On Saturday, the Fair Grounds will host the Grade 2, 1-1/16th, $400,000 2019 Risen Star Stakes, which will be the first Kentucky Derby prep race this year offering a larger number of points towards the big party on first Saturday in May.
The 2019 Risen Star Stakes looks to be a full field of 14 and will award points on a 50-20-10-5 basis to the top four finishers. War Of Will heads the field and is coming in sharp off a nice win in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes on Jan.19 over this course. But the 14 post is no asset for this trip and War Of Will returns to face 6 rivals from that race here, as well as a couple of shippers looking to secure some valuable points.
Fair Grounds Race 12: The 2019 Risen Star Stakes Grade 2, Run at 1-1/16 Miles on the Dirt Purse: $400,000 For Three-Year-Olds Post Time 6:02 Local
#1) PLUS QUE PARFAIT (10/1) Sire: Point Of Entry Trainer: Brendan Walsh Jockey: Julien Leparoux Starts: 5: 1-1-2 Earnings: $90,400
Stumbled at the start and wound up 5th, 6-1/2 lengths behind War Of Will in the Jan. 19 Lecomte over this course. A clean start and some moisture might help but the rail will not. Passing.
#2) ROILAND (20/1) Sire: Successful Appeal Trainer: Tom Amoss Jockey: James Graham Starts: 5: 2-1-0 Earnings: $79,660
Beat winners going 1-1/16 miles a few starts back at Churchill but was last seen running a distant 7th of 12 horses in The Lecomte. He could get a piece here and should outrun his odds but is “iffy” at best.
#3) MR. MONEY (12/1) Sire: Goldencents Trainer: Bret Calhoun Jockey: Gabriel Saez Starts: 4: 1-2-0 Earnings: $150,400
Scratched a day before the Lecomte because of sickness, he could be a little short here from having 3 months off. A 5 furlong bullet work towards his 3-yr.-old debut last week is promising and says he’s feeling good. Mixed feelings but wouldn’t be surprised if he grabs a small slice.
#4) CHASE THE GHOST (30/1) Sire: Ghostzapper Trainer: Dallas Stewart Jockey: Mitchell Murrill Starts: 6: 1-2-0 Earnings: $45,077
Broke his maiden in his fifth start while stretching out and recently ran a lackluster 6th in The Lecomte. Passing.
#5) HENLEY’S JOY (10/1) Sire: Kitten’s Joy Trainer: Mike Maker Jockey: Manny Franco Starts: 6: 3-2-0 Earnings: $372,160
All his races have been on the turf and he’s only been out of the exacta once. Has a nice turn of foot in the lane and might like this dirt. Quite possible.
#6) HOG CREEK HUSTLE (8/1) Sire: Overanalyze Trainer: Vickie Foley Jockey: Florent Geroux Starts: 5: 2-1-1 Earnings: $121,300
Closed nicely to be a good second to War Of Will in the Lecomte, and could be chasing him once again here. Running style suits and he should enjoy the distance. Dangerous.
#7) MANNY WAH (12/1) Sire: Will Take Charge Trainer: Wayne Catalano Jockey: Channing Hill Starts: 8: 2-2-2 Earnings: $119,225
Ran a credible third in The Lecomte after dictating the pace and with a bunch of these exiting that race, that showing looks pretty good here. Brings 8-races of experience to the fray and some speed too. Can hit the board with his best.
#8) OWENDALE (6/1) Sire: Into Mischief Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Shawn Bridgmohan Starts: 6: 2-1-1 Earnings: $63,225
Beat five rivals in an allowance race last out and looked good while doing so. Will need to step up quite a bit to compete with these but is another in here that can grab a minor award with his best effort.
#9) COUNTRY HOUSE (20/1) Sire: Lookin At Lucky Trainer: Bill Mott Jockey: Luis Saez Starts: 3: 1-1-0 Earnings: $40,175
After a bad start, he came from dead last to break his maiden Jan. 17 at Gulfstream and still won handily by open daylight. He’s had starting issues however, and if he doesn’t get out cleanly today he has no shot. On the other side of the coin, imagine what can this fellow do if he does run as soon as they open the gate? Fully capable with a good start.
#10) LIMONITE (10/1) Sire: Lemon Drop Kid Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Brian Hernandez Starts: 4: 1-1-2 Earnings: $84,300
Consistent sort always tried hard and has never been off the board in four outings. Still, 1/4 win record, 2-1/2 months off and low speed figures are concerning. Not a win candidate.
#11) DUNPH (20/1) Sire: Temple City Trainer: Mike Maker Jockey: Jose Ortiz Starts: 4: 2-0-1 Earnings: $151,540
Won his first two races by a combined 16-1/4 lengths but ran a dismal ninth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and then an even third in The Springboard Mile at Remington. Talented gelding will need softer to shine.
#12) FROLIC MORE (10/1) Sire: More Than Ready Trainer: Dallas Stewart Jockey: Corey Lanerie Starts: 5: 1-2-1 Earnings: $68,170
Ran well in his last outing, running a good second, only 1-1/2 lengths behind Owendale over this course but it took him four races to break his maiden and I’m not loving his chances here. Passing.
ENTERED, BUT WILL NOT GO *XXX #13) KINGLY
#14) WAR OF WILL (5/2) Sire: War Front Trainer Mark Casse Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione Starts: 6: 2-1-1 Earnings: $251,569
Last out winner of The Lecomte will have to overcome the unforgiving #14 slot, as well as several top rivals from that contest. He does have the speed to get over and clear and has beaten several of these before. He figures to be right there but I think he gets used up a bit early and War of Will comes up short. Vulnerable favorite.
#15) GUN IT (10/1) Sire: Tapit Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. Starts: 3: 1-0-1 Earnings: $33,130
Lightly raced, $2.6 Million purchase ran third to Owendale in his last outing and won his second start on Dec. 22, albeit rather greenly. Good bloodlines and working nicely but I’ll have to pass.