Keying a Brad Cox debuter on Louisiana Derby undercard

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 18th, 2021

The 7TH race at Fair Grounds on Saturday features 10 sophomore fillies going six furlongs in a maiden special weight event on the main oval. I was not overly impressed with any of the contenders in the field that have gone to post previously, which leads me to believe that the first-time starters will have every chance to put a good foot forward in the affair.

#5 Speightharmony leads that group and is cut out to be a real nice one. The Bridlewood homebred is out of the Curlin mare Leslie’s Harmony, who counts herself as a half-sister to the sublime Beholder and champion Mendelssohn, as well as leading sire Into Mischief.

The chestnut filly shows a long string of morning moves in anticipation of her first offering, which includes a swift half-mile drill from the gate two prior. She races for a fine debut conditioner in Brad Cox, and she will have top pilot Florent Geroux on her back, too. I fully expect the Sunshine State-bred miss to come running from the opening bell.

I will structure many of my plays with a pair of debuting Into Mischief fillies underneath. #9 Played Hard was a $280,000 yearling purchase who has been training consistently since early January for Bauer. The bay, who is out of a full-sister to 2009 Dubai World Cup (G1) star Well Armed, may need a bit more ground to be at her best, but she will be ready to make a run in the lane on Saturday, nonetheless.

#10 Only Kidding has a lot of speed on her dam’s side and comes in with a fine half-mile drill from the gate most recently. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the gray three-year-old has trained solely at this venue since November. She was assigned a good outside post for her first appearance, and I never take for granted when Irad takes the reins on a contender.

Of the horses who have started, I have to give some props to #3 Rookery for Wayne Catalano. Hard Spun filly has burned a lot of money in her last four outings, but she has placed in each one, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her in the mix late under Johnny V. She could make a forward move second off the bench.


  • $4 Trifecta Key: 5 with 3,9,10 ($24)
  • $1 Trifecta: 5 with 9,10 with all ($16)