Magic Man’s 2021 Louisiana Derby picks

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Fair Grounds

Ah the early days of spring are here, and with that you know we are into the home stretch of Kentucky Derby preps.

This weekend brings us the 2021 rendition of the Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds. It will be a great day of racing as the Louisiana Derby is the centerpiece of an absolutely stacked card of stakes races with massive importance.

With the temperatures warming up going forward, the Magic Man remains as cold as the recent blitz that hit Louisiana. I have to start producing winning results, and I’ll use this Louisiana Derby to do just that. Below is my horse by horse preview of this important prep along with my picks.

RACE 14 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (Grade II) POST TIME – 5:44 PM CT
ENTRIES PLUS (FREE)
PPS & SELECTIONS
PP (RACE 14)
Exacta / $0.50 Trifecta / $0.10 Superfecta
Fair Grounds STAKES
Purse $1,000,000. For Three Year Olds. One And Three Sixteenth Miles.

P# PP Horse  Virtual
Stable
A/S Med Jockey Wgt
1 1 Starrininmydreams (KY) [ ] 3/C L Saez 122
2 2 Rightandjust (KY) [ ] 3/C C J Hernandez 122
3 3 Run Classic (KY) [ ] 3/C B J Hernandez, Jr. 122
4 4 Proxy (KY) [ ] 3/C J R Velazquez 122
5 5 Hot Rod Charlie (KY) [ ] 3/C J Rosario 122
6 6 Mandaloun (KY) [ ] 3/C F Geroux 122
7 7 Midnight Bourbon (KY) [ ] 3/C J Talamo 122
8 8 O Besos (KY) [ ] 3/C M Pedroza 122

 
Owners: 1 – Stewart Racing Stable (Dallas Stewart) and WinStar Farm, LLC (Kenny Troutt) ; 2 – Wayne T. Davis ; 3 – Tom R. Durant ; 4 – Godolphin, LLC (Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum) ; 5 – Roadrunner Racing (Greg Helm), Boat Racing, LLC (Patrick O’Neill) and William Strauss ; 6 – Juddmonte Farms, Inc. (Garrett O’ Rourke) ; 7 – Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC (Ron Winchell) ; 8 – Bernard Racing, LLC (L. Barrett Bernard), Tagg Team Racing (Travis Foley) and West Point Thoroughbreds (Terrence Finley)
Breeders: 1 – Dallas Stewart & WinStar Farm, LLC; 2 – Gary & Mary West Stables Inc.; 3 – Millennium Farms; 4 – Godolphin; 5 – Edward A. Cox Jr.; 6 – Juddmonte Farms Inc; 7 – Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC; 8 – L. Barrett Bernard
Pedigrees (Sire – Dam, by Dam Sire): 1 – Super Saver – Boy Crazy , by Sky Mesa ; 2 – Awesome Again – Pussyfoot , by Tiznow ; 3 – Runhappy – Pledge Pin , by Chatain ; 4 – Tapit – Panty Raid , by Include ; 5 – Oxbow – Indian Miss , by Indian Charlie ; 6 – Into Mischief – Brooch , by Empire Maker ; 7 – Tiznow – Catch the Moon , by Malibu Moon ; 8 – Orb – Snuggs and Kisses , by Soto ;
Sire of Mandaloun standing at Spendthrift Farm

Equipment Changes: 4 – Proxy – Blinkers On

1. Starrrinmydreams – Was well beaten in his last out in the Risen Star. Prior to that he won his 2 starts but being whipped like that what can you disseminate except he does not belong amongst these types. That said I will pass on him here and move forward

2. Rightandjust – Made most of the pace in the Risen Star in his most recent out and gave it up when the real running commenced. Even with 8 entered he at the very most can be at the bottom of the superfecta.

3. Run Classic – Sometimes in races like this there is an upstart who teases at ability to step up in class and run well. This one qualifies as that as he broke his maiden in his last out. Obviously there is the question of the step up in class yet he is well bred to potentially be the fly in the ointment here. I don’t know if he wins but at 12-1 I could see myself definitely including him on multi race wagers.

4. Proxy – Thought he was a sure thing rounding the turn for home in the stretch of the Risen Star but he began gawking and losing focus yet still ran a good 2nd. The blinkers go on for this test and my belief is that he should run much better. He has a great draw and should be a big player.

5. Hot Rod Charlie – California shipper is on paper a very formidable foe. He ran a bang up 2nd to Essential Quality in last year’s Breeders Cup Juvenile. His comeback in the Robert Lewis was pretty good as he ran a resilient 3rd. It is interesting that they travel here over a track he has yet to run on. He is working wonderfully for this and should be a major contender.

6. Mandaloun – If there is anyone hotter than trainer Brad Cox has been with his runners then please show me. In this horse’s win in the Risen Star I completely underestimated his chances that day. So much so that I did not include him in my exactas. What is the old saying fool me once shame on you. Well I wont make the same mistake twice. The blinkers obviously made a difference and he should be in this as well.

7. Midnight Bourbon – Did not follow up his win in the Lecompte as strong in the Risen Star as after a slight misstep at the break he was pace compromised yet still hung on resolutely to finish 3rd. If he can get out better in this race he merits a fair to good chance, As far as where he is on my exotics I feel like if I leave him out he might burn me so its a tough call.

8. O Besos – Did not disgrace himself in his first try against this level as he ran 4th in the Risen Star but with a couple of bigger shooters entered in I am not going to use him on my wagers.

My Selections

1. Proxy – In what promises to be a close contest, the blinkers will make a difference as this guy wins.

2. Mandalaun – Does not have to win here to make the Derby but momentum is really important and in that vein he is a must use.

3. Run Classic – Ideally I want him to either win or split the 2 top choices so that the exacta box will have some value. Going to hope for the best here.

4. Midnight Bourbon – You wonder if the Lecompte was a fluke, and this guy has to answer the question here. Think he runs well just not enough to win.

So there you have it. Hopefully this kickstarts my run of wins.

I will be on the Three Tailgaters Show with Ken Trahan and Ed Daniels at 11:40 this morning on NASH 106.1 FM. As mediocre as I have been with picks, I am due. This exacta will not be a financial life changer (wagering almost never is!) but I just want to hit it. To bring back the magic. That’s all I ask. Is that too much to ask? As always may your winners be plentiful and your wallets be fat.

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George Pepis

Horse Racing Analyst

George Pepis provides racing analysis during each Fair Grounds racing season. He also shares commentary and selections for major stakes events and prep races around the country. In the past, George has hosted sports talk programming on WGSO 990am in New Orleans. He has served as both play-by-play and color analyst on Louisiana high school football radio and internet broadcasts.

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