Let’s Go Stable’s El Padrino, who closed out in the opening
Kentucky Derby Future Pool this year at 16-1, has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s
Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.
As Fair Grounds’ designed prep for the
$1 million Louisiana
Derby on April 1, the $300,000 Risen Star is the centerpiece race on Saturday’s six-stakes race program worth $885,000 and billed as
Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford.
Todd Pletcher, El Padrino
won an allowance at Gulfstream by two lengths on Jan. 29 in his only
start as a sophomore after finishing third, beaten less than a length
for the win, in Aqueduct’s
Grade II Remsen Stakes
last fall in New York.
Javier Castellano will fly to
New Orleans from South Florida
to ride El Padrino in the Risen Star. As a son of Pulpit out of a
Giant’s Causeway mare, El Padrino worked a half-mile in 48.80 at South
Florida’s Palm Meadows training center Sunday
morning and is expected to arrive in New Orleans mid-week.
Capable of providing strong competition for El Padrino is the
Brereton Jones-owned and Larry Jones-trained entry of Fair Grounds’
Grade III Lecomte Stakes winner Mr. Bowling as well as his stablemate
Mark Valeski, who have been pegged as the 4-1 second choice for Saturday’s Risen Star.
Bowling, who dug in to find a second gear in the late stages of the
Lecomte to win by a head while coming off a three-month layoff, will
be ridden once again by seven-time Fair Grounds jockey champion Robby
Albarado in the Risen Star. The homebred son of Istan was third in his previous outing in Churchill Downs’
Grade III Iroquois Stakes last Oct. 30 but had won the
$75,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware Park before that. The colt worked five furlongs in 59.80 Monday morning at Fair Grounds.
mate Mark Valeski won his seasonal bow by a length in the allowance
ranks at Fair Grounds on Jan. 13 and had closed out his juvenile
last Sept. 22 by breaking his maiden with a 4 1/2-length tally at
Delaware Park. The son of Proud Citizen breezed five-eighths Monday
morning at Fair Grounds in 1:00.20. Defending Fair Grounds jockey
champion and current leading rider
Rosie Napravnik will ride Mark Valeski.
Z Dager, runner-up in the
Lecomte, is the third choice in the Risen Star morning line at 5-1 and
breezed a half-mile in 50.60 at Fair Grounds Monday morning. The Mizzen
Mast colt is trained by
Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by
Shane Sellers in the Risen Star. Out of a Wavering Monarch mare, Z Dager broke his maiden by 1 1/4 lengths locally on Dec. 15.
Shared Property, 6-1 in the early Risen Star line, was third in the Lecomte and won Chicago’s
Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity last September. Regular rider
Leandro Goncalves will be aboard the
Tom Amoss trainee once again this weekend.
Completing the Risen Star field, with respective riders, trainers and odds, is Bluegrass Hall’s
Optimizer, Carlos Marquez Jr., D. Wayne Lukas (6-1); Jim Tafel’s
Afford, Shane Sellers, Greg Geier (8-1); George and Tiffany Veloudis’s
Tizanexpense, Miguel Mena, Mike Maker (10-1); Steve Martin’s
Ted’s Folly, Ramsey Zimmerman, Wilson Brown (20-1) and the Raut LLC-owned
Gennadi Dorochenko-conditioned coupling of
Hero of Order and Adena’s Chance, to be ridden respectively by
James Graham and Richard Eramia while pegged at 30-1 in the Risen Star morning line.