The Louisiana Derby runs for $1 million at Fair Grounds on Saturday and has attracted an eight-horse field.
It has been a launching pad for the Triple Crown races in the past, including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Online betting is available for the 2021 Louisiana Derby where a talented field of 3-year-olds are looking to replicate what Wells Bayou did last year.
One runner will add its name to the long list of champion winners, barring a dead-heat, so let’s dive in to find our three best Louisiana Derby wagers.
Louisiana Derby Top Pick – Mandaloun
Owners Juddmonte Farm have won just about every race on the U.S. calendar and it could add the 2021 Louisiana Derby.
Mandaloun is a colt by Into Mischief who owns three wins from four starts. He scored a solid win on debut at Keeneland, which wasn’t run in a quick time, but he backed it up with a seven-furlong victory at Churchill Downs.
We can’t wait until Saturday!!!
— Fair Grounds (@fairgroundsnola) March 15, 2021
His first taste of grade-level racing came in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes, where he finished stoutly for third. That run prepared him perfectly for the Grade 2 Risen Stakes at Fair Grounds, which he won drawing away with ease.
It was a good form indicator for the Louisiana Derby and it suggests he’ll have no problems handling the distance.
Trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux are shooting for consecutive Louisiana Derby wins, and Mandaloun looks an ideal contender.
Pick: Mandaloun +137 (projected odds)
Best Value: Hot Rod Charlie
Bettors get value odds for Hot Rod Charlie. The son of Oxbow has more experience than current favorite Mandaloun and he has some notable results on his record.
Doug O’Neill lines up Hot Rod Charlie, who finished second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November. It was an incredible performance behind champion Essential Quality, so bettors shouldn’t overlook that form.
He is only a one-race winner, but that doesn’t often matter in this race. He has been battle-hardened in some tough races and he resumed this campaign with a tidy third placing in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
His tendency to stride up to the opposition and not put his nose in front has frustrated bettors to date. However, he is more matured now and he could strike after a 49-day layoff.
Pick: Hot Rod Charlie +500 (projected odds)
Longshot: Run Classic
We are taking a bit of a risk with Run Classic, but bettors can enjoy value horse racing betting odds.
The three-year-old son of Runhappy has had only two career starts for a win and a placing. He finished second on debut at Fair Grounds when recovering from a rough start to launch late behind Blameworthy.
He immediately stepped up in distance and scored a powerful 3.25-length victory last start. That’s the best guide for bettors and he could mature into a Kentucky Derby-type runner.
There are some concerns about Run Classic getting the distance, but we have liked the way he has hit the line over shorter distances.
Trainer Bret Calhoun won the Louisiana Derby in 2019 with By My Standards and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. won with Girvin in 2017.
Horse Racing Pick: Run Classic +1100 (projected odds)
Trifecta Selections for Louisiana Derby Wagers
- Hot Rod Charlie
- Run Classic
We have included Proxy in our trifecta selections. The Godolphin runner owns two wins and three second placings from five starts, so we couldn’t overlook his chances.
The well-bred son of Tapit likes to sit on the pace and he could set up a strong tempo in front.