RISEN STAR STAKES
Fair Grounds, 1 1/16
#1 – Albano(12-1, Jockey-Kerwin
Clark; Trainer-Larry Jones; Career-4-2-1-1, $98,100) Colt has had three
preps over this track, and has retained the services of Clark. Began his career with a second at Churchill. Larry Jones is familiar with this race,
having won it with Friesan Fire in 2009.
Was a distant runner-up in the Lecomte
Stakes. Never been off the
board. Consistent; local flavor. Would not surprise.
#2 – Rise Up(4-1, Jockey-Gerard
Melancon; Trainer-Thomas Amoss; Career-6-4-1-0, $810,633) Makes his 2014
debut after having won the Delta Jackpot(Gr. III) on November 30. Is well-traveled, marking the fifth track
visited, and keeps Melancon for this race.
Only disappointment was a sixth place finish in the Iroquois Stakes(Gr. III) at Churchill. Consistent with four wins, with average
margin of victory being 5 ½ lengths.
Would not be far-fetched to say that this one could bring home the
#3 – Flat Gone(30-1, Jockey-Chris
Landeros; Trainer-Keith Desormeaux; Career-7-1-0-1, $ 68,120) Finally broke
his maiden in last outing. Had been
beaten twice by Rise Up at Delta
Downs. Would have to pass.
#4 – Vigorish(50-1, Jockey-Marcelino
Pedroza; Trainer-D. Wayne Lukas; Career-6-0-2-0; $32,085) English Channel
colt has yet to break his maiden. Lukas
has been known to surprise, as recently as last year with Oxbow and Will Take Charge. Still, this blood line would indicate that
turf should be this one’s direction.
I’ll look elsewhere.
#5 – Bond Holder
#6 – Gold Hawk(8-1, Jockey-Corey
Nakatani; Trainer-Steve Asmussen; Career-3-2-0-1; $69,200) Suffered his
first defeat in last race, as the favorite in the Lecomte Stakes(Gr. III).
Pre-race problems of loading into the gate, might’ve indicated his lack
of desire for running that day. His dam
won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
in 2000, and his sire won the 2003 Belmont
Stakes. Trying a new jockey, and
Asmussen has familiarity with this race, having won in 2008 with Pyro. Lot of upside for this one.
#7 – Interchange(30-1,
Jockey-E.T. Baird; Trainer-Thomas Clark; Career-3-1-1-0; $34,030) Though he
won his first two races at Delaware Park, he was disqualified in his second
win. After that, he traveled west to
Fair Grounds, where he pulled up the rear in his last effort, an optional
claiming event. He can only improve from
that. He might be more prepared this
time around, but, I’ll tend to look elsewhere.
#8 – Hoppertunity(8-1,
Jockey-Martin Garcia; Trainer-Bob Baffert; Career-2-1-0-0; $34,720) Successful jockey/trainer combo, also has
a little bond between trainer and part-owner, Michael Pegram(combo won the
Kentucky Derby with Real Quiet). Just broke his maiden in last out, his second
visit to the track. Should get some
betting interest because of connections, but would seem to be hard to read, due
#9 – Intense Holiday(8-1,
Jockey-Mike Smith; Trainer-Todd Pletcher; Career-6-1-0-1, $111,900) What would a graded-stakes race be,
without Pletcher. Picks up the services
of Hall-Of-Famer Mike Smith. Broke his
maiden in only his second outing, and has been somewhat in contention in his last
four outings against graded competition.
Maybe he’s found a field that might be more to his liking?
#10 – Son Of A
Preacher(20-1, Jockey-Miguel Mena; Trainer-Bret Calhoun; Career-4-1-1-0,
$37,549) Local trainer has
experimented with this one, trying the turf, and last race shipped to Oaklawn,
to run fourth in the Smarty Jones Stakes.
Won his maiden at first asking, beating Albano at six furlongs at Churchill. Has never been that far back, but seem to
think he’s a tier below this group.
#11 – Quick Indian(20-1,
Jockey-Brian Hernandez, Jr.; Trainer-Merrill Scherer; Career-4-2-0-1, $54,750))
Won his first official race last time out over this oval in open claiming
competition(broke his maiden prior race, due to disqualification). Post position shouldn’t be drawback, since he
likes to go wide in previous races.
Still, without me.
#12 – Xtra Luck(50-1,
Jockey-Richard Eramia; Trainer-Danny Pish; Career-4-1-0-2, $32,910) Local
charge is really dipping his big toe in deep water. Seems to be over his head. Without.
#13 – Commanding
Curve(20-1, Jockey-Robby Albarado; Trainer-Dallas Stewart; Career-4-1-1-1,
$38,434) Broke his maiden his last
out on November 30 at Churchill Downs.
Been working at Fair Grounds since December 20, and has recorded two
bullet works his last two workouts.
Picks up the services of accomplished jockey, Albarado. If works are any indications, he looks to be
prepared for his New Orleans debut.
#14 – Vicar’s In
Trouble(5-2, Jockey-Rosie Napravnik; Trainer-Michael Maker; Career-3-2-0-1,
$148,900) Impressive Lecomte winner,
pulling away by 6 ¾ lengths, though the trackman stated that he was
“green”. 2-for-2 at Fair Grounds. Not much not to like. Seems worthy of the favorite’s role.
#15 – Emmett
Park(20-1, Jockey-James Graham; Trainer-Robert Pincins; Career-2-2-0-0,
$27,300) Comes to Fair Grounds off
of two wins over synthetic at Turfway Park.
Has been working over this oval since February 4. I can’t jump on bandwagon, though, for I tend
to shy away from synthetic-to-dirt.
Though he’s breaking from the outside, the track variance
for distance races at Fair Grounds is favorable. I like #14
Vicar’s In Trouble, with #9 Intense
Holiday(last four races against graded competition should make for good
preparation for this contest) & #13
Commanding Curve(like the two recent bullets, and the fact he’s been
stabled at this track for two months).
Play those three in a $5 exacta box($30 total), and play a 50 cent
Trifecta part-wheel, with those three horses in the top two slots, with 1-2-6-8-9-13-14
in the third slot($15),followed by the top three in the first and third slot,
with 1-2-6-8-9-13-14 in the middle slot($15), for a grand total of $60.