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Homeracing

Kentucky Derby prospect report: Louisiana

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

February 12th, 2022

The three-year-old talent pool appears to be quite deep in Louisiana this year, just as it was in 2021 when the likes of standouts Hot Rod Charlie, Mandaloun, and Midnight Bourbon featured at Fair Grounds. Below are a few of the top prospects that will race in Cajun country this campaign.

Epicenter

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ color bearer was a runaway winner of the Gun Runner S. prior to finishing a close second in the Lecomte S. (G3). Steve Asmussen trainee is quick and carries his speed a route of ground to this stage of his development, and I feel that he will be even more dangerous as the distances increase. The bay son of Not This Time might be the leading prospect for connections that seem long overdue for a Kentucky Derby winner.

Zandon

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Zandon scores on debut at Belmont Park (Coglianese Photos)

The twice-raced colt flashed big potential as a juvenile with a superb maiden victory, followed by a brave runner-up performance in the Remsen S. (G2) in his juvenile finale. Trained by Chad Brown, who is also due for a Derby victory, the son of young sire Upstart posted a huge 116 Brisnet Late Pace figure at Aqueduct at 1 1/8 miles to hint that he will handle a classic distance with more seasoning. The dark bay is training in Florida but is expected to make his season debut in the Risen Star S. (G2) on Feb. 19.

Smile Happy

McPeek pupil is 2-for-2, led by a dominant score in the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill Downs. The Runhappy colt was especially impressive beneath the Twin Spires in dusting a smart field in the stretch, earning a strong 102 Late Pace number in the process. Also bound for the Risen Star, the colt hails from the same female line as 2003 Kentucky Derby star Funny Cide and is bred to run all day.

Slow Down Andy

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Slow Down Andy winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Doug O’Neill pupil was a game winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) in his juvenile finale, and he was flattered when second-place finisher Messier came back to to blitz the Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) by a sensational 15 lengths. The Golden State-bred chestnut is by classic winner Nyquist and hails from a female line that produced another classic winner, Bernardini, so it’s surely possible that the colt will improve with additional distance this campaign. He is based in California but is also being pointed towards the loaded Risen Star.

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