Louisiana Stakes Predictions, Betting Odds, Top Picks (Fair Grounds)

Post Position and Odds – Louisiana Stakes

If you’re looking for a great horse racing betting app then TVG betting might be the option for you.

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
R Gutierrez D Stewart
F Geroux B Cox
J Rosario S Asmussen
4 SPRAWL 12/1
C J Hernandez T Drury Jr
C Lanerie G Forster
B J Hernandez Jr B Cox
7 SPA CITY 15/1
J Graham T Amoss

Best Bets for the Louisiana Stakes

Here are my plays ($42 in total)

$2 Trifecta box – Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and Chess Chief = $12

$10 Trifecta key – Mandaloun over Midnight Bourbon and Chess Chief = $20

$5 Trifecta key – Midnight Bourbon over Mandaloun and Chess Chief = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Mandaloun (7/5).

Louisiana Stakes

Race Analysis


On the shelf since July, I was never more impressed with this son of Into Mischief than I was when last seen in the Haskell, and that is saying something considering the race he ran in the Kentucky Derby. Working well for trainer Brad Cox, I have a strong belief that we will see him come back running well after the layoff. A more mature version of the 3-year-old Mandaloun we saw last year could be a scary proposition for his opposition. Having said that, this is no easy spot to return, as once again, he faces his old rival Midnight Bourbon. It’s tough, but very winnable. I think he is poised for a big year in 2022. He is my top pick.

MIdnight Bourbon

It’s hard not to appreciate this hard-trying son of Tiznow. All he does is run in big races and he competes admirably every single time. He also has a little more early speed than his rival, which could give him the opportunity to dictate things early. His near miss against Essential Quality three starts back in the Grade 1 Travers is proof enough of how tough he can be on the lead. There is other speed in this race, though, so he could be pressured before Mandaloun pounces. In the end, that could be the only advantage Mandaloun needs. Of the two, I like his rival just a shade better, but he obviously has a big chance to return to the winner’s circle on Saturday.


The second from the Cox barn, he too had a successful 3-year-old season in 2021. It just didn’t happen against anywhere near the level of competition of the top two. While Cox had Essential Quality and Mandaloun for the biggest races, this one was relegated to smaller stakes races at smaller venues. Having said that, he’s been very consistent and freshened since a win in last fall’s Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and has the potential to do bigger things this year. Still, as the third choice, he has a very similar running style to his stablemate, who I think is simply better at this point. I am going to look elsewhere.

Chess Chief

This veteran sure looks like a horse who loves Fair Grounds. At the New Orleans oval, the 6-year-old son Into Mischief is 5-for-10, everywhere else he is 0-for-20. Those are stats that are hard to ignore. He proved that he is a horse for this course again with a nice win in the Tenacious Stakes four weeks ago. The Dallas Stewart-trained runner is also the only late runner in a field that promises to have a good, solid early pace. Because of his obvious fondness for the course, and his ability to rally, I will be using him in all of my exotics as a long shot that I expect to run a good race.


This 5-year-old son of City Zip became a graded stakes winner two starts back at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia. Another one with good tactical speed, he has the ability to make his presence felt early in the race. To this point in his career, he has shown strong flashes of potential, looking good in wins against lesser, but he has yet to make any real headway against solid graded stakes competition. This race certainly qualifies, so once again it’s hard to love his chances, especially considering the other early pace types that are in the field.

Pirate’s Punch

After a really good 2020, which saw him win a pair of graded stakes at Monmouth Park and compete in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, he was unable to repeat the form last year. A veteran with plenty of speed, his last race was at least promising, when he set all the pace before weakening late to finish third behind Chess Chief in the Tenacious. At his very best, he could make some noise here, but even at that, he does not appear to be a serious win contender. It looks like his only real impact could be in the early stages of the race on Saturday.

Spa City

This gelded son of Street Sense, also brings some tactical speed to the table, and became a stakes winner just two starts back. While a solid win, it came on the mud at Indiana Grand and against much cheaper than he will see on Saturday. He is a consistent horse, who looks to be going better than ever for trainer Tom Amoss, but has certainly found the toughest field of his career here. Off his recent form, a top four finish is not out of the question, but I cannot consider him a realistic threat for one of the top spots.

How to Watch the Louisiana Stakes

Louisiana Stakes Race Information
What Louisiana Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Fair Grounds
Time Saturday, January 22 — 6:49 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $150,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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