derby over the Golden Gate synthetic track two back; Dream Baby Dream adds blinkers for Asmussen; Runaway Ghost tired to second in the local prep for this as the 2-5 chalk; Fortified Effort has won four of his nine starts, all in the southwest.

Prep Play of the Day

I love Noble Indy in the Louisiana Derby. So, in the famous words of Teddy KGB from “Rounders,” one of my favorite poker movies, “I Bet Eet Awl!!!” $140 to win on Noble Indy.

Bankroll: plus $140

Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6PM ET on Wednesday and 3-7PM ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 206 or streaming live at horseracingradio.net. He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as a guest on Talking Horses. Follow him on Twitter @thebigastabile!