Kafwain headlines Louisiana Derby field

March 7, 2003 at 3:56 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, March 7 (UPI) -- Fans looking to get a handle on this year's Kentucky Derby certainly will have an eye on Sunday's Louisiana Derby.

Kafwain and Badge of Silver headline the 10-horse field for the $750,000 stakes race.

While Badge of Silver and Kafwain are considered the two leading candidates for the Kentucky Derby, Sunday's race also features talented entries Defrere's Vixen and Lone Star Sky. The field is expected to be between six and eight.

There is little question that all the attention Sunday will be on the two horses ranked 1-2 in the poll by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for three-year-olds.

Kafwain, ranked first, is trained by Bob Baffert, has won three Kentucky Derby's, including last year's classic with War Emblem. Baffert does have something to prove here as he is winless in five attempts to capture this title, but Kafwain is coming off a win in February's San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

Victor Espinoza will be aboard and the morning line has made Kafwain, starting from the fifth post position, the 3-2 favorite.

Badge of Silver, trained by Baffert's friend, Ronny Werner, cruised to victory at the Risen Star Stakes, and has won all three of his lifetime starts. The smaller built colt, which was purchased for $85,0000, will have Robby Albarado aboard, and listed at 3-2.

Badge of Silver will start from the outside.

Defrere's Vixen captured the Lecomte Handicap in January, and is trained by Steve Asmussen, who won this race in 2001 with Private Emblem.

Both Defrere's Vixen and Lone Star Sky were hammered by Badge of Silver in the Risen Star Stakes.

Defrere's Vixen, starting in the fourth slot, is 20-1 while Lone Star Sky, starting in the third slot, is 12-1.

Gohalo, a 50-1 shot, is starting on the post with Funny Cide, a 15-1 shot, next over. Prince Alphie, with Larry Melancon aboard, will go from the sixth slot, and is listed at 20-1.

Winning Fans, with John Jacinto up, is 30-1 from the seventh spot. Commander's Affair (30-1) and Peace Rules (8-1) are inside of Badge of Silver.

Track conditions have been sloppy at times this week.

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