NEW ORLEANS, LA – Allied Racing Stable’s By My Standards placed himself firmly in the Kentucky Derby starting gate after convincingly pulling off a 22/1 shocker in Saturday’s Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds.
Breaking well from post 5 under regular rider Gabriel Saez, By My Standards raced in the three-path heading into the clubhouse turn before finding room and ducking down to save ground. Down the backside, longshot Lemniscate set the opening pace, with Sueno and Spinoff stalking from in the clear just behind him, with By My Standards continuing to run along the inside. Ranging up as the field tightened in the far turn, By My Standards was stuck behind horses and had to wait for room before tipping off of the rail. After dancing back and forth behind Sueno, Saez found an opening between Sueno and a weakening Lemniscate and shot through it.
Striding powerfully along the inside, By My Standards dispatched of Sueno, then began chasing down Spinoff, who had taken the lead from alongside Sueno’s outside. With 1/16 of a mile remaining, By My Standards shot ahead and began to draw off in the shadow of the wire. The Bret Calhoun trainee crossed with a 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:49.53 for the 1 1/8-mile event that was hand-timed due to a malfunction at the track.
“I loved the horse since the day I got on him,” Saez said. “He was working great in the mornings and he did a tremendous job. Bret and (wife and assistant) Sarah had done a tremendous job with him. I was really confident, to be honest with you. I was hoping that he would broke on top and put me in the position that I wanted him to be, and he did right off the bat. Thank God he ran well. I hope he has more in the tank; that would be great. Hopefully, we can get the job done in the Derby. Anything can happen. It’s horseracing.”
Sueno weakened in the stretch to cross over 5 lengths behind the winner but still held off Country House for third by 3/4 of a length. Mr. Money took fifth over Roiland, with Bankit, Hog Creek Hustle, War of Will, Limonite, and a spent Lemniscate completing the order of finish.
Sent postward from post 6 as the 4/5 favorite, War of Will was attempting to become just the fifth horse ever to sweep all three legs of the Fair Grounds prep series. However, a few steps out of the gate, he stumbled after his hind legs lost action. Though he recovered to run in mid-pack for much of the race, the colt who sat atop the Kentucky Derby leaderboard entering this race had nothing left for the stretch run.
“I would not absolutely rule him out because this is something that he can get over very quickly,” said trainer Mark Casse. “We’ll see. The good news is he hasn’t broken anything. It’s a muscle strain of some sort. We’re confident of that.”
The Louisiana Derby is part of the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby prep race season. By My Standards earned 100 points for the win, with Spinoff receiving 40 for second, Sueno 20 for third, and Country House 10 for fourth.
By My Standards’ win was his second straight, having broken his maiden here last out by 4 1/4 lengths while going 1 1/16 miles. The 3-year-old son of Goldencents now sports a record of 5-2-2-1 with $653,710 earned after giving Allied Racing Stable its first-ever graded stakes win.
“It gives you a lot of confidence beating a field like that,” Calhoun said. “(War of Will) had been very impressive for quite a while around here and very consistent. I knew we were up against it today. I didn’t know exactly how we were going to stack up against those kinds of horses, but our horse was doing very, very well, and we took our chance.”
By My Standards returned $47 to win, $16.60 to place, and $9.40 to show. Spinoff brought back $6.80 to place and $5.40 to show, while Sueno paid $6 to show.