The top four finishers of the Jan. 12 Lecomte, led by winner Midnight Bourbon; Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Keepemeinmind; and Springboard Mile winner Señor Buscador are among a deep field of 13 sophomores entered for next Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.
The finale of a 13-race program, the 1 1/8-mile Risen Star is an official stop on the road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby with qualifying points paid out on a scale of 50-20-10-5 to the top four finishers. Keepmeinmind — who has not started since the Kentucky Jockey Club — is likely to scratch from this spot and opt for the 1 1/16-miles Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park two days later, trainer Robertino Diodoro told DRF's Mary Rampellini.
Winchell Thoroughbred's Midnight Bourbon wheels back three weeks after scoring a front-running win in the Jan. 16 Lecomte following a nearly three-month layoff for trainer Steve Asmussen. The $525,000 son of Tiznow, who was third in last year's Champagne (G1), will break from post No. 6 under Joe Talamo.
Señor Buscador was a debut maiden winner at Remington Park in November and came back 5 1/2-weeks later to romp in the Springboard by 5 3/4-lengths for trainer Todd Fincher. The Mineshaft colt drew post No. 5 and will again have Luis Quinonez in the irons.
Filling the trifecta behind Midnight Bourbon in the Lecomte were Proxy and Mandaloun, who will look to turn the tables with the added sixteenth of a mile. Godolphin's Proxy, who will break from post No. 2 under new rider John Velazquez, pressed Midnight Bourbon throughout in the Lecomte but could never catch the winner when second best. The Tapit colt is trained by Michael Stidham.
Mandaloun disappointed as the 4-5 favorite in the Lecomte following a pair of sprint wins last fall to start his career for trainer Brad Cox. The son of Into Mischief is eligible to move forward with a route race under his belt and recency on his side. Mandaloun signaled his readiness with a bullet five-furlong drill in 59.80 on Saturday at Fair Grounds.
[Related: Fair Grounds Feb. 13 entries]
Fair Grounds has five other stakes on the program: $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial for older fillies and mares on the grass; $100,000 Colonel Power for turf sprinters; $150,000 Fair Grounds (G3) for older runners on the turf; $200,000 Mineshaft for older horses on dirt; and $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G3), a Kentucky Oaks prep.
|Rank||Silks||Horse / Sire||Rating||Trainer / Jockey||Last Start||Status|
B. Hernandez, Jr.
Tale of Ekati