J S Bach Out of Risen Star With Fever

February 20, 2015 11:48am
J S Bach wins at Gulfstream (1-17-15).
Photo: Leslie Martin, Gulfstream Park

According to trainer Todd Pletcher, J S Bach will be scratched from the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes because of a fever detected on Wednesday. Expected to vie for favoritism after commencing his career with two impressive races – including earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure while romping in a 1 1/16-miles maiden special weight on Jan. 17 – the Florida-bred son of Tale of the Cat will now have to wait for his stakes debut. Owned and bred by Donald Dizney and his Double Diamond Farm, no plans for said contingency are yet available.

Leading national conditioner Pletcher also confirmed that all systems are a ‘go’ for Siena Farm’s Angela Renee, who carries the best credentials going into the Grade III $175,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes and was assigned a 5-1 co-third-choice morning line. A Grade I winner at two, the homebred full-sister to multiple Grade I winner To Honor And Serve was the beaten 3-1 favorite in the Grade I $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and will be making her first start of 2015.

Gainesway Stable’s Villandry, the highweight for Saturday’s Grade III $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap, has been withdrawn from the race and will be scratched by trainer David Carroll. According to the conditioner, who is in charge of the gelding’s training during a winter campaign, the son of Mr. Greeley was not training satisfactorily and it is in the 6-year-old chestnut’s best interest to forego the 1 1/8-miles turf event and return to Kentucky for a rest before re-joining the stable of Charlie LoPresti. 
Said condition may explain why the five-time winner in 19 starts did not perform optimally when the public’s wagering choice in the Grade III $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap on Jan. 17. Prior to the Bradley, the Kentucky homebred was an impressive winner of the Grade III $100,000 River City Handicap on Nov. 8 at Churchill Downs. Previously, the talented charge had taken the winter months off training, but this year Gainesway principal Antony Beck and LoPesti decided to experiment and leave him in the care of Carroll for a winter Fair Grounds campaign. 
Donegal Racing’s Keen Ice, at 8-1 on the morning line while boasting impressive connections, could be overlooked in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday. Owned by one of the country’s top racing partnerships and trained by a classic-winning conditioner in Dale Romans, the son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin will be making his second start of the year after a troubled fifth-place finish in the Grade II $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park. Bred by Glencrest Farm in Kentucky, he will have the riding services of Fair Grounds’ leading jockey James Graham from post seven (originally eight before the scratch of J S Bach).

“He's training great and moving in the right direction,” Romans said. “We came here for the longer stretch. He finishes strong in all his races and the shorter stretch at Gulfstream did not help him. The Fair Grounds has a legendary long stretch that should suit him.”

As a juvenile, the $120,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase and first foal from well-bred Awesome Again mare Medomak won a one-turn mile maiden at Churchill Downs before finishing a gaining fifth in the Grade I $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and then a closing third in the Grade II $400,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct to close out his juvenile year with a record of 5-1-0-1 and $90,395. Like many charges in the patient hands of Romans, the colt seems to be progressing from ages two to three nicely.

“Very much so,” the conditioner confirmed. “If all goes well, we’ll point to the (Grade II $750,000) Louisiana Derby (on Mar. 28) potentially.”

With much of the focus in the Grade III $175,000 Rachel Alexandra going on the phalanx of salty locals and the Grade I-winning Todd Pletcher trainee Angela Renee, who ships in from Florida, a talented New York ship-in from the adroit stable of trainer Eddie Kenneally by the name of Freudie Anne could be lost in the analyses. A winner of three of four who seems to have flourished since going a distance of ground, the front-running daughter of Freud will attempt to give her nine competitors the slip on Saturday.

“She’s doing really well,” Kenneally said. “Being a graded race around two turns, we wanted to give her an opportunity to show how good she is and this looks like a good spot. It’s come up extremely tough, so we’ll see what we have. There’s plenty of speed in the race. We’ll leave it with (jockey) Mike (Smith) and we’ll see what happens in the race. I would expect there would be legitimate pace with some of those fillies coming out of sprints.”

With only one blemish on her record – a non-showing when last beaten 23¼ lengths in her second race over a sealed, muddy Belmont Park course on Sept. 21 – the New York-bred bay filly enters the Rachel Alexandra off two one-sided victories at Aqueduct. In a Nov. 19 state-bred one-turn mile allowance, the talented charge went gate-to-wire by 4½ lengths – earning a 73 Beyer Speed Figure. Next out, in her first two-turn attempt, she razed five other rivals by nearly 10 lengths in the state-bred $100,000 East View Stakes – earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure that is competitive with the top Rachel Alexandra contenders.

“We’re very happy with her,” Kenneally continued. “Kickback and mud didn’t help in her loss and she’s probably better going a little farther. We’ll throw that one out and hopefully she will run her race on Saturday.”

Source: Fair Grounds Barn Notes


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