July 25, 2024

Zozos among challengers to Happy American in Louisiana

Zozos (Coady Photography)

The field for Saturday’s $150,000 Louisiana (G3), part of the “Road to the Derby Day” program at Fair Grounds, looks very similar to the one that competed in last month’s Tenacious S. over the same 1 1/16-mile distance.

Looking to follow up his 2 3/4-length Tenacious score in the Louisiana is Happy American, but there is reason to believe the tables could be turned by any number of rivals. One is multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Wireless, who was a clear second in the Tenacious and gets an eight-pound shift in weights versus Happy American on Saturday.

Forza Di Oro, third as the 2-1 favorite in the Tenacious following a four-month layoff, might be sharper second off the bench, while Intrepid Heart finished up the track after being compromised by a slow start. Zozos, second in last year’s Louisiana Derby (G2), remains with significant upside and might be one of the betting favorites following a Dec. 17 allowance score in only his fifth lifetime outing. The speedy Run Classic can also be a serious player shortening up from a nine-furlong try at Oaklawn in his most recent start.

Grade 1 veteran Two Emmys will make his first start since June in the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley S. at about 1 1/16 miles on the turf. A close third in the race last season, Two Emmys later won Fair Grounds’ leading grass stakes, the Muniz Memorial (G2), in customary wire-to-wire fashion.

Also entered in the Bradley are Ready to Purrform, a Grade 2 winner against three-year-olds at Saratoga last summer, and the Diliberto Memorial second- and third-place finishers English Tavern and Big Agenda. Price Talk, who landed the Remington Green S. two back, also looks well spotted.

The $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner S., an about 5 1/2-furlong turf dash for older horses, is headed by Phoenix (G2) winner Manny Wah. However, if weather forces the race to the main track, also-eligibles Surveillance and Bango would be the primary dangers after running one-two in last month’s Richard Scherer Memorial.

The stakes action on the 14-race card kicks off with the $100,000 Marie Krantz Memorial for fillies and mares at about 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Wave of Goodness and Lake Lucerne, both of whom placed in the Blushing K. D. S. last month, are among the field of seven.