Risen Star Split, Draws Talented Fields For Both Divisions
Well-Bred Tapit Colt Is Early Favorite In First Division
By Margaret Ransom
Last month’s Lecomte Stakes (GIII) winner Enforceable and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) runner-up Anneau d’Or the two divisions of Saturday’s Risen Star (GII), presented by Lamarque Ford-Lincoln at Fair Grounds. Both divisions drew nearly full and talented fields of sophomores whose connections have eyes turned toward the Louisville on the first Saturday in May.
Each division will carry a $400,000 purse and award the same Road to the Derby qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 basis to the top four finishers. This year the race will be contested at 1 1/8 miles for the first time.
The first division of the Risen Star (race 12) drew 11 with Enforceable the 7-2 morning line favorite off his Lecomte victory. The Mark Casse-trained son of Tapit is owned by John Oxley and is out of the Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie and therefore a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day (the sire of champion Maximum Security), as well as graded stakes winners Mohaymen and Kingly. Enforceable has already earned 13 points to make the gate for the Kentucky Derby and he will have jockey Julien Leparoux aboard again.
“We’re very happy with the split of the race,” Casse’s assistant David Carroll said. “It gives more horses and owners an opportunity to run and earn points for the Derby.
“We couldn’t be any happier with him. He’s a horse who trains himself. He loves going out in the mornings and doing his work. He does it very professionally every morning and well within himself. It was a nice and easy (half-mile) breeze Saturday morning (:49 3/5) and a nice gallop out. He has so much foundation that he doesn’t need a whole lot of training at this point. There’s no shortcut to the Derby, it’s a long road to get there. You have to earn your way in. We just want to keep Enforceable sound. We’re looking forward to the race and seeing where we stand.”
In addition to the Lecomte winner, that race’s second-, third- and fifth-place finishers will also be in the gate for the first division of the Risen Star – Silver Slate, Mr. Monomoy and Scabbard. Silver Slate, a $450,000 son of Hard Spun, is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton and is trained by Steve Asmussen. He has a win and two seconds from three races so far in his career. Mr. Monomoy, who is a Palace Malice half-brother to champion Monomoy Girl, will make his fifth start with so far just a maiden win to his credit for trainer Brad Cox and the owner partnership of Madakat Stables, Michael Dubb and Doheny Racing. Scabbard had two graded stakes placings as a 2-year-old and was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before returning with a fourth-place finish after a troubled trip in the Lecomte. Owner Joe Sutton bred the son of More Than Ready, who is trained by Eddie Kenneally.
The field for the first division, which will go off as the day’s 12th at about 5:40 p.m. CT, is:
- Digital, B. Hernandez, Jr., 6-1
- Silver State, R. Santana, Jr., 4-1
- Ready to Roll, G. Saez, 20-1
- Perfect Revenge, S. Bridgmohan, 20-1
- Moon Over Miami, J. Alvarado, 10-1
- Shashashakemeup, J. Graham, 20-1
- Blackberry Wine, A. Beschizza 5-1
- Enforceable, J. Leparoux, 7-2
- Mr. Monomoy, F. Geroux, B. Cox, 6-1
- Farmington Road, J. Castellano, 8-1
- Scabbard, J. Rosario, 12-1
Second Division Draws West Coast Shipper As Favorite
The second division of the Risen Star features the 3-year-old debut of Peter Redekop’s Anneau d’ Or, who was second to champion Storm The Court in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and second again to the undefeated and highly regarded Robert B. Lewis Stakes (GII) winner Thousand Words in the Los Alamitos Futurity (GI) late last year. This $480,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro is trained by Northern California-based conditioner Blaine Wright and will be ridden by Joel Rosario for the first time.
“The spacing between the Risen Star and the Santa Anita Derby (G1) (April 4) is really nice,” Wright said . “It allows us to travel across the country, come back and still get six weeks in between races. Those are the two races we’ve targeted, and hopefully the horse and I keep doing what it takes to get us where we want to go.
“In my opinion, we were a head and a neck away from winning an Eclipse Award. We have to find a way to get past horses. Joel Rosario flew up (to Northern California) and worked him last week and got to know him. Hopefully the changes will work out to our advantage.”
Lynn’s Map, who is owned by Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud and trained by Mark Casse, was a disappointing fifth in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park three weeks ago in his first start as a 3-year-old. Casse didn’t offer any excuses and brings this son of Liam’s Map to Louisiana in search of points after winning this race a year ago with War of Will. Corey Lanerie will be back aboard after a one-race absence.
“We’re throwing out that race at Oaklawn,” Casse assistant David Carroll said. “The track seemed to be very sticky that day and to me he never looked settled and comfortable. When Miguel (Mena) asked him to pick it up, Lynn’s Map sort of lost his action and never looked happy in that race.
“He came out of the Smarty Jones really well and has done everything we’ve asked of him since. Ideally, we’d like to have another week or so with him between races but we don’t want to ship him out again. We think as long as he’s doing well, we will take a chance and let him show us what he can do.”
Other notable runners in the second division include Allied Racing Stable’s undefeated Mailman Money, who is trained by Bill Mott; Arnaldo Monge and Rey Hernandez’ Finnick The Fierce, who was second in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII); and Stonehenge LLC’s Pasco Stakes winner Liam’s Lucky Charm, who is conditioned by Bret Calhoun.
The field for the second division, which will go off as the day’s 13th at about 6:12 p.m. CT, is:
- Modernist, J. Alvarado, 8-1
- Truculent, D. Carroll, 20-1
- Mr. Big News, R. Albarado, W. Calhoun, 20-1
- Fame to Famous, C. Hernandez, 20-1
- Liam’s Lucky Charm, E. Zayas, 9-2
- Excession, R. Santana, Jr., 20-1
- Major Fed, J. Leparoux, 10-1
- Anneau d’Or, J. Rosario, 9-5
- Lynn’s Map, C. Lanerie, 10-1
- Finnick the Fierce, S. Leon, 10-1
- Mailman Money, G. Saez, 8-1
- Ny Traffic, J. Castellano, 10-1
There are five other stakes on Saturday’s 13-race “Louisiana Derby Preview Day” card, including the Rachel Alexandra (GII) presented by Fasig-Tipton. Early first post will be at noon CT.