NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Late starts are nothing new for Revolutionary.
Neither is winning.
The Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old once again started slowly, breaking last in the 14-horse field Saturday in the 100th running of the $1 million Grade II Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds.
He had the lead by the top of the stretch, and held off Mylute to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
Another 4½ lengths behind was Departing, providing Louisiana-bred horses with a 2-3 finish, but still searching for a rare victory.
Revolutionary, with Javier Castellano aboard, ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.28 for his third consecutive win. His previous two wins were at Aqueduct.
"He's a very brilliant horse, a smart horse," Castellano said. "The way he did it was very phenomenal. You don't see too many young horses do it the way he did."
Castellano took the inside track on the first turn after the poor start before moving to the far outside route on the backstretch, which allowed his mount to make up ground rapidly. By the three-quarter pole, Revolutionary was sixth. He led Mylute by a head entering the stretch, but by the eighth pole, Mylute appeared fresher and on the verge of taking the lead. However, Castellano was able to coax one last surge from his horse and won by a neck.
"He broke a little slow, which he's been known to do in the past," said Whit Beckman, assistant to Pletcher. "(Castellano) just recovered from there, just steadily picking off horses and making up ground. (Castellano) had to get down and ride him pretty hard but was able to get him there."
Mylute, trained by New Orleans native Tom Amoss, had to shake off a brief bump at the start, which seemed to affect his early performance. He remained 10th by the three-quarter pole but with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard regained his composure in the final half-mile.
"(Mylute) gave me a heck of a thrill in the last 40 yards," Amoss said. "I'm so proud. One day a Louisiana horse is going to (win a Louisiana Derby)."
Revolutionary earned 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings and is second overall behind Orb, the Florida Derby winner Saturday.
Mylute earned 40 points and at 11th place appears to have spot secured in the derby. The field will be comprised of the top-20 point earners.
However, Amoss deflected questions about a trip to Churchill Downs.