O Besos takes another big step on the Triple Crown trail Saturday in the $1-million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, looking to build on a creditable performance in a tall task last month when he finished fourth in the Risen Star Stakes.
Stretching out from 6 to 9 furlongs in the Risen Star, the chestnut colt got a little weary and perhaps a bit green in the stretch, before managing to out-finish second choice Senor Buscador for the fourth spot and pick up 5 points toward the Kentucky Derby.
The Louisiana Derby is the first prep race of the season with 170 points on the line, offering 100-40-20-10 to the top four finishers.
Marcelino Pedroza Jr. has the return call on O Besos, who drew the outside post in a field of eight that includes the same top trio (Mandoulin, Proxy and Midnight Bourbon) from both the Risen Star and the Lecomte Stakes.
“From what I’ve seen, he has trained as well as anybody leading up to this race,” said Travis Foley, the son and assistant to trainer Greg Foley. “We love our horse. The one question we have is how far he wants to go, and this race should give us the answer.”