Wednesday Notes: Lukas to Send One for Louisiana Derby

Wayne Lukas, the last trainer to complete a Louisiana Derby and Kentucky Derby double with Grindstone in 1996, will have a chance to replicate that feat this year with one of two colts under consideration for the March 26 $1 million Louisiana Derby.

“I’m either going to bring the colt that won here the other day quite impressively,” Lukas said, referring to March 12 Oaklawn Park maiden winner Duca, “or I’ve got a horse called Quiet Assault that I’m considering also.”

Quiet Assault, by Quiet American, broke his maiden first time out at Hollywood Park last summer and did not race again until last month, finishing second in a six-furlong allowance at Golden Gate Fields.

“He was on the West Coast with Jerry Hollendorfer and I picked him up a month or so ago,” Lukas said.

Quiet Assault has had one breeze since joining the Lukas barn, an easy five-eighths in 1:02 3/5 at Oaklawn on March 9.

The other possibility, Duca, by Empire Maker out of multiple stakes-winning mare Tempus Fugit, broke his maiden at Oaklawn by 1 ½-lengths in front-running fashion on Saturday and would be running back in two weeks if he tried the Louisiana Derby.

“They’ll all work at the beginning of next week and then I’ll make a decision,” Lukas said. “I’m going to bring just one.”

Lukas also won the Louisiana Derby in 1983 with Balboa Native, who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby.

Potential starters for the March 26 Grade II, $1 Million Louisiana Derby (3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles), compiled from Racing Office updates, published reports and trainer and jockey agent interviews:

Probable: Risen Star Stakes winner Mucho Macho Man (trainer Kathy Ritvo, jockey Rajiv Maragh); Lecomte Stakes winner Wilkinson (Neil Howard, Garret Gomez); Risen Star fourth and Fair Grounds allowance winner Machen (Howard, Edgar Prado); Fair Grounds allowance winner Left (Al Stall Jr., Jesse Campbell); and Fair Grounds maiden winner Majestic Harbor (Paul McGee, Corey Lanerie).

Possible: Oaklawn Park maiden winner Duca (Wayne Lukas, who will send one of two under consideration); Hollywood Park maiden winner Quiet Assault (Lukas); Gulfstream Park maiden winner Nacho Business (Kelly Breen, Sunland Derby also under consideration); Aqueduct maiden winner and Gotham Stakes fourth Nacho Saint (Breen, Sunland Derby also under consideration); and Oaklawn Park maiden winner Truman’s Commander (Allen Milligan).

Twin Spires Club VIPs Receive Free General Admission on Louisiana Derby Day – VIP members of the Twin Spires Club, the rewards program for bettors at Fair Grounds and other Churchill Downs Incorporated properties, will gain free general admission to Fair Grounds on Louisiana Derby Day, March 26. A VIP is a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum member, which includes any cardholder who handled $25,000 or more in 2010 (or $12,000 and up in the last quarter). Eligible VIPs need only to show their current Twin Spires Club card upon entry to gain free admission on March 26. General Admission on Louisiana Derby Day will be $5 for the Grandstand and $10 for the Clubhouse, with $1 of each admission benefitting Children’s Hospital.