The $400,000 2013 Risen Star Stakes (G2) is one of the major tune-ups for the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. The Risen Star Stakes is for three year old colts and gelding and will run on February 23, 2013. The race is set for 1 1/16 miles on the dirt.
The following horses have been entered in this race:
1. Proud Strike broke through to break his maiden by 7 1/2 lengths at Fair Grounds on January 12 after falling short twice at Churchill Downs in October and November. The last two races have been 1 1/16 miles for the Smart Strike colt, so he has long distance experience going into this contest. He’s also putting in consistent morning workouts. Trained by Steven Asmussen.
2. Code West will ship in to Fair Grounds from Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. It took four races for the Virginia bred son of Lemon Drop Kid to break his maiden, but he comes off a solid 2nd place performance to stable mate Super Ninety Nine in an Allowance Optional Claiming $80,000 at Santa Anita on January 31. Super Ninety Nine just demolished the field in the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on February 18.
3. Agent won his debut at Remington Park on November 2, then finished 2nd in an Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000. The Amy McAnally trained colt by Dehere recently won an Allowance at Sam Houston going a mile over the dirt.
4. Golden Soul missed in his one mile dirt debut on November 18 at Churchill Downs. The Perfect Soul (IRE) colt shipped to Fair Grounds and broke his maiden by 7 3/4 lengths going 1 1/16 miles on December 30. His latest was a 2nd place finish in the LeComte Stakes. He was late early on and made a strong move as they turned for home. The early fractions didn’t allow him to catch gate to wire winner Oxbow for the One mile and 70 yards race. If he gets pace early on in this race, look for him coming strong late in the race.
5. Mylute has been competitive in all seven races, all at age two. The Midnight Lute colt finished in the top three in six of the seven races with a 2nd in the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows, 2nd to Bern Identity in the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs, 3rd to Goldencents and Bern Identity in the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes and his latest a 10 1/4 lengths win in an Allowance Optional Claiming $50,000 at Fair Grounds. He could fly under the radar for trainer Thomas Amoss.
6. Palace Malice, after a narrow defeat in his opener, he came back to win comfortably in a maiden special weight race at Saratoga on August 4. He seemed to appreciate the additional 1 1/2 furlongs. He sat off the pace early, made his move on the far turn, then coasted to win by 3 1/2 lengths. After missing 5 1/2 months, he made his three year old debut with a 2nd in an Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000 at Gulfstream Park on January 19. He couldn’t catch up to the front runner Majestic Hussar who went gate to wire. With a race under his belt after the long layoff, Pletcher should have him ready to run.
7. Hardrock Eleven finished 6th in his debut at Remington Park last September, then broke his maiden at Delta Downs in October. The David Banks trained colt by Rock Hard Ten finished 2nd by a neck testing turf in the Arthur I. Appleton Juvenile Turf Stakes at Calder Race Course. He returned to Remington in December and ran a disappointing 8th in the Remington Springboard Mile Stakes. Just over two weeks later, the Florida bred ran 5th in an Allowance Optional Claiming $50,000 at Fair Grounds. Same race that MyLute won by almost 11 lengths. His most recent was a runner-up effort in the Allen’s Landing Stakes at Sam Houston.
8. I’ve Struck a Nerve has just one win in 8 races. The Yankee Gentleman colt trained by Keith Desormeaux broke his maiden after six races. He tried maiden and stakes races at Del Mar last summer and failed to break through until his sixth race at Fair Grounds. He finished 2nd in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds after that and most recently finished 4th in the LeComte Stakes.
9. Normandy Invasion missed in his debut at Belmont Park on September 15, but came back to break his maiden at Aqueduct on November 2. His latest was a narrow nose defeat to Overanalyze in the Remsen Stakes on November 24. He is a late runner who will continue to thrive with additional racing experience and the longer distances.
10. Oxbow took four races to break his maiden at Saratoga, Keeneland and Churchill Downs before winning at Churchill. He shipped out West and finished 4th in the CashCall Futurity at odds of 60/1. It was a completely different performance when shipped to Louisiana to run in the LeComte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds. He took the early lead in the One Mile and 70 yards race and never relinquished it. He drew off down the stretch to win by a whopping 11 1/2 lengths. He finished in 1:43.30. It might not have been as deep as the CashCall but nonetheless, it was a performance that put his mark on the division as he heads onto the Derby Trail. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas.
11. Bethel will be one of the long shots in this race. The Gennadi Dorochenko trained colt by Pulpit took three tries to break his maiden against $30,000 claimers. He just finished 4th in a Starter Allowance on February 17. All of these at Fair Grounds.
12. He’s Had Enough is shipping in from Southern California for trainer Doug O’Neill. Although, he has been cross-entered here and the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park as well. The gray Tapit colt finished 3rd in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita on February 2 after a two month rest. He broke his maiden on dirt first out at Del Mar last summer. An interesting move to test the grass next out resulted in a 6th place finish in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes at Del Mar. He then shipped to Kentucky where he ran 11th in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland on the all weather. He shipped back to Santa Anita and ran an impressive 2nd to Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on dirt. Six weeks later he ran 5th in the CashCall Futurity (G1) at BetFair Hollywood Park. Now he ships once again across the country. The plan for this colt was not mapped out well. Hopefully the travel and different surfaces don’t hinder his abilities. He’s certainly shown he can run with the cream of the crop.
13. Circle Unbroken had his modest two race winning streak snapped by Maybe So in the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes at Mountaineer Park on August 4. Prior to that, the Broken Vow colt won the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on June 30 by a length going six furlongs and his maiden debut in special weight class going 5 1/2 furlongs. He finally returned after missing 5 1/2 months to finish an un-inspiring 5th in the LeComte Stakes. Maybe he needed a race.
14. Departing is a War Front colt trained by Albert Stall. He is 2 for 2 with his Allowance Optional Claiming win on February 1 going 1 mile and 70 yards in addition to his maiden score on December 22 going six furlongs. Both races were at Fair Grounds and from off the pace.
15. Sunbean is another Al Stall trained colt by Brahms who’s won his last two starts. His first race was a nose defeat in a maiden special weight race going six furlongs. He went gate to wire and won the six furlongs Louisiana Futurity on December 31. His latest was a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming $30,000 going one mile and 70 yards. This time he came from off the pace. It shows his versatility. The only downfall is that all three races were against Louisiana state breds. He’ll need to step this open class.
ORDER OF FINISH
1. Ive Struck a Nerve
2. Code West
3. Palace Malice
5. Normandy Invasion
6. Golden Soul
8. Proud Strike
11. Circle Unbroken
12. Hardrock Eleven
Departing (trainer) & Sunbean (also eligible) were SCRATCHED