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Mar 09, 2007

Circular Quay back for Louisiana Derby

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Circular Quay, the defeated Risen Star Stakes favorite, is the 9-5 favorite in a field of eight three-year-olds for Saturday's $600,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds. The 1 1/16 mile race is an important stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby.

Owned by Michael and Doreen Tabor, Circular Quay will be ridden by John Velazquez and start from the inside post. The colt was fifth in the Risen Star when avoiding trouble after a spill involving Slew's Tizzy at the top of the stretch.

"He was flying by everybody at the end," said trainer Todd Pletcher after the race. "Obviously, we were very unlucky today, but I wouldn't trade places with anybody now."

Circular Quay was also the defeated favorite in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile when he was second to Street Sense. The chestnut colt has earned $787,434 in six career starts and three wins.

Pletcher comes off last week's sweep of stakes for three-year-olds at Gulfstream Park. His Scat Daddy, ridden by Velazquez, captured the Fountain of Youth Stakes and King of the Roxy took the Hutcheson.

Soaring By, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Dogwood Stable, will start from post 7. Jockey Edgar Prado getting the riding assignment as the colt makes his third career start.

"Soaring By has been training well and working good," said Dogwood Stable's Cot Campbell. He is 8-1 in the morning line."

Imawildandcrazyguy, second in the Risen Star, will break from the far outside post with jockey Fernando Jara. The gelding made a nice rally to be runner-up to Notional last month at odds of 10-1. Notional is back in California being prepared by trainer Doug O'Neill for the Santa Anita Derby.

Imawildandcrazyguy, owned by Lewis Pell and Michael Eigner, is trained by Bill Kaplan and has won two of nine lifetime starts for $171,775. The three-year- old has been installed at 10-1 in the program.

O'Neill brings Sham Stakes runner-up Liquidity into the Louisiana Derby. The colt will start from post 5 with Corey Nakatani riding and is the 7-2 second choice in the morning line.

Liquidity is owned by J. Paul Reddam and has earned $146,200 with one win in five career starts. The three-year-old closed 2006 with a second place behind Stormello in the Hollywood Futurity.

Completing the field for the 94th edition of the Louisiana Derby are Ketchikan Slew's Tizzy, Birdbirdistheword and Zanjero. All entrants will carry 122 pounds.

Post-time for the Louisiana Derby is 5:43 p.m. (et).

The Louisiana Derby was not held last year. The Fair Grounds' 2006 meeting was conducted at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City due to damage from Hurricane Katrina.

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