Scully: Playing the Late Pick 5 on Louisiana Derby Day

Profile Picture: James Scully

March 18th, 2021

The $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) anchors an all-stakes Pick 5 at Fair Grounds Saturday, and I will leverage my opinion in the major Kentucky Derby qualifier.

Here is how I will play the Pick 5 sequence:

Tom Benson Memorial S. – Race 10 (4:42 p.m. ET)

A two-time stakes winner at Fair Grounds, Dalika is the one to beat following her one-length score in the Albert G. Small Memorial S. However, the six-year-old mare has never strung together consecutive wins in her 18-race career, and #3 Dalika had no excuses when fifth as the favorite in the Marie Krantz Memorial S. two back.

I’ll use all 13 turf distaffers.

New Orleans Classic S. (G2) – Race 11 (5:12 p.m. ET)

Winner of the 2019 Santa Anita Derby (G1), #1 Roadster will return from a 378-day layoff and make his first start for new trainer Michael Stidham in the 1 1/8-mile race. He’s eligible to show speed off the bench in a paceless field, and John Velazquez picks up the mount.

#2 Owendale was no match for Mystic Guide in the Razorback H. (G3) last time, but the five-year-old fits well in this spot for Brad Cox. #5 Enforceable didn’t fire from far off the pace in the Mineshaft S. (G3) last out, but the gray colt was able to stay much closer when posting an eight-length allowance win two back. I’m expecting a favorable trip Saturday.

Muniz Memorial Classic S. (G2) – Race 12 (5:43 p.m. ET)

Twelve runners have been assembled for the 1 1/8-mile turf affair, including #5 Colonel Liam, who invades from South Florida for Todd Pletcher. Irad Ortiz Jr. will accompany the four-year-old colt, who has really come to hand at Gulfstream Park this winter with victories in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and Tropical Park Derby.

The turf distances of the Breeders’ Cup (mile and 1 1/2 miles) may not be a good fit, but the 1 1/8-mile trip Saturday hits Colonel Liam between the eyes. I will single the gray colt. Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) – Race 13 (6:14 p.m. ET)

#8 Travel Column came up a neck short after a wide trip in the Rachel Alexandra S. (G2). The Frosted filly has tuned up for her second engagement of the year with several fast works for Brad Cox, and her tactical foot should play well in a field lacking early speed. My top choice.

#5 Clairiere remains a formidable rival, overcoming a slow start to edge Travel Column last time, but she was able to save ground from the break, edging through along the rail in midstretch. I will still include the Steve Asmussen-trained Curlin filly. Louisiana Derby (G2) – Race 14 (6:45 p.m. ET)

#4 Proxy will make his third stakes attempt following a pair of runner-up finishes in the Risen Star S. (G2) and Lecomte S. (G3), and blinkers look like a key equipment change for the gray Tapit colt. A convincing maiden and entry-level allowance winner at Fair Grounds late last year, Proxy still looked green when trying stakes foes in the Lecomte, re-rallying for second after drifting about in midstretch.

He continued to show signs of immaturity while advancing into contention in the Risen Star, temporarily stalling as he drifted out toward the center of the track leaving the far turn, and regained his momentum late to get up for second. Proxy recorded a couple of sharp works with the new headgear, including a half-mile bullet in :47, and I look for him to keep progressing in the Louisiana Derby.

Risen Star winner Mandaloun remains dangerous, but I will take a stand with Proxy.

Late Pick 5 ticket

All with 1,2,5 with 5 with 6,8 with 4 = $39

Good luck!