Kentucky Derby hopefuls embark on the Louisiana Derby this Saturday at Fair Grounds, which will shape the betting landscape.
Headlining the $1 million feature is Epicenter, who continues to be at the forefront of both Louisiana Derby and Kentucky Derby betting.
However, it’s a quality field, so he won’t have it all his own way.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and Horse racing odds for Louisiana Derby. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Epicenter Stands Above
The best Thoroughbred in the Louisiana Derby is Epicenter and there aren’t too many bettors who would disagree.
The Steve Asmussen-trained colt won consecutive races, including the Gun Runner, before finishing second in the Lecomte, but he rebounded with a win in the Risen Star.
Asmussen was disappointed with his effort in the Lecomte and believes he has a colt good enough to win the Louisiana Derby.
“It was a disappointing loss in the Lecomte,” Asmussen told DRF. “Wish he’d have won. Didn’t. Had success in the Risen Star. Looking for more of that. Been doing well since. Expecting a big run in the Derby.”
The 7-5 favorite is clearly the horse they have to beat and horse racing betting markets agree. He has attracted most of the money throughout the week and he has been training the house down.
“Epicenter is coming to the race exactly how we were hoping for,” Asmussen said. “He’s an extremely durable and talented horse that is showing incremental improvement. I think we are headed in the right direction and couldn’t be any more excited about where we are.”
He’s our best bet for the Louisiana Derby and getting anything better than 1-1 is a good price.
Zozos Yet To Taste Defeat
Zozos scored his maiden win at Fair Grounds before graduating to allowance grades when winning at Oaklawn Park.
The 3-year-old son of Munnings gets every chance from barrier two and trainer Brad Cox expects him to be settling on the speed, but acknowledges the rise in class.
“He’ll be on the lead or very close,” Cox said. “There’s a pretty good run to the first turn. He’s a smart horse. He’ll do what you ask. He’s doing well. Obviously needs to step up.”
The sportsbook has Zozos at 8-1, so bettors get a price worth locking in and he could test Epicenter.
It could come down to whether Zozos gets a soft lead and is able to kick, but we expect him to be fighting out the finish.
Money Comes for Pioneer of Medina
Todd Pletcher always has a strong hand in the Kentucky Derby lead-up races and Pioneer of Medina could give him the win.
The colt started his career with consecutive placings before breaking through at Tampa Bay Downs, followed by an allowance win at Fair Grounds.
However, it was his fourth placing in the Risen Star that suggested he’s up to winning the Louisiana Derby.
The son of Pioneerof the Nile was right in the finish and there has been steady money for him since markets opened.
It could pay to follow late betting moves with Pioneer of Medina, as we expect him to