Louisiana Derby Contenders, Betting Guide & Tipsheet

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TwinSpires Staff

March 24th, 2022

Tipsheet by John Mucciolo, Meet the Contenders by Vance Hanson

A fine field of nine three-year-olds has been entered for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on Saturday. The 1 3/16-mile test will offer a total of 180 qualifying points (100-50-20-10) to go to the top-four finishers in the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event.

Louisiana Derby Tipsheet

Louisiana Derby Picks

  • #6 Epicenter
  • #9 Rattle N Roll
  • #8 Galt
  • #3 Call Me Midnight

Louisiana Derby Wagers

  • $15 win and place #6 Epicenter
  • 50-cent superfecta 6 with 3, 8, 9 with 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 with 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9

Louisiana Derby Contenders

#1 SILENT POWER (50-1) rates as an outsider in the field from the rail. The Strong Mandate colt was fourth facing stakes foes at Delta Downs last time out with blinkers off, but he will need a huge move forward to make the frame on Saturday.

#2 ZOZOS (8-1) is two-for-two for Brad Cox led by a fantastic allowance victory at Oaklawn Park most recently. The Munnings homebred could be just scratching the surface of his abilities as a fine prospect, but he does face a major class hike in this spot and will need continued improvement to upset this tough cast. Florent Geroux will be in the silks.

#3 CALL ME MIDNIGHT (6-1) rallied from far back to notch an upset tally in the Lecomte S. (G3) on the surface in his most recent showing for conditioner Keith Desormeaux. Dark bay son of Midnight Lute possesses a fine turn of foot, and his best performance will find him challenging late with James Graham on board.

#4 CURLY HAIR (30-1) graduated with a strong late kick at Oaklawn Park for Dallas Stewart, but he faces a tall task from off the pace in this endeavor. Colby Hernandez will guide the longshot.

#5 KUPUNA (8-1) was runner-up to a nice colt in a recent allowance heat on the surface and rates a top-three chance with a forward move on Saturday. The Bret Calhoun pupil has been consistent to this stage of his development, and he has been working in swift fashion as of late. Reylu Gutierrez will be in the stirrups.

#6 EPICENTER (7-5) cruised home an emphatic winner of the recent Risen Star S. (G2) and is the one to beat for trainer Steve Asmussen. The fleet son of Not This Time has proven to be capable of carrying his speed a route of ground, and the Kentucky-bred continues to work in fine fashion at the venue. Joel Rosario will pilot the leading Triple Crown contender.

#7 PIONEER OF MEDINA (5-1) has displayed steady improvement since adding blinkers three back for leading trainer Todd Pletcher. The Pioneerof the Nile sophomore checked in a decent fourth in the Risen Star, and he makes a lot of top-three sense with any kind of improvement off that showing. Tyler Gaffalione picks up the mount.

#8 GALT (8-1) clipped heels in the Fountain of Youth (G2) last time out and comes back here for veteran conditioner Bill Mott. The half-brother to the exquisite Songbird had increased his Brisnet Speed number in every lifetime try prior to his latest at Gulfstream Park, and he rates as a sleeper at a price beneath Junior Alvarado.

#9 RATTLE N ROLL (6-1) was mostly one-paced in his seasonal bow in the Fountain of Youth, but the Ken McPeek trainee has a lot of room to do better second time off the shelf. The Grade 1 winner is training fast and seems poised to unleash his fine late burst over a surface that is more conducive to his running style. Brain Hernandez will be up.

Meet the Contenders for the 2022 Louisiana Derby

Download the full betting guide for a 5-star rating of each horse's winning potential.

    • Pro: Closing type unlikely to tire with additional distance.
    • Con: Ex-claimer unplaced in softer stakes; hard to see how.
    • Pro: Won key maiden sprint and then dominated allowance foes at two turns.
    • Con: Concedes crucial experience with only two starts underneath him.
    • Pro: Made up 12-length deficit in Lecomte (G3) with aide of contested pace.
    • Con: Might not get such an ideal trip this time; odds will be much shorter.
    • Pro: Belatedly broke his maiden last out at Oaklawn; light switch finally on.
    • Con: Unplaced every time before last-out graduation; hard to endorse here.
    • Pro: Has posted two bullet works since second-place finish in local allowance.
    • Con: Should be well-positioned, but tough spot in which to make stakes debut.
    • Pro: Dominating winner of Risen Star (G2); one to beat if he escapes pressure.
    • Con: Stretches out in distance again; how far can he carry his speed?
    • Pro: Solid try in the Risen Star when chasing lone speed; can improve on that.
    • Con: Has ground to make up on a more accomplished Epicenter; perhaps not good enough.
  • GALT
    • Pro: Capable of better when showing positional speed; didn’t show that at all last time.
    • Con: Simply looks a cut or two below and remains eligible for an N1X allowance.
    • Pro: Brilliant winner of Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and definitely in need of recent comeback.
    • Con: Might not have gotten enough out of latest and wheels back on relatively short rest.