Louisiana Derby 2024 Picks

Catching Freedom wins 2024 Smarty Jones Stakes (Coady Photography)

By Jarrod Horak

The road to Kentucky Derby 2024 continues at Fair Grounds Race Course on Saturday, March 23, and I have included Louisiana Derby 2024 picks below. The Grade 2 event for 3-year-olds has a $1 million purse and the twelve entrants will be journeying 1 3/16 miles on the main track. The Louisiana Derby is the 12th race on March 23 and the top five finishers will earn Kentucky Derby points (100-50-25-15-10). 

Louisiana Derby 2024 Picks & Final Time Ratings

Hall of Fame is a $1.4 million son of Gun Runner. He rallied for the place in his extended sprint bow, and stalked the pace and graduated by open lengths at 1 1/16 miles at Fair Grounds on Jan. 20. He was 7-2 in the Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 17, and he stalked the pace, moved up, and weakened in the stretch to finish 7th of 12 (beaten 8 3/4 lengths). He sports a pair of five furlong works since his last start and should be forwardly placed. 

Antiquarian pressed, led, and settled for the place behind promising Shug McGaughey runner Conquest Warrior at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 13. He shipped to Fair Grounds on Feb. 17, and he pressed the pace and earned his diploma by a length, and the runner-up was a next-out winner. John Velazquez sticks with Todd Pletcher’s colt and he should make his presence felt from the outset.  

Catching Freedom rallied for the win in his debut and was a flat fourth second time out. He was the favorite in both of those races at Churchill, and he shipped to Arkansas and captured the Smarty Jones Stakes as the favorite from off the pace on Jan. 1. He was 5-1 in the Grade 2 Risen Star on Feb. 17, and he closed ground in the stretch and was best of the rest in a show finish the slop that day. Flavien Prat hops aboard Brad Cox’s $575k Constitution colt. 

Honor Marie will try to get involved late. He went last-to-first in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs last fall. He returned in the local Risen Star on Feb.17, and he was too far back early and ended up 5th of 11. He can rally for a minor award if he moves forward in his second start after a layoff. 

Tuscan Gold is a lightly raced $600k Medaglia d’Oro colt for Chad Brown. He was an even fourth in his Aqueduct bow last fall, and that flat mile race was won by his talented stablemate Sierra Leone. He stretched out to 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 31 second time out, and he closed ground from off the pace to graduate by 6 1/4 lengths. Tyler Gaffalione got acquainted with him last time and he is all upside. 

Track Phantom is the most likely winner of this race. He stretched out around two turns and easily graduated at Churchill Downs last November. He dueled and kicked away in the Gun Runner Stakes in December, and controlled the pace and defeated Nash by 2 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Lecomte on Jan. 20. Sierra Leone ran him down late in the Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 17, and the $500k Quality Road colt should be all over the pace from the outside post in this race. 

The Louisiana Derby field also includes Triple Espresso, Sam F. Davis (G3) runner-up Agate Road, Awesome Ruta, Next Level, Real Men Violin, and Rebel Stakes (G2) runner-up Common Defense.  

Louisiana Derby 2024 Picks

The Louisiana Derby is my 27th video on the road to Kentucky Derby 2024, and my top choices have nine wins, five runner-up finishes, and five show finishes. I will cover each points race on the Kentucky Derby trail. Check out my Louisiana Derby 2024 picks video below.