|The Louisiana Derby is an
annual 1 1/16 mile American horserace run on dirt for three-year-old
thoroughbreds in early March every year at Fair Grounds Racecourse in
New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a Gr 2 event that currently offers a purse
of $600,000 and is well known as a prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
Inaugurated in 1898, the Louisiana Derby has a long and rich heritage
and over the years has yielded some impressive runners. Two Louisiana
Derby winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby - Black Gold in
1924 and Grindstone in 1996.
Other notable race winners have included Peace Rules, who won the 2003
Louisiana Derby, and then went on to win the Haskell Invitational
Handicap in the same year, the New Orleans Handicap in 2004, the Oaklawn
Handicap in 2004 and the Suburban Handicap in 2004.
Then of course there is Risen Star, who won the race in 1988. Although
he failed to win the Kentucky Derby, he went on to win the Preakness
Stakes and the Belmont Stakes that year, coming within one leg of
winning the U.S. Triple Crown.
Since 1988, jockey Pat Day has won the Louisiana Derby three times in
1991, 1992 and 1997. Since the same year, a number of top trainers have
won the race twice, including Louie J. Roussel III, Neil J. Howard,
Randy Bradshaw, Bobby Frankel and Steve Asmussen.
The Louisiana Derby was cancelled in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina,
which devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas.