Louisiana Derby Fills Weekend Wagering Void During Sports Shutdown

As the major U.S. sports remain on hiatus with the COVID-19 crisis, the Sport of Kings is running Kentucky Derby Championship Series races. The $1 million Louisiana Derby fills a weekend void for online bettors looking to watch and wager on horse racing.

With the sportsbetting board quite sparse, some horse racing betting advice prior to the Louisiana Derby

What a world. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, and forever our perspective on health and daily living. The economic impact in the U.S. is devastating, and in less than one week the thriving casino and gaming industry in the U.S. mecca of Las Vegas crapped out and was shut down. The loss of games and sports is having a huge impact, and the betting industry is suffering at a time when the legal market across the country was gaining steam and on a rapid rise. But as the major sports remain on hiatus, horse racing and the Sport of Kings is left standing.

Some of the leading online sportsbooks are offering other betting options like rugby, soccer and UFC. As online sports bettors try to sort out options with the coronavirus impact and major sports cancellations, online sportsbooks are trying to be more creative with offerings to customers. The NFL Draft will go on next month, but not live in Las Vegas as scheduled. Still, many online sportsbooks including BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag have odds on various props for the NFL Draft. Also, Sportsbetting.ag is offering betting on over/under stock prices on companies like Caesars, Disney, Costco, Google, American Airlines, Amazon and even Charmin, perhaps recognizing that people are sprinting down grocery isles and loading up on toilet paper which may cause a backup. This is not funny shit. 

Even as race tracks run "spectator-free" without fans, the races continue. While the 2020 Kentucky Derby was rescheduled for Sept. 5, the major prep races are running over the next three Saturdays with seven Championship Series races awarding 100 points to the winner and a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. 

Louisiana derb y betting tipsThe $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) is Race 12 at the Fair Grounds on March 21. The top four finishers earn Derby qualifying points (100-40-20-10). A full field of 14 horses will try to win or finish top-2 in hopes of earning a spot in the Kentucky Derby. 

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
Time: 5:49 ET
TV: 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Online: NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and TVG
Track and Location: Fair Grounds, New Orleans, La
Distance: 1 3/16 miles 

Post Horse Odds Jockey
1 Major Fed 8-1 J. Rosario
2 Mailman Money 15-1 G. Saez
3 Wells Bayou 8-1 F. Geroux
4 Chestertown 15-1 J. Velazquez
5 Social Afleet 50-1 A. Beschizza
6 Shake Some Action 15-1 C. Hernandez
7 Sharecropper 20-1 M. Mena
8 Royal Act 10-1 A. Cedillo
9 Portos 8-1 I. Ortiz, Jr. 
10 Enforceable 7-2 J. Leparoux
11 Ny Traffic 15-1 L. Saez
12 Lynn's Map 30-1 T. Gaffalione
13 Silver State 6-1 R. Santana Jr.
14 Modernist 6-1 J. Alvarado

The Top Contenders 

Enforceable is the favorite and will be coming from the back of the pack as he did in finishing a close 2nd in last months Risen Star (Division 1). He won the Lecomte over the same Fair Grounds track in January, but his odds don't make him a favorable bet in a large, competitive field.  

Silver State may be a better bet if his odds hold at 9-2 or better. The son of Hard Spun (2nd in BC Classic and KY Derby) was just a half length behind Enforceable last race and can get a better setup to cash-in on top or in the exotics again. Trainer Steve Asmussen knows he has a talented and improving 3-year-old, and I know I have a winner in the books for Nevada with Silver State. 

Want to bet on a front runner that will have you feeling good about your chances for the first mile? Try Wells Bayou, who is also well bred by Preakness winner Lookin' At Lucky and capable of going to the front and not giving up the lead in a race that lacks speed. He may have the favorable pace to hold up wire-to-wire. 

Major Fed is also improving his speed numbers and while it's difficult to determine how quickly maturing 3-year-olds will come along, this son of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper is one to watch. Major Fed finished 2nd a length behind Moderinist in his stakes debut in the Rebel (Division 2), and now Modernist draws far outside and will try to get near the front and press the pace. Note too that Major Fed was shorter odds than the winner Modernist and offers more value in this race with top jock Joel Rosario able to sit just off the pace and pounce when the real running begins. 

Past History and Current Corruption

Prior to last year's longshot winner, By My Standards (22-1), four of the previous six Louisiana Derby winners were the post-time favorite. The longest odds horse to win over that stretch was Gun Runner (4-1) in 2016. He went on to a Hall of Fame career after finishing 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. Pay attention to other horses in this race that don't win, but may qualify for the rescheduled Kentucky Derby Sept. 5. Country House finished 4th in last year's Louisiana Derby and then went on to shock the racing world with a controversial Kentucky Derby win at 65-1 odds.  

While I'm not a horse handicapper and don't study the racing form or videos, I'm more informed than most and understand horse racing and the odds. Winners is the name of the game, but like sports betting, value is even more important if you plan to profit in the long run. The thing about horse racing is it's still filled with corrupt people and trainers who damage the sport with drugs for the animals. That's the way it's been for decades. The recent bust by the FBI following a 2-year investigation of these 'super feed' trainers, suppliers, veterinarians and others will perhaps send a message to clean up the sport.

"These defendants engaged in this conduct not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of concern for the horses, but for money," US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said last week in Manhattan, as 27 people were indicted in the largest crackdown on racehorse doping the Department of Justice has ever seen. 

Big money is on the line in the biggest prep races offering million dollar purses. But bet as you see fit knowing a slow break from the gate, traffic trouble or even a result decided by a nose is all part of the risk when betting on the horses. 

You can bet on it. 

FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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