Less than three weeks ago, Cigar Street had never won a race, but following a five-furlong breeze on Sunday, Steve Margolis said his quickly-developing colt is ready for the big time.
Fair Grounds oddsmaker Mike Diliberto thinks the public will agree, installing Cigar Street as the 7-2 second choice for Sunday's Grade II Louisiana Derby.
“Good,” whispered Diliberto at Monday’s post position draw when Cigar Street’s name was drawn to leave from post 5. “The two favorites both got good draws. Now, I don’t have to change the odds that I think they should be.”
Mark Valeski -- Diliberto and just about everyone else considers him the stronger half of the Larry Jones-owned entry -- drew post 8 with entry mate Mr. Bowling slated to leave from post 7.
“I guess when Discreet Dancer didn’t show up, my horse moved up to second,” said Margolis. “Otherwise, I guess I would have been the third choice.
“This is exciting,” Margolis added. “To have Cigar Street jump up and run big in a maiden race (a 13 3/4-length victory at Fair Grounds March 10) and now go into the big race as the second choice is a big thrill for me. Also, we’ve got Inny Minnie going in the Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday and Cash Refund in the Duncan Kenner on Sunday.
“They are all doing great, and I’m looking forward to this weekend,” said Margolis. “This has been a good meet for us. Now, I hope we can end it up on a good note.”
Arm Force Out
Casner Racing’s Arm Force will not travel to New Orleans, according to Fair Grounds Racing Secretary Jason Boulet. Trainer Eoin Harty told Racing Office staff he is considering other, presumably softer, races for the Tiznow colt.
--Edited Fair Grounds release