$75,000 Cresent City Derby Presents Excellent Betting Race
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Despite nine stakes races on the Louisiana Derby card March 26 at Fair Grounds, another derby - the $75,000 Cresent City Derby for three year-old state-bred horses - will still hold plenty of intrigue for bettors as a full field of 13 will head postward in the mile and one sixteenth event on the main track.
Icy Gentleman is the lukewarm 7/2 morning line favorite for trainer Henry Johnson after a pair of dominant stakes wins at Delta Downs. The three year-old son of Yankee Gentleman has been impressive in his last two starts, winning by a combined 12 1/4-lengths, but lost both starts at Fair Grounds in December. With 4 wins in 8 starts, the upward mobility of Icy Gentleman must be gauged against the gelding's willingness to run away from Delta. Handicappers wrestling with the question of whether the favorite is much-improved or simply a horse-for-course, aren't likely to get any answers until the gates open as the enigmatic choice has not worked out over the Fair Grounds dirt in preparation.
Cox dangerous turf to dirt
The Brad Cox-trained Extra Credit is an intriguing surface-switcher at 8/1. A third-place finisher last-out in a listed stakes race at Fair Grounds on the turf, Extra Credit has the right running style to be a factor in the lane if able to take to the dirt. Cox connects at a stellar 21% with the move, so there's reason to believe Extra Credit could be moving best in the lane in a race loaded with early speed.
Mageez has solid credentials
Mageez (9/2) is another logical contender after posting a solid win against optional claimers going a mile at Fair Grounds February 18. The Ronda Hutchinson trainee has been freshened for this effort and clearly has an affnity for two-turn races at Fair Grounds where he's 2 for 2.