Snapper Sinclair Showing Solid Improvement Heading into Louisiana Derby
Snapper Sinclair enters the March 24 Louisiana Derby (G1) as one of the contenders to win the race at 9-2 odds. He has 22 Derby Points and finished 3rd in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) in the best race of his career, and then 2nd by a nose in the Risen Star (G2), both Derby prep races held at the Fair Grounds in 2018. A top-3 finish will secure his spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby, and trainer Steve Asmussen has turned to leading jockey Jose Ortiz to get him into the money and earn a trip to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May.
This year’s 1 1/8 mile Louisiana Derby sets up with more pace pressers, and Snapper Sinclair will have to show he’s stronger and improved to carry his speed a longer distance. He ran on the lead the entire way in the 1 1/16 mile Risen Star and just missed in a game duel with Bravazo (21-1), who will now get more betting interest in the Louisiana Derby. But note Snapper Sinclair was let go as a 41-1 long shot that day despite being 8-1 on the morning line, and one of the race favorites Noble Indy finished third and is also running again in the Louisiana Derby, where I see a top-3 finish. Snapper Sinclair earned a career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure in the Risen Star, which is not near many other Kentucky Derby contenders this year that have posted 95 to 104 BSF’s, and he’ll have to continue to improve quickly.
Many 2-year-olds blossom and mature in their sophomore season as 3-year-olds, and improvement can come rapidly. The change from turf to dirt has been fine for Snapper Sinclair, and one of his owners has expressed much excitement about how he’s trained while adding weight and getting stronger. Asmussen has indicated Snapper Sinclair has been training beautifully at the Fair Grounds, and believes his colt is stronger and can carry the extra distance in the 1 1/8 mile Louisiana Derby. Snapper Sincaire’s sire Zip City participated in both the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 2001 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
These is little value on Snapper Sinclair to win the Louisiana Derby, but if he succeeds, it will be clear that he’s improving and one to watch heading into the Kentucky Derby. Still, I’ll include him in some win wagers and vertical on top and underneath, knowing too that a 2nd or 3rd place finish will get him into the Derby. He’s not yet a serious contender by his speed and race performances thus far, but he’s a contender in this year’s Louisiana Derby.
If you’re throwing out some of the favorites and looking for a long shot who can be the next surprise on the Kentucky Derby trail, then add Lone Sailor (20-1) trained by Tom Amoss as an upset pick in the Louisiana Derby. Include this closer in your vertical wagers underneath for a big score and don’t be surprised to see him running late and passing horses in the deep stretch.