OPELOUSAS, LA (April 15, 2017)–U S Officer, a Louisiana-bred son of California stallion U S Ranger, 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.