Allied Racing Stables’ By My Standards went from maiden winner to atop the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard in the Grade II Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby.
Guided by jockey Gabriel Saez, By My Standards laid 3½ legnths off of pacesetter Leminscate who set opening fractions of 23.63, 47.68 and 1:11.54. He then moved out into the two path along the turn and made a winning bid at the sixteenths pole to gun down stretch leader Spinoff. By My Standards won by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:49.52. Spinoff finished second while Sueno closed late for third.
Jockey Gabriel Saez scored his second victory in the Louisiana Derby. Ten years, ago he guided Friesian Fire to victory in the race, who to this day holds the record for the largest winning margin in the race’s 106-year history.
“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. (Trainer) Bret (Calhoun) 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.”
By My Standards entered the Louisiana Derby off of a fourth-out maiden victory on February 16, which he won by 4¼ lengths and gave trainer Bret Calhoun his first victory in the Louisiana Derby.
“I think the maiden win was crucial for him,” Calhoun said. “When he was third the time before he broke his maiden it was a very disappointing race for us. It looked like he had the race in control and just didn’t finish them off. It was a disappointing race. He bounced back and that’s when the light came on. He was a different horse in the mornings from that point on. His breezes in the morning were just unbelievable. There were some fast works there and none of them were intentional. He just turned into a different horse.”
Calhoun was aware of the tough field that he was up against but nevertheless, his confidence in the horse never wavered.
“It gives you a lot of confidence beating afield like that,” Calhoun continued. “(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.”
Mark Casse, trainer of beaten favorite War of Will reported that the two-time graded stakes winner strained his right hind muscle during the running of race.
“We think what happened was about four jumps out of the gate,” Casse said. “He actually broke in front and if you watch he buckles on his right hind. And we believe, maybe it was stumble of some sort. But when he did we think he strained maybe a muscle or whatever. But he was significantly off after the race. He’s significantly off. I’ve just been on the phone with Dr. Robert McMartin, he’s my main guy. He thinks he might have caught his stifle or something. We feel like he’ll probably be a little better tomorrow and we’re going to further evaluation him.”
Casse was unsure as to whether or not War of Will, would be able to make the Kentucky Derby. Winner of both the Grade III Lecomte and Grade II Risen Star Presented by Lamarque Ford, he has 60 qualifying points towards the First Saturday in May.
“I would not absolutely rule him out because this is something that he can get over very quickly,” Casse said. “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.”
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez was aboard runner-up Spinoff who earned 40 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and is now No. 8 on the Leaderboard.
“We had a good trip. He was drifting away from the horses inside of me a bit, and I had to fight him to keep him with the others. Down the stretch I thought he was home free and then the other horse came to him.”
Third-place finisher Sueno sits at No. 12 on the Leaderboard. He earned four points when finishing second in the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park last month.
“He broke really good and I was laying second,” said Sueno’s jockey Corey Lanerie.” I thought at the quarter pole that I was going to get the win you know. He was running so easy and had his ears pricked. Those horses just beat him today. No excuse.”
Risen Star runner-up country house finished fourth for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who stated that the Grade I million Arkansas Derby could be his next target.
“He made a big run,” Mott said. “He started it a little early and was fairly wide around the turn, yet I thought he had his chance coming off the turn. I thought he looked pretty good there. It wasn’t a horrible race, but I was hoping he would be a little closer than that.”
By My Standards, who paid $47.00, $16.60 and $9.40, earned 100 points on the Road To The Kentucky Derby with his victory in the Louisiana Derby which put him a top the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. Runner-up Spinoff garnered up 40 points and returned $6.80 and $5.40. Sueno brought back $6.00 and earned 20 points.
By My Standards has earned a total of $653,710 after cashing a check for $600,000 from his Louisiana Derby triumph.
Completing the order of finish Mr. Money, Roiland, Bankit, Hog Creek Hustle, War of Will, Limonite and Leminscate.
Bred in Kentucky by Don Ladd, By My Standards was a $150,000 purchased by bloodstock agent Josh Stevens from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he was consigned by Scanlon Training and Sales. He is out of the Muqtarib broodmare A Jealous Woman.