OPELOUSAS, LA (April 15, 2017)
U S Officer has faced some tough competition in his past, with two of his losses coming to 2017 Louisiana Derby winner, Girvin, and 2017 Arkansas Derby winner, Classic Empire, and in the $50,000 Ragin Cajun at Evangeline Downs on Saturday, the colt wasn’t even the betting favorite. However, that didn’t matter as he scored a victory as the 2-1 second choice in a field of four, covering the seven furlongs in 1:24.54 over a fast track.
The betting favorite in the Ragin Cajun was Laughingsaintssong, who was sent off at odds of 3-5. He ended up dueling throughout the early stages of the race with Jilotepec. That pair set solid fractions of 22.56 seconds for the quarter-mile and 45.11 for the half-mile. U S Officer tracked that twosome under rider Diego Saenz before making a strong three-wide move to take the lead as the field came to the final furlong. From there, U S Officer was able to move away to win by 1-1/4 lengths, with Laughingsaintssong outlasting Jilotepec by a head for second. Maiden Classic Brahms finished last in the field of four.
U S Officer was bred in Kentucky by part-owner, Jerry Durant. Durant is co-owner of the bay colt with Bill Jordan and Danny Pish is the trainer. U S Officer is by U S Ranger and out of the Officer mare, Lacey Officer. He has now won four of his nine lifetime starts. Two of those wins are stakes, as U S Officer also took the $100,000 Clever Trevor at Remington Park last November. The $30,000 first-place purse increases his lifetime earnings to $166,565.
U S Officer paid $6.80 to win and $2.20 to place. Laughingsaintssong returned $2.10 to place. There was no show wagering with the field being scratched down to four horses.