On Saturday, Fair Grounds runs it’s more important races of their winter – spring meet. The Grade 2 Louisiana Derby highlights a card that includes three other graded stakes. Also on Saturday, Santa Anita Park runs the Grade 2 San Luis Rey. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, March 20th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks for March 20th Races
Top Stakes Races for the Week
- When: Saturday, March 20
Fair Grounds Racecourse
- Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Classic – 1 1/8 miles turf – $$300,000
In 2019, Bricks and Mortar won this race. Last year, Factor This took the Grade Muniz Memorial. Only one of those horses may run on Saturday. Bricks and Mortar has been retired but Factor This ran in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Stakes last month. Captivating Moon won that race. Don’t be surprised if both Factor This and Captivating Moon enter the Muniz Memorial starting gate.
- Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $400,000
Some hall-of-fame fillies have won past runnings of the Grade 2 Fair Ground Oaks. Rachel Alexandra took the FG Oaks back in 2009. Untapable won in 2014 and Bonny South won the 2020 race. This year, both Travel Column and Clairiere will likely enter the starting gate. Those two battled in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra last month, with Clairiere finishing first and Travel Column finishing second.
- Grade 2 New Orleans Classic – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $400,000
Don’t be surprised if By My Standards enters the starting gate for the New Orleans Classic. The Grade 2 winner won this race last year. The win catapulted By My Standards to victories in the Oaklawn Handicap and Alysheba. By My Standards finished second in the Whitney and Stephen Foster. Trainer Bret Calhoun may want to try a repeat.
- Grade 2 Louisiana Derby – 1 3/16 miles dirt – $1,000,000
Only two horses have won the Louisiana Derby and then gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, Black Goldin 1924 and Grindstone in 1996. If history is any indication, we should immediately downgrade the winner’s chances of taking the Run for the Roses.
As far as the race is concerned, Mandaloun will attempt to prove he can hang with horses like Life Is Good and Essential Quality. Midnight Bourbon, Proxy, and Hot Rod Charlie are all contenders.
Bill Mott trained Nova Rags will garner some looks as well. The second-place finisher in the Sam F. Davis Stakes has the breeding to win this race and move on to the Kentucky Derby.
Santa Anita Park
- Grade 3 San Luis Rey – 1 ½ miles turf – $100,000
Although United from the Richard Mandella is the lone confirmed runner for the San Luis Rey, equines like Ward ‘N Jerry, Camino del Paraiso, and Oscar Dominguez should also step onto Santa Anita’s lawn. Expect a close to full-field for the San Luis Rey, which means no horseplayer should accept short odds unless they’re sure about the pick.