Horse Racing Picks: Louisiana Derby Prediction, Preview, and Odds (Mar 23)

By ยท Updated 2 months ago
  • 12 runners will compete in key Kentucky Derby prep action on Saturday
  • Todd Pletcher has trained the winner of this race on five previous occasions

There will be action on the Road to the Kentucky Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday, as the Louisiana Derby is staged. A field of 12 runners will compete in this race, which has been won by the likes of Epicenter, Hot Rod Charlie, and Gun Runner.

Schedule and How To Watch

  • When: Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 7:42 PM ET
  • Where: Fair Grounds, Louisiana  
  • How To Watch: FanDuel TV

Louisiana Derby Odds

Track Phantom+200
Hall of Fame+450
Catching Freedom+550
Agate Road+750
Common Defense+800
Triple Espresso+1000
Honor Marie+1200
Tuscan Gold+1200
Real Men Violin+3300
Awesome Ruta+10000
Next Level+10000

Race Preview

The Louisiana Derby has been targeted by a number of leading Kentucky Derby chances throughout history, which includes recent winners of this Grade 2 including Epicenter and Hot Rod Charlie. The field of horses aged three will compete over 1 3/16 miles at Fair Grounds, with a purse of $1 million available.

Track Phantom appears to be the obvious place to start this weekend for trainer Steven Asmussen. This three-year-old was second in the G2 Risen Star, which came after landing both the Gun Runner Stakes and G3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds either side of the new year. Joel Rosario once again takes the ride, which is a big plus.

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Agate Road is a very interesting contender for Todd Pletcher and Irad Ortiz this weekend. The three-year-old has a progressive profile and was a strong performer on the turf before finishing second in the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes. There could be further improvement from this runner for leading connections.

Catching Freedom is a runner from the Brad Cox yard this weekend, and he deserves a lot of respect based on his win in the Smarty Jones Stakes at the start of the year. He was slightly underwhelming on his previous effort when finishing third in the G2 Risen Star. But, he remains of huge interest.

Louisiana Derby Prediction

Agate Road and Track Phantom are two plays that we will be following in exotics. However, a runner that we like at a massive price this weekend is Real Men Violin for Kenneth McPeek. He is a massive price after bombing out in the G2 Risen Star, but a slower run race could suit his style, and the distance could also play to his strengths.

Free Picks:

  • Win: Real Men Violin
  • Exacta Box: (4) Agate Road/ (9) Real Men Violin/ (12) Track Phantom
Alex Dudley
Contributor Alex has covered huge sporting events for various websites and publications. He has attended football European Championships, Rugby League and Union World Cups, and the Paralympics. Alex is dedicated to giving the most insightful tips for VegasOdds readers and specialises in horse racing, soccer, golf and basketball.