Charlotte - This weekend the racing continues for those trying to get a horse in the starting gates for the Kentucky Derby the first weekend of May. The featured race takes us to Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans for the Louisiana Derby (G2).
Mo Tom leads the field and his local connections, owners of the New Orleans Saints, Tom and Gayle Benson, are part of the reason he has so much hometown attraction for this race. His trainer, Tom Amoss, is also a native of Louisiana.
While this race is only listed as a Grade 2, it provides a good prep for those horses who may end up hitting the board in the Kentucky Derby as a potential long shot. Over the past couple of years Revolutionary, Commanding Curve and Golden Soul all finished second or third in the Kentucky Derby.
Eleven horses are competing for 100 qualifying points and a place in the the Derby lineup.
Mo Tom has proven that he is a competitor as he is undefeated in three starts as a two year old. Jockey Cory Lanerie will keep the mount as he's been with Mo Tom his last five races and I expect the pair to have a decent showing.
Greenpointcrusader is the full brother to Algorithms and enters this race with a 2-2-0 record. He did his best against Mohaymen in the Holy Bull but took second. This colt is talented but needs to bring his A game.
Gun Runner came home a winner in the Risen Star last month but will be going an extra sixteenth with some tough competition here. He posted a bullet breeze and will be a likely contender.
Battery is making his stakes debut for Todd Pletcher. His speed is improving but just not soon enough for the competition lined up tomorrow.
If Gun Runner gets a clean break out of the gates he will be tough to keep up with on the inside. Mo Tom would have to move to the outside of the field and back in to stay on course and make his move when the opportunity arrives.
The Louisiana Derby's post time will be at 5:27p.m. ET and is listed as the 9th race on the card.