By Dick Downey
Updated March 31, 2013
There are wide trips, and then there are wide trips. Revolutionary took the overland route to win the Grade II Louisiana Derby, putting him squarely in the Kentucky Derby picture.
Revolutionary, unhurried early behind a fast early pace under Javier Castellano, launched a bold bid five wide in the far turn -- it looked like eight --- to overtake the early leaders. Set down for the drive, he prevailed by a neck over Mylute in the 100th running of the Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.
The win earned Revolutionary 100 points, making his total 110, and he now has a position in the Kentucky Derby starting gate at Churchill Downs.
As the 2-1 choice of bettors, Revolutionary returned mutuels of $6.80, $4.20 and $3,00, He got the nine furlongs in 1:50.28 and increased his earnings to $788,500 with his third straight win from six career starts. Like his counterpart Orb in the Grade I Florida Derby, it took Revolutionary four starts to break his maiden. Last time out, Revolutionary won the Grade III Withers at Aqueduct, earning him a stall in Todd Pletcher's barn in Palm Meadows.
Pletcher was in Florida today, so assistant Whit Beckman saddled three consecutive Grade II stakes winners for Team Pletcher -- the Fair Grounds Oaks with Unlimited Budget and the New Orleans Handicap with Graydar in the two previous races.
Longshot Mylute ran a game second at 19-1 in the Louisiana Derby and briefly got the lead at the sixteenth pole. The effort got him 40 Derby points and probably a spot in the starting gate on the first Satuday in May. Finishing third, three lengths farther back, was Departing, who picked up 20 Derby points. Fourth was Golden Soul, who got 10 points.
The order of finish in the 14-horse field went on to include Ground Transport, Code West, Palace Malice Sunbean, Titletown Five, Proud Strike, Hip Four Sixtynine, Nina's Dragon, Brazilian Court and Whiskey Bravo.
Hip Four Sixtynine and Titletown Five alternated for the early lead with splits of :22.84 and :46.34 before tiring. Palace Malace and Sunbean had significant traffic trouble in the stretch.
Revolutionary, a son of War Pass out of the A.P. Indy mare Runup the Colors, was bred in Kentucky by W. S. Farish. Originally sold for $80,000 at the Keeneland September 2011 Yearling Sale, WinStar Farm LLC paid $235,000 for him at the OBS 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last year.
Whit Beckman, assistant to Todd Pletcher: “It’s been a very fruitful trip to New Orleans. We come in here with the intent to win, and we’re disappointed when we don’t.
“He broke a little slow, which he’s been known to do in the past. Javier just recovered from there, got him out, took him wide down the backside, just steadily picking off horses and making up ground. He continued his move around the turn and came down to the end for the stretch and had to get down and ride him pretty hard but was able to get him there. He galloped out pretty well after the wire too so that shows a little extra distance shouldn’t bother him."
Kentucky Derby? “Provided everything’s good with him, all systems go.”
Javier Castellano: “It was a really beautiful trip. That’s the kind of horse we would like to take to the Kentucky Derby. He can do everything. He passed the test today and last time and way before. He is a lovely horse to ride and a come-from-behind horse, very much a true horse. He did everything the right way today. I really like him. I am looking forward big time.”
WinStar Farm Racing Manager Elliott Walden: “I think he’s got all the experience he needs, and it’s nice he got the points, so we are on to Kentucky. I saw him in the paddock. He doesn’t turn a hair. He goes around there like a puppy dog. When you get to Louisville, those kinds of things matter.”
Tom Amoss, trainer of Mylute: “I’m really proud of him. I am proud of the way he ran today. One of these years, the Louisiana Derby is going to have our name on it.”
Shaun Bridgmohan, aboard Mylute: “I thought I had a great trip, my horse ran hard the whole way, he gave me what he had and unfortunately he got beat. He tried very hard though.”
Brian Hernandez, Jr., aboard Departing: "We had a good trip. We lost a little momentum coming off the second turn, but overall we had a great trip. They just kind of got away from us at one point on the turn for home, and we made up the ground a little bit late, but they just got away from us in the first part."