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Risen Star Stakes News

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is due to run at Fair Grounds in the New Orleans Ladies March 13, but well before that – on Feb. 20 – the Crescent City oval hosts Louisiana Derby Preview Day, featuring six stakes races on the same day, four of which are graded.

 

Serving as the centerpiece of next weekend’s all-star afternoon is the 37th running of the Grade II Risen Star Stakes, which with its new higher grading and richer purse of $300,000 is sure to attract some of the nation’s top 3-year-olds as the final local prep for the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27. 


Jack Hammer’s Ron the Greek, who won the Grade III Lecomte, first leg of Fair Grounds’ sophomore series on Jan. 23, is expected to continue his quest to sweep the local series by winning the Risen Star, but his expected competition continues to grow. In addition to Maximus Ruler, the runner-up in the Lecomte, owned by Don Benge, Clark Hanna and Mike Bell, the Lecomte’s third-place finisher Letsgetitonmon, owned by Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner, is also expected to come back in the Risen Star.

 

Other early bird nominations to the Louisiana Derby expected for the Risen Star are Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s  Stay Put, impressive when winning a two-turn $50,000 optional claiming race here Jan. 3, and Jay Em Ess Stable’s Worldly, second in that same event. Sam-Son Farms’ Hotep, much the best in a similar race Feb. 1 at the local oval, completes the early bird grouping on track for the Risen Star.

 

Now nominated to the Risen Star since the closing of early bird Louisiana Derby nominations are WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who was much the best in a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream Jan. 31;  Paul Robsham’s Discreetly Mine, trained by Todd Pletcher and fourth in Gulfstream’s $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes Jan. 9 despite a troubled trip; and Gainesway Stable’s Tempted to Tapit, an 11 1/2-length winner when breaking his maiden at Aqueduct in his last start Jan. 18.

 


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