The most prestigious 3-year-old race in Louisiana offers a $1 million purse and pays nine places with $600,000 to the winner, $200,000 runner-up and $100,000 to the third-place finisher.
While some race tracks are shut down across the country due to COVID-19 concerns and track restrictions, others are running without spectators in attendance; that will be the case at the Fair Grounds on Saturday.
A 60% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms is in the forecast for Saturday’s Louisiana Derby and increases to 80% in the evening. Another note is that the 2020 Louisiana Derby is run at 1 3/16 miles, which is a half furlong longer than the 1 1/8 mile distance the race has been run since 2009. From 1989 to 2009 the race was contested at 1 1/16 miles, but is now even more challenging for emerging 3-year-olds looking to qualify for their biggest race ahead in the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby.
Louisiana Derby key details
The Louisiana Derby (G2) drew a field of 14 for the $1 million dollar race. The winner receives $640,000 and 100 Derby points to qualify for a spot in the starting gate for the rescheduled 2020 Kentucky Derby Sept. 5.
- Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
- Race and Time: Race 12 at 5:49 ET
- TV: 1:30-6:30 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
- Online and Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and TVG
- Track and Location: Fair Grounds, New Orleans
- Distance: 1 3/16 miles on dirt
- Field: 14 Thoroughbreds, 3-year-olds
- Prize Pool: $1 million with $640,000 to winner
- Road to the Kentucky Derby Points: 100-40-20-10 to top four finishers
Louisiana Derby odds and post positions
The Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby offers Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers (100-40-20-10) and is the first of seven Championship Series races to award 100 points to the winner and a spot in the starting gate for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. Here’s a look at the post positions and odds to win the race this weekend.
|1||Major Fed||8-1||J. Rosario||G. Foley|
|2||Mailman Money||15-1||G. Saez||W. Calhoun|
|3||Wells Bayou||8-1||F. Geroux||B. Cox|
|4||Chestertown||15-1||J. Velazquez||S. Asmussen|
|5||Social Afleet||50-1||A. Beschizza||D. Stewart|
|6||Shake Some Action||15-1||C. Hernandez||B. Cox|
|7||Sharecropper||20-1||M. Mena||A. Stall Jr.|
|8||Royal Act||10-1||A. Cedillo||P. Eurton|
|9||Portos||8-1||I. Ortiz Jr.||T. Pletcher|
|10||Enforceable||7-2||J. Leparoux||M. Casse|
|11||Ny Traffic||15-1||L. Saez||S. Joseph Jr.|
|12||Lynn's Map||30-1||T. Gaffalione||M. Casse
|13||Silver State||6-1||R. Santana Jr.||S. Asmussen|
|14||Modernist||6-1||J. Alvarado||W. Mott|
Best Louisiana Derby betting site
How to bet the Louisiana Derby
The best place to bet on this weekend’s races is on the TVG app where you’ll receive a risk-free bet of up to $200 when you make your first deposit. That means if you lose your bet, you’ll get refunded in the form of a free-bet bonus. The bonus must be used within 30 days of the conclusion of the race.
Be sure to check out the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in Race 11. The six-horse field for 3-year-old fillies will race 1 1/16 miles for a $400,000 purse with the winner gaining entry into the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks. The prohibitive favorite is Finite (3-5).
TVG offers an iOS app for Apple devices and a sleek browser site for Android users. If TVG is legal in your state, you can place your bets right on your phone, tablet or personal computer and follow the action online.
Louisiana Derby betting strategy and insights
This race has seen all types of styles win over the past decade, and the track surface is often deeper. The run to the first turn is longer, and the added distance makes this more challenging though half the field ran in the lengthened Risen Star (1 1/8 miles).
Seven of the 14 runners in the Feb. 15 Risen Star Stakes are running in the Louisiana Derby including the favorite Enforceable, who finished second in the first division of the Risen Star. Also Silver State (third) is back as a challenger to Enforceable. Second division finishers running in the Louisiana Derby include Modernist (first place), Major Fed (second), Ny Traffic (third), Mailman Money (fourth) and Lynn’s Map (sixth).
Looking forward to the 107th Louisiana Derby on Saturday, March 21st! Eight stakes including the @TwinSpires Louisiana Derby (G2) and Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). First post 11am CT. pic.twitter.com/D9yHyo568F
— Fair Grounds (@fairgroundsnola) March 13, 2020
The speed and pace of the race is expected to come from Wells Bayou breaking from the 3-hole and Ny Traffic (11) and Modernist, who breaks from the far outside No. 14 post.
Mid-range odds horses with upside and breeding to consider as improving 3-year-olds: Major Fed with strong stretch rider Joel Rosario, and Wells Bayou, whose sire Lookin’ At Lucky won the Preakness at this distance. Major Fed placed second in his stakes debut in the Rebel Stakes (Division 2) and his sire Ghostzapper won 9 of 11 starts including the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Major Fed ran a bullet 4 furlong work on Feb. 29 as the best of 107 workouts that morning at the Fair Grounds. Wells Bayou has solid speed figures and ran on the lead before finishing second in the Southwest Stakes last month at Oaklawn. Also, Silver State (6-1) is improving his speed figures and can be a factor with more pace up front. He finished 2nd in the Lecomte and 3rd in the Risen Star as the 3-1 favorite just behind 2nd place finisher Enforceable. His sire is Hard Spun, who finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2007.
Longshot: Chestertown. A striking gray colt by Tapit and a $2 million purchase. Stakes debut and the owners need a win soon recoup their investment. Trainer Steve Asmussen has conditioned a number of horses by Tapit, and Chestertown just missed as a favorite last month in an allowance race at Fair Grounds track.
Enforceable as the favorite looks like the most consistent horse in the race and closed from deep to finish second in the Risen Star (Division 1). He’s talented and was listed as a horse to watch with room to improve in the 2020 Kentucky Derby betting guide. But as the favorite in a 14-horse field who will far back and working through traffic, value-seekers will search elsewhere for an outright win.
Louisiana Derby past winners
The 2019 Louisiana Derby winner was longshot By My Standards (22-1), who raced from fourth at the start and into the stretch under jockey Gabriel Saez before rallying past the second choice Spinoff to pull off the upset. The favorite War of Will (4-5) finished ninth, while Country House (6-1) finished fourth but would go on to win the controversial 2019 Kentucky Derby for trainer Bill Mott. By My Standards finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby, War of Will seventh and Spinoff 19th.
|2019||By My Standards||22/1||$47.00||1:49.53||Stalking|
|2015||International Star||5/2||$6.60||1:50.67||Closer, off pace|
|2014||Vicar’s in Trouble||7/2||$8.60||1:50.77||Front|
|2013||Revolutionary||5/2||$6.80||1:50.28||Last, off pace|
|2012||Hero of Order||109/1||$220.80||1:48.79||Front|
|2011||Pants on Fire||6/1||$14.60||1:49.92||Stalking|
Three of the previous four Louisiana Derby winners were the post-time favorites. Only twice in the 106-year history of the Louisiana Derby has the winner gone on to win the Kentucky Derby: Black Gold (1924) and Grindstone (1996).
Image courtesy of fairgroundsracecourse.com