When the March Madness picks are set each season, it's never surprising to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the shortlist of potential NCAA Tournament champions.
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2018 Louisiana Derby Odds, Picks
Louisiana Derby Preview and Odds
As the highlight race of the 2018 Fair Grounds meet, the Louisiana Derby is also the first Kentucky Derby qualifying race to offer points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. For three of the four horses in the race already in the Top 20 on the Derby leaderboard, even a third-place finish would likely be enough to ensure a spot in the Derby field. The fourth, Noble Indy, currently sits in a tie for 21st place with 10 points and likely needs to finish in the top two in the LA Derby to secure a spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate on May 5.
Leading the field as the slight ML favorite at odds of 5-2 is My Boy Jack for the trainer and jockey brother team of Keith and Kent Desormeaux. Something of a veteran runner already with eight lifetime starts, he started his racing career on the turf in southern California, where he scored a minor stakes win before running seventh in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
Switched to the dirt for his three-year-old season, he ran third in the (G3) Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and last time out came from way back in the field to rally for a comfortable 4 1/2 length win in the (G3) Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park just over a month ago. He doesn't possess a lot of early speed, so expect him to try and rally from mid-pack once again.
In contrast to the experience of My Boy Jack, Noble Indy (7-2) has made just three starts so far, winning his career debut and then following that up with an allowance-level score, both of those at Gulfstream Park. He ran third last time in his graded-stakes debut in the (G2) Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, which is the main prep for the Louisiana Derby.
He's a talented colt that will probably be racing on or near the lead, but his biggest problem may be himself, as he has had trouble settling in two of his three races. If jockey John Velazquez can get him to relax and just run his race, he could be tough to run down late.
Bravazo Looking for Second Straight Win at Fair Grounds
Co-second choice in the ML also at 7-2 is the colt that won the Risen Star in the form of Bravazo. He has some graded-stakes experience as a two-year-old, but he was unable to find the winner's circle in four of his five races in 2017. As a three-year-old, he has now won two in a row, one by a head and one by a nose. If you think his Risen Star win at 20-1 was a legitimate step forward, he could be considered the one to beat here.
Rounding out the top four contenders, Snapper Sinclair (9-2) was second in the Risen Star at 42-1. He's another that started his career racing on turf and has moved forward this season since making the switch to dirt, running third in the (G3) Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds prior to his runner-up finish in the Risen Star. There's probably even a bigger question mark for him than there is for Bravazo as to whether he can repeat that performance, especially as they stretch out in distance, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that he can get in the money once again.
The Louisiana Derby goes Saturday, March 24, from Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. It's race #11 on the twelve-race card and immediately follows the (G2) Fair Grounds Oaks, which is a qualifying race for the 2018 Kentucky Oaks. Post time for the Louisiana Derby is 5:21 PM Central.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Bravazo (7-2)
- Noble Indy (7-2)
- Marmello (50-1)
- Givemeaminit (20-1)
- Retirement Fund (12-1)
- Hyndford (8-1)
- Snapper Sinclair (9-2)
- Lone Sailor (20-1)
- My Boy Jack (5-2)
- Dark Templar (12-1)
Louisiana Derby Picks
- 1) #2 - Noble Indy
- 2) #9 - My Boy Jack
- 3) #1 - Bravazo
- 4) #7 - Snapper Sinclair
You can bet both the Louisiana Derby and the Fair Grounds Oaks on your PC or mobile device with an account at one of these top-rated online racebooks, and get cashback bonuses and other rewards.
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