One of two entrants for trainer Steve Asmussen, Michael Langford's Limation was the significantly longer shot at 26-1 (stablemate Lionite went off at 5-1). Nearing the half-mile pole, however, the pace-stalking Limation made a bold early move to take the lead and turned for home with a two-length advantage. Diego Saenz guided the 3-year-old son of Alternation to an impressive five-length win at the wire, besting 6-5 favorite Lone Sailor in what was the first graded stakes win for both jockey and colt. Limation completed 1 1/16 miles over Louisiana Downs' main track, rated “good,” in 1:43.91.
The Super Derby was also Saenz's fourth win on the card.
Forwardly placed in the early stages of the race, Limation got clear at the top of the lane, crossing the wire in 1:43.91, by a margin of 5 ¾ lengths over Lone Sailor.
Asmussen, who had never won an edition of the Super Derby before, was reached on the phone after the race. He was very pleased with the effort by Limation.
“We knew he was a talented colt and were very disappointed in his loss at Ellis,” explained Asmussen. “Every move we made in in that race was wrong. “That's why we brought him back so soon. Today, the race set up perfectly and I am pleased for Michael Langford.”
Asmussen's longtime assistant Darren Fleming saddled the dark bay colt and felt Limation was primed for today's test.
“He's been doing really well, said Fleming. “He'd been at Remington Park and when he came down here, he seemed to come alive and know what his job was. He got a great ride. Diego and I talked in the paddock; we were hoping for a pace to run at and that's what happened.”
“It was the first time I had been on him, but that's the pace we wanted,” said Saenz. “As far as his finish, it's like when you push the pedal and you've got gas!”
Lone Sailor who finished eighth in this year's Run for the Roses for owner Gayle Benson's GMB Racing. Trained by Tom Amoss, the bay colt has faced the nation's top three-year-olds, including Triple Crown winner Justify in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Lone Sailor ran second by a nose in the Grade 3, Ohio Derby and most recently finished a respectable third in the Grade 1, Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Jockey James Graham had the mount and closed gamely as the runner-up. Amoss was hoping to win his first Super Derby, but was gracious in praise for the winner.
“He broke sharp and we had a very good trip,” said Amoss. “My fear is that we would not get the pace set-up we needed. We just couldn't catch the winner, who is a very good horse.”
High North ran third under Florent Geroux for trainer Brad Cox, who won last year's Super Derby with Mr. Misunderstood. Lionite completed the superfecta withDavid Cabrera up, followed by G's Turn, Bode's Maker, McFeely, Autumn Warrior and the early pacestter, Charlie's Schiller.
Bred in Kentucky by David and James Purvis, Limation was a $19,000 short yearling at the Keeneland January sale, then realized $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Yearling sale. Langford bought the colt for $100,000 at the Ocala juvenile sale in April of 2017, and Limation broke his maiden in his fourth start, on Kentucky Derby day in 2017. Overall, the colt has won three of his eight starts for earnings of over $250,000.
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