by Bob Fortus, Special for USA TODAY Sports
Updated: 03/30/2013 09:35pm
NEW ORLEANS — Revolutionary is ready to take a run at the Kentucky Derby, jockey Javier Castellano said Saturday after the colt won the $1 million, Grade 2 Louisiana Derby by a neck at the Fair Grounds.
There’s no longer a question of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby field. Earning 100 qualifying points Saturday to boost his total to 110, Revolutionary clinched a spot in the May 4 race at Churchill Downs.
But more important to Castellano is how Revolutionary won the Louisiana Derby. The experience gained from winning in the 14-horse field is likely to help when Revolutionary runs in the Kentucky Derby.
“The Kentucky Derby is 20 horses,” Castellano said. “You come from behind horses. He learned a lot.”
Revolutionary was second to last heading into the first turn in the Louisiana Derby. He had two horses beaten on the backstretch as he settled at the rail. Front-runners Hip Four Sixty Nine and Titletown Five battled through a fast early pace, running the first half mile in 46.34 seconds, and Castellano was content to wait with Revolutionary.
ROAD TO DERBY: Updated Kentucky Derby points standings
On the final turn, Revolutionary swept around rivals with a smooth run, and in the stretch, he surged to the lead. Mylute, who also rallied from far back, made a determined run at Revolutionary but couldn’t pass. Departing finished third, three lengths behind Mylute, and Golden Soul finished another 1½ lengths back in fourth.
Revolutionary completed the mile and an eighth in 1:50.28 and paid $6.80 to win as the favorite.
“He proved a lot,” Castellano said. “You don’t see too many young horses do it the way he did it.”
Revolutionary gave trainer Todd Pletcher his third Louisiana Derby victory. He won with Mission Impazible in 2010 and Circular Quay in 2007.
Assistant trainer Whit Beckman saddled Revolutionary for Pletcher, who was at Gulfstream Park. “It’s been a very fruitful trip to New Orleans,” Beckman said. “We come in here with the intent to win, and we’re disappointed when we don’t.”
WinStar Farm owns Revolutionary, a son of War Pass and the A.P. Indy mare Runup the Colors. The victory was the third in six starts for Revolutionary, who overcame a troubled trip to win the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct in his previous start.
“He’s learning all the time,” WinStar racing manager Elliott Walden said.
Mylute earned 40 points, increasing his total to 42.
“I think Mylute ran a terrific race,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “Quite frankly, pedigree has always been a question with him. Today, he certainly answered the question at a mile and an eighth. After that, I don’t know.”
Said Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode Mylute: “My horse ran hard the whole way. He gave me what he had, and unfortunately, he got beat.”
Departing, competing in his first graded race, earned 20 points, and Golden Soul earned 10, increasing his total to 14.