Vicar's in Trouble captured a wire-to-wire victory at Fair Grounds Race Course to win the 2014 Louisiana Derby on Saturday, justifying the 3-1 odds given at the start of the race.
Rosie Napravnik—the media darling of last year's Triple Crown pursuit—was the winning jockey. It was her second victory at the Louisiana Derby, per Racing Stats & Info—her first coming three years earlier:
101st LOUISIANA DERBY Vicar's in Trouble for Michael Maker. First win in race and 2nd for @RosieNapravnik , won aboard Pants on Fire in '11— Racing Stats & Info (@GaryDougherty) March 29, 2014
The duo of horse and rider flew down the mile-and-an-eighth track at a break-neck pace from start to finish, showing elite speed that bodes well for the upcoming Kentucky Derby.
As noted by Bob Velin of USA Today Sports, heavy favorite Intense Holiday finished in second place behind Vicar's in Trouble:
Vicar's in Trouble, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, wins the Louisiana Derby, with favored Intense Holiday second. #LouisianaDerby— Bob Velin (@BobVelin) March 29, 2014
Here's a look at how the easy win played out, courtesy of Horse Betting Direct:
It's hard to say what might have happened if Commanding Curve had not been pinched at the start, but the following fray allowed Vicar's in Trouble to jump out to an early lead, which was never relented.
As it stood, Commanding Curve ended up making up for lost time in a big way, coming from behind to earn a third-place finish, with Vicar's in Trouble coming in fourth, as shown by Churchill Downs PR:
Louisiana Derby order (points): 1: 6-Vicar's in Trouble (100) 2: 1-Intense Holiday (40) 3: 7-Commanding Curve (20) 4: 9-In Trouble (10)— Churchill Downs PR (@DerbyMedia) March 29, 2014
Unfortunately, In Trouble was deemed to have broken the rules and was bumped down to fifth place, giving Albano 10 precious points:
In Trouble DQ'd from 4th to 5th in Louisiana Derby & loses 10 points. Albano now gets 10 points for placing 4th. #KyDerby— Churchill Downs PR (@DerbyMedia) March 29, 2014
|Vicar's In Trouble||8.60||4.40||3.00|
|$2 Daily Double||8-6||27.80|
|$2 Pick 3||7-8-6 (3 correct)||220.60|
|$2 Pick 4||6-7-8-6 (4 correct)||2,267.00|
With the victory, Vicar's in Trouble earned 100 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.
The colt showed exceptional breakaway speed, and Napravnik rode it hard throughout. Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form was impressed by her command of the track, her horse and the situation:
Rosie. That is all. Understood track, took no prisoners with Vicar's in Trouble. 2 Derby starters already for Ramseys. #FairGrounds— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) March 29, 2014
Privman's colleague at DRF, Marcus Hersh, agrees:
Vicar's In Trouble beautifully rated on lead by Rosie Napravnik. A controlled package of crackling energy. #fairgrounds— Marcus Hersh (@DRFHersh) March 29, 2014
The victory was the second major win for Vicar's in Trouble this season after the horse won the Grade III Lecomte Stakes in January.
Is Vicar's in Trouble a Legitimate Candidate to win the Kentucky Derby?
It was also Napravnik's second win of the afternoon. She rode Untapable to victory earlier in the day, and she's a rising star who seems destined to win a Triple Crown race, sooner, rather than later.
With the Derby fast approaching in early May, there isn't much more time left for outliers hoping to get into the prestigious race to earn their spots.
Vicar's in Trouble, with two major wins, is a shoo-in for one of the spots, and the speed shown on Saturday makes this a horse to watch going forward.