Horses to watch in Louisiana Derby Preview Day grass stakes
$50,000 Colonel Power -- Race 4 -- Perhaps the deepest field you'll find for a stakes with this purse, this about 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint perhaps could be ripe for an upset if the return to the Mike Maker barn agrees with the veteran nine-year-old #2 PARTLY MOCHA (15-1). A multiple stakes winner early last year before he was claimed away at Saratoga, he narrowly missed winning a third at Churchill, had some excuses in some higher-class races and was also a sharp second to Pay Any Price on that one's home turf of Gulfstream in July. West Virginia-bred should be running late under Javier Castellano.
Don't ignore: #11 WILL CALL (6-1) is undefeated in two starts over this course at the meet and is deserving of this step up in class by the hot Brad Cox barn.
$75,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial -- Race 6 -- With firmer footing #3 GIADA VEGAS (6-1) has the chance to turn the tables on #6 MOM'S ON STRIKE (7-2), who handled the softer going more capably when prevailing by a half-length in the $75,000 Marie Krantz Memorial last month.
Don't ignore: #8 MALIBU BONNIE (8-1), also from the Mark Casse stable, beat Giada Vegas in a Woodbine allowance in September and perhaps could be the better of the two.
$150,000 Fair Grounds H. (G3) -- Race 8 -- #8 SYNCHRONY (9-2) was super impressive taking his turf debut over this course last March, and was subsequently second to eventual Manhattan (G1) winner Ascend in a stakes at Laurel before his campaign came to a premature end following a runner-up placing in the Red Bank (G3). His recent worktab looks super.
Don't ignore: Argentinean import #12 CATCHO EN DIE (8-1) could be an exotics sleeper for Bill Mott following a solid allowance placing December 29 at Gulfstream in his first start in nearly 23 months. The six-year-old has raced a total of four times, but was a Group 1 winner in South America over the classy Ordak Dan and Don Inc.
(Giada Vegas photo: Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography)