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Racing at Louisiana Downs.
Racing at Louisiana Downs.|@HarrahsLADowns

RT returns to pick Louisiana Downs Stakes Saturday – and a longshot in the Whitney from Saratoga

Post time is 4:15 pm EDT.


My pick for The Whitney - #2 – Forewarned (30-1) this guy has smoking closing times. Jockey Jose Bracho will keep him back and with Saratoga’s long stretch, he'll have a shot to show off this guys’ late speed.

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Louisiana Downs Stakes Saturday

Oh, how I’d love to be there! Yes, I’d be shooting the diet to hell and gaining many lbs on Crawfish Etouffee, Sausage Gumbo, Corn & Crab Bisque, Redfish Tchoupitoulas etc etc etc…

All Times Eastern

*Disclaimer* this was written on Friday afternoon and there are impending thunderstorms due in the Shreveport area on Saturday afternoon.

Race 1 16:15

The $50K Louisiana Cup Juvenile Stakes

Cajun bred 2-year-old colts and geldings going 6 furlongs on dirt

#1 – Slam’s Man (10-1)

Going to take a flyer for a price in the first race as the heavy fave will be #4 – Pickens. Jockey Aubrie Green did a masterful job of rating this gelding to get up for a win in an $18K open company bow. This son of Mucho Macho Man had plenty in the tank and can get the extra distance today. LaD tends to play to closers and the rain will certainly help his cause due to the speed in this race – front end horses tromping in the mud tend to tire quicker. Slam’s was gelded on July 1st and this extra month bodes well for his maturity. 2nd Lasix and a 5f workout on 7/26 ostensibly leads me to believe he’s ready.

#2 – Free Indeed (8-1) comes in with best last figures after going against similar on July 6th. The winner of his previous race, Halfmoon Reef, entered the $100K Texas futurity recently, was banged around badly at the onset, ran up to press the pace then tired – giving a game effort despite the trouble. In this colt’s last race, he was pinned behind three horses in the stretch, forced to swing wide and once righted, turned on the afterburners to get up for the show. Very game guy. This will be jockey Devin Magnons’ third time on him and he knows this colt well.

#4 – Pickens (9-5) tough to buck team Assmussen/Eramia (20%), yet I am reluctant to lay a short price. This colt comes back from scoring a big win last out and it appeared that it was one of those races where he didn’t win it as much as the others gave up. Will use in exotics

The bets:

#1 - $25/w $50/p

#2 - $100/s

$5 Exacta Box 1-2-4

Race 2 16:45

The $50K Louisiana Cup Sprint Stakes

Home Bred 3yo+ going 6 panels on dirt

#2 - Monte Man (4-5) if numbers dictate outcomes, you’ll find jockey Gerard Melancon hand-riding this 6yo gelding to an easy finish. Monte has the best last figures and best overall….and it’s not even close

The Bets – pass (he’ll be 1-5 or worse at post time)

Race 3 17:15

The $50K Louisiana Cup Distaff Stakes

Lew-Zee-Anna bred girls going 6 furlongs on turf

On turf - #1 – Bermuda Star (5-2) going with this 5yo gray mare who is 3:2-1-0 on LaD turf for $87K. Diego Saenz (29% last 10) retains the mount for Victor Arcenoux (30% turf wins).

On dirt - #4 Is Too (8-5) has highest overall numbers for this group and has performed better on dirt than turf. Trainer Edward Johnston is 38% the last 30 days and jockey Colby Hernandez clipping at 29% the past 10.

The bets:

$20/w $40/p on either depending on surface

The Rest:

Race 4 17:43

The $50K Louisiana Cup Juvenile Filly Stakes

State bred 2 yo fillies going 6 furlongs on dirt

#5 – Sarah’s Passion (9/2) scored as 2nd fave and hand-ridden out on debut vs. similar.

Race 5 18:11

The $50K Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

Louisiana bred 3yo+ going 8.5 panels on the grass

#9 – In the Navy (2-1) best last and best class.

Race 6 17:39

The $60K Super Derby Prelude Stakes

3yo+ going 8.5 furlongs on dirt

#3 Mr. Money Bags (8-5) best last and has beaten better.

Race 7 18:07

The $50K Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Stakes

State bred fillies and mares going 6 furlongs on dirt

#2 Play Unified (4-1) trainer Ron Facheaux 40% with horses coming off 6+ months. Has been working forwardly with a bullet 5f in :59.