It’s finally Derby Day in Louisiana at Fair Grounds Race Course. The $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) is scheduled for this afternoon in New Orleans.
This is a big one for teams looking to go to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Not only is it a big win out of a $1,000,000 prize, but 100 points goes to the winner, with 2nd a big score as well getting 50 points.
BetOnline has 15 racecourses available for wagering in the US. Our first stop is in New Orleans for the big meet at Fair Grounds. There is a total of more than $2,000,000 in prize money to be won.
Head below for our Louisiana Derby pick and best Fair Grounds picks on March 26, 2022. If you are new to horse racing at BetOnline, sign-up with the link above for a free $25.00 bet and 9% cashback.
Race 9 – New Orleans Classic
Post Time: 4:08 p.m. CST
Distance: 1 ⅛ Miles
Our first selection at Fair Grounds Race Course is the $500,000 New Orleans Classic (Gr. 2). This is the second-biggest race at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
The six-horse field should be competitive between Proxy and Olympiad. Proxy might have enough to get it done from the outside.
He is 3 for 8 and is coming off a promising performance on February 25. In that outing, Proxy had a 3 ¾ length $54,000 win on February 25.
However, Proxy hasn’t won a race at this level. He’s finished 4th, 4th, 1st in his previous three entries, finishing 4th in the $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) last year, then 4th in the $200,000 Lexington Stakes (Gr. 3).
Olympiad is 4 for 7 and looking for a hat-trick on Saturday. The promising colt is 1st, 4th, 1st, 1st in his previous four attempts.
In his latest outing, Olympiad beat Silver Prospector by 2 ¼ lengths in the $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 19.
His worst outing was a tough start in the $750,000 Cigar Mile (Gr. 1). That’s also the most difficult assignment he’s had to experience.
Against this field in the New Orleans Classic, expect Olympiad to clear in the final furlong.
Race 11 – Fair Grounds Oaks
Post Time: 5:12 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
The $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Gr. 2) covers 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. There is one player that sits above the rest in this race. Could there be an upset?
Hidden Connection might be the one to give Echo Zulu a race. She split the first four races of his career, with back-to-back wins on August 17 and September 18.
In her most recent win, Hidden Connection defeated Mama Rina in a 9 ¼ length blowout for the Pocahontas Stakes (Gr. 3) on September 18.
Since then, she finished 4th in the $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Gr. 1) and the same most recently in the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (Gr. 2) on February 19.
If Echo Zulu is feeling fine today, this should be easy work. Echo Zulu is perfect through four races, three of which are graded assignments.
.@BreedersCup Juvenile Fillies Winner ECHO ZULU will make her 2022 debut this Saturday in the Fairgrounds Oaks!
— TVG (@TVG) March 24, 2022
She is coming off a 5 ¼ length win in the $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in the same event Hidden Connection finished 4th.
Echo Zulu had a 7 ¼ length $400,000 win in the Frizette Stakes (Gr. 1) a month earlier. This race sets up well for her versus this field.
Race 12 – Louisiana Derby
Post Time: 5:44 p.m. CST
Distance: 1 3/16 Miles
The $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) is the main show this weekend, with the Louisiana Derby a 100-50-20-10 race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Zozos and Epicenter have to be involved in this one. The No. 2 might be the best to pull off an upset in the Derby.
Zozos is a back-to-back winner on January 23 and February 11. After a $100,000 10 ¼ length blowout on February 11 at Oaklawn Park, Brad Cox feels confident in putting him in a Grade 1 race.
His workouts times have been encouraging, with a time of 59.60 seconds at 5 furlongs on March 12 and then 49.20 seconds at 4 furlongs a week later.
G2 Risen Star winner #6 Epicenter headlines the field for tomorrow's $1M G2 Louisiana Derby @Fairgroundsnola!
Race 12, 6:44PM ET / 3:44PM PT pic.twitter.com/B5NnCJ3aEV
— TVG (@TVG) March 26, 2022
Epicenter is 3 for 5 and 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st in his previous four attempts. He made his Grade 2 debut on February 19 and ran well to beat Smile Happy by 2 ¾ lengths in the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (Gr. 2).
He had the lead at the ¼ pole and 4 ½ lengths going into the stretch run. If Joel Rosario didn’t gear him down in the final furlong, Epicenter wins by more than 2 ¾.
In this spot, Epicenter is going to be tough on Saturday afternoon in the Louisiana Derby. Expect to see him soon at Churchill Downs.