Saudi Crown earns trip to Saudi Cup with Louisiana S. (G3) victory

Always Dreaming will have his first starter in next month’s $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh after Saudi Crown dominated the Louisiana S. (G3) Saturday at Fair Grounds.

The newly-turned 4-year-old, who won last year’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1), dominated his competition from the outset of Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile race. He established a two-length lead in the first quarter-mile and guided the field through an easy six furlongs in 1:12.10. After being set down for the stretch drive, he pulled away with authority to win by nearly six lengths.

The final time of 1:43.20 on a fast track was good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 105, the fourth time in his career to achieve that number or better.

“Exactly what we wanted and what we needed to go to Riyadh next month,” jockey Florent Geroux said in the winner’s circle. “Hopefully we can move forward and try to represent America nicely.”

Saudi Crown, owned by FMQ Stables, is 4-2-0 in seven starts and has earned $982,085.

The winner was bred by CHC Inc. and is the second foal out of the unraced mare New Narration, while both his second and third dam, New Normal and New Economy, were both graded stakes winners.

Saudi Crown is Always Dreaming’s second stakes winner of the new year, along with Tocayo, who won the $125,000 Dania Beach S. on Jan. 6 at Gulfstream Park.