Double Your Pleasure in Risen Star

13 Feb

In almost every case, two is better than one and that definitely applies to the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds, which has been split into two divisions due to an overflow of entries. Fields of 11 and 12 will now dispute the dual editions of the 1 1/8 miles test over the Crescent City oval to determine which three-year-olds will move forward on the Bayou Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The first division of the Risen Star is carded at the 12th of 13 races and goes to post at approximately 3:38pm Pacific Time. Slight favoritism lies with Lecomte (G3) winner Enforceable (7/2), who rallied wide from 11th place to notch a 1-1/2 length victory over Silver State (4/1) and Mr. Monomoy (6/1), who finished second and third with just a neck separating them that day. The top three in the Lecomte returns today to dispute the first division of the Risen Star, along with Lecomte favorite Scabbard (12/1), and longshot Shashashakemeup (20/1), who finished 5th and 6th, respectively.

A six-pack of new shooters is led by Blackberry Wine (5/1), who boasts a recent, two-turn win over the Fair Grounds oval in optional claiming company, along with Digital (6/1) who comes in off a second place finish in the same heat. The remaining four are all maiden breakers, seeking their second wins. Chief among them is Moon Over Miami (10/1), who romped to a five-length win at Aqueduct for the Bill Mott barn before running out of the money as the favorite in an optional claimer at Gulfstream.

The second, and arguably less deep division of the Risen Star is led by Anneau d’Or (9/5), who hails from Bay Area based barn of Blaine Wright. The three-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro makes his 2020 debut after a pair of impressive, but hard luck seconds in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), where he lost by a neck to one of Bob Baffert’s many Derby hopefuls, Thousand Words.

Tops among the challengers with more than just a maiden victory is Liam’s Lucky Charm (9/2), who exits an impressive 5-1/2 length win in the seven-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 18. He’s now won three of six, but has yet to win around two turns. Next on the list is the unbeaten Mailman Money (8/1), who seeks his third consecutive victory after romping to a 5 3/4 lengths win over this track on Jan. 12. Another to keep an eye on is Ny Traffic (10/1), who ships in from Gulfstream Park off a 6 3/4 lengths romp after moving to the barn of Joseph Saffie, Jr., which is striking at a 27% clip.

The second division of the Risen Star is slated at the nightcap on a 13-race card, and goes to post at approximately 4:12pm. Fair Grounds is guaranteeing a $400,000 All Stakes Pick 4 over the following races:

10 – $150,000 Fair Grounds Stakes (G3-T) – Post Time 2:32pm
11 – $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2)
12 – $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2)
13 – $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2)

Field sizes, before scratches in the All Stakes Pick 4 are 14, 7, 11 and 12.

Pleasanton OTB will pick up the 13-race program from Fair Grounds in progress, starting with the 8th race, the $100,000 Albert Stall Memorial, at approximately 1:30pm. It’s followed by the $200,000 Mineshaft (G3) at 2:01pm. Both races boast strong fields of 11.


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