Jockey Chris Rosier and Mr. Misunderstood head to the winner's circle afterS the Super Derby Prelude Stakes at Delta Downs
Super Derby Prelude on Saturday at Louisiana Downs consists of nine stakes races, mostly for Louisiana breds, with total purses of $460,000 up for grabs. Conditions were typical for early August in Bossier City, with clear skies, fast main track and firm turf, and temperatures in the low 90's with a 10 MPH breeze. This year the $200,000 Super Derby, scheduled for September 9, will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf (it had been run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track), so the Prelude, its major local prep, was also contested over that distance and surface. In addition, the Super Derby lost its Grade 3 status due to the surface change.
The Opelousas Stakes and the John Henry Stakes on today's undercard are two of the six stakes races usually run at Evangeline Downs but were transferred to Louisiana Downs for this season due to damage to Evangeline's turf course.
Mr. Misunderstood wins the Super Derby Prelude Stakes
The highlight race of the night was the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes, for three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Jockey Emanuel Nieves sent 34-1 Queeten to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 24.56, 48.73, and 1:12.42 while pressed by 7-1 Jilotepec and stalked by 8-5 favorite Royal by Nature. Entering the stretch, Queeten tired as 5-2 second choice Mr. Misunderstood, 5th early under Chris Rosier, came around tiring horses and quickly opened up a 5 length lead through 1 mile in 1:35.93. Kept to task by Rosier, Mr. Misunderstood cruised to a 2 1/2 length win over late-running 5-1 Fast Talkin Man in 1:41.88 over the firm going. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 6-1 Magic Vow third, and 2 1/4 more to favorite Royal by Nature fourth.
Left: Mr. Misunderstood in the winner's circle. Rick Giannini, assistant to winning trainer Brad Cox said, "We keep trying to make him a dirt horse, but found out in the Illinois Derby that it was not going to happen. He has such a great turn of foot on the turf and relishes that surface. We'll van back to Churchill Downs, our home base and van back down for the Super Derby."
Right: Winning jockey Chris Rosier with his children. He said, "There's a few years of friendship behind this horse,. Brad and his team did a great job bringing this horse off a layoff. Staton did his best to get them to leave me on this horse." Owner Staton Flurry added, "I'm glad we got this guy (Rosier) a stakes win. The horse ran great; undefeated on the turf and I hope we can keep on rolling in the Super Derby. This feels good!"
Sister Blues wins the Opelousas Stakes
The last race of the card was the $50,000 Opelousas Stakes for older fillies and mares going 1 mile on the turf. Jockey Rico Flores sent 43-1 longest shot Brooke's a Bookin to a 5 length lead through fractions of 24.92, 48.32, and 1:12.76 with 2-5 favorite Sister Blues and 3-1 Emerald Pond giving chase. On the turn Brooke's a Bookin tired and gave way, allowing Sister Blues to inherit the lead at the 3/16 pole. Kept to task by jockey Colby Hernandez, Sister Blues held off Emerald Pond by a length in 1:35.93. It was another 3 lengths back to 22-1 Ski Tune third.
A field of 12 Louisiana-bred older horses went in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint at 6 furlongs on the main track. 39-1 Sea Vow set the pace of 22.97 and 46.06 while pressed by 8-5 favorite Jockamo's Song and 4-1 Icy Gentleman. At the top of the lane jockey Gerard Melancon sent Jockamo's Song to challenge and he took over from the tiring Sea Vow through 5f in 57.59. Under a hand ride Jockamo's Song drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths over late-running 8-1 Nubin Ridge in 1:10.83 over the fast track. It was a neck back to Icy Gentleman third.
Berniestrike winning the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic
The $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic featured a field of 10 Louisiana-bred older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Jockey Kerwin Clark sent 13-1 Sir Genghis to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.14, 47.39, and 1:10.75 while pressed by 7-5 favorite Trust Factor and stalked by 22-1 Berniestrike. Entering the lane Sir Genghis tired allowing Trust Factor to inherit the lead through 1 mile in 1:34.69, but Berniestrike, under Eguard Tejera, collared him late to prevail by a neck in 1:41.16. It was another 1/2 length back to 7-1 Fort Pulaski third.
Emily's Lollipop wins the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies
A field of 10 Louisiana-bred 2-year-old fillies contested the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies at 6 furlongs on the main track. Jockey Diego Saenz sent 8-1 Emily's Lollipop to the front and she set fractions of 23.11 and 46.79 while pressed by 5-2 Janae and stalked by 2-1 favorite Bernadettes Vision. Into the stretch, Emily's Lollipop drew away from the field, opening up by 3 lengths through 5f in 58.78 and finishing 5 lengths clear of late-running 32-1 Sarah's Holy Belle in 1:12.05. It was another 3 lengths back to 7-1 Feisty Embrace third, while favorite Bernadettes Vision was 5th.
The $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff featured a field of 12 Louisiana-bred older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 14-1 P Poo was quickest away through fractions of 24.23 and 49.04 before 7-1 Illusionofreality under Alexander Castillo moved up to lead through 3/4 in 1:12.76. Illusionofreality quickly opened up a 3 length advantage through 1 mile in 1:36.39, and easily held off late-running 6-1 Safari Calamari by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:42.55. It was a neck back to 3-5 favorite Inveniam Viam third.
Sunny Oak wins the Louisiana Cup Filly And Mare Sprint
A field of 9 older Louisiana-bred fillies and mares sprinted 6 furlongs in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly And Mare Sprint. 5-1 Mr. Al's Gal was quickest away through an opening quarter of 23.04 before 9-2 Sunny Oak took over on the far turn through a half in 46.00. Under confident handling by jockey Emanuel Nieves, Sunny Oak opened up a 4 length lead midstretch through 5f in 58.05, and drew off to win by 5 3/4 lengths over late-running 48-1 Can't Touch Me in 1:10.75. It was another 1/2 length back to 1-2 favorite Look Into My Eyes third.
Big Changes wins the John Henry Stakes at Louisiana Downs Stakes
The $50,000 John Henry Stakes featured a field of 7 older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 4-1 Ibaka set the pace of 24.34, 48.07, and 1:11.18 while pressed by 11-2 Midnight Ruler and stalked by 9-10 favorite Big Changes. Entering the stretch, jockey Diego Saenz sent Big Changes to the lead through 1 mile in 1:35.51, and he drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths over late-running 5-1 Paternal Pride in 1:41.43. It was another 1/2 length back to Ibaka third.
Kicking off the 9-race all-stakes card on Saturday was the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Stakes for Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. Jockey Ted Gondron sent 1-5 favorite Aceguitar to the front exiting the chute through fractions of 22.89 and 46.72 while pressed by 23-12 Drewcitable and stalked by 7-1 Double Star. In the stretch, Aceguitar continued to lead through 5f in 58.85, and then pulled away to a 1 1/2 length win over Drewcitable in 1:12.47. It was another 2 lengths back to 9-1 Smokin' Truth third.