NEW ORLEANS (AP) Co-favorite Noble Indy settled near the front and held off a late charge by Lone Sailor to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby by a head at the Fair Grounds Race course Saturday.
Noble Indy and Bravazo both went off at 5-2 in what is one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby, but Bravazo faded after entering the final turn in third.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and with jockey John Velazquez aboard, Noble Indy earned 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, assuring qualification for the Triple Crown opener. Velazquez steered Noble Indy into the lead entering the final turn and finished the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:50.28. He paid $7.40, $4.80 and $3.20.
Lone Sailor was a sentimental favorite, racing one day after the jazz funeral of its owner, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson. The Tom Amoss-trained colt, with James Graham aboard, earned 40 points – likely enough to qualify for the Kentucky Derby – and paid $7.80 and $4.20.
Morning line favorite My Boy Jack finished third and paid $3.20.