By Jay Privman
NEW ORLEANS – Whether he comes inside and knifes through traffic, or takes the scenic route and goes around everyone, Revolutionary is moving forward like a horse to be reckoned with in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Revolutionary ($6.80) took a significant step forward on Saturday, when he made a powerful, wide move on the final turn, then held off a pesky Mylute to win the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.
The victory followed up on a troubled score in the Withers Stakes in February at Aqueduct. In both races, Javier Castellano was up.
“He did everything you could ask, last time and today,” Castellano said. “I’m looking forward to the Derby big-time.”
Besides a payday of $600,000 for first, the Louisiana Derby was worth 100 points to the winner under the new system put in place this year by Churchill Downs to determine eligibility to the Derby. That will be more than enough to put Revolutionary in the starting field.
Revolutionary crossed the wire a neck in front of Mylute, who was three lengths clear of third-place Departing, who suffered the first loss of his four-race career. Golden Soul was fourth and was followed, in order, by Ground Transport, Code West, Palace Malice, Sunbean, Titletown Five, Proud Strike, Hip Four Sixtynine, Nina’s Dragon, Brazilian Court, and Whiskey Bravo.
Revolutionary completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:50.28. Todd Pletcher trains Revolutionary, a colt by War Pass, for the WinStar Farm of Kenny Troutt.
“Huge performance from him,” Pletcher said at Gulfstream Park. “Sometimes you lose ground like Revolutionary did but you get a clean run at it, and sometimes you save ground like Palace Malice did and you take the worst of it. It worked out for Revolutionary, it was kind of a frustrating trip for the other horse.”
Revolutionary was calm in the paddock, which was chaotic with 14 horses and their connections.
“He didn’t turn a hair in the paddock,” said Elliott Walden, the president and chief executive officer of WinStar. “He went around there like a puppy dog. All those things matter.”
Walden said Revolutionary would be sent to WinStar in Kentucky on Sunday to recuperate from the race before heading to Churchill Downs for final preparations for the Derby.
Revolutionary has now won three straight races since beginning his career with three losses.
Trainer Tom Amoss, a New Orleans native, was thrilled with the way Mylute ran, but disappointed he could not win his first Louisiana Derby.
“There’s one out there with our name on it,” Amoss said.
As for the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, Amoss said he would give it a few days before deciding.
“He answered the question of a mile and an eighth today,” Amoss said. “I was so worried about the distance that I didn’t even start to cheer until the last 40 yards.”
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