By Dick Downey
He won the Lecomte Stakes, he won the Risen Star Stakes, and now International Star is also the winner of the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.
Timed in 1:50.67 under Miguel Mena, International Star made his trademark closing move to take the lead in the stretch from the tenacious, pacesetting Stanford. The margin of victory was a neck. After a half-mile, International Star was positioned seventh of nine, seven lengths behind Stanford, who set moderate initial fractions of :24.03, :48.59 and 1:13.27.
Second betting choice War Story, who broke well and saved ground early in the race, was sixth after a half-mile. He was swung out wide leaving the far turn and finished third, beaten five lengths. Keen Ice was another 2 1/4 lengths back in fourth.
Fusaichi Flame, St. Joe Bay, Defondo, A Day in Paradise and Mr. Z completed the order of finish. Mr. Z was the third post-time betting choice at 3-1.
The winner was also the narrow favorite at 2-1 and paid $6.60 to win, $3.60 to place and $2.60 to show.
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey now have back-to-back Louisiana Derby wins after taking the race last year with Vicar's in Trouble.
With 100 Kentucky Derby earned from the race, International Star now has sits atop the leaderboard with 171. Stanford got his first 40 points. War Story upped his total to 44, and Keen Ice has 22.
International Star was bred in Kentucky by Katharine M. Voss and Robert T. Manfuso. By Fusaichi Pegasus, he's out of the French Deputy mare Parlez. He was purchased for $75,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic 2013 yearling sale.