A field of 14 will line up in Saturday’s $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, and Mr. Money could get some cash as he makes his three-year-old debut.
The Risen Star is the first Road to the Kentucky Derby points race that offers up 50-20-10-5 points to the top four finishers, virtually assuring the winner a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday of May.
Mr. Money (12-1) is making his first start since running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last November. The Bret Calhoun trainee had to scratch out of the Lecomte (G3) after developing a cough.
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Six in here exit the Lecomte which was won by War of Will, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The Mark Casse trainee passed his first test over a fast main track last out. He did not draw well, catching the 14 post and will break from the 13 post with the scratch of the Bob Baffert trained Kingly.
Fair Grounds offers up six stakes on an outstanding betting card on Saturday. I will include my strongest selections in my Best Plays Report.
The $200,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) is the second of three local preps on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks and awards the top four finishers points 50-20-10-5 toward entry in the Oaks.
Chasing Yesterday is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly won the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos on Dec. 8. The Bob Baffert trainee has won four of her five career starts.
Let’s head out to New Orleans for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Fair Grounds Race 12 The Risen Star (G2) Post time 6:02 CT
3 Mr. Money 12-1
14 War of Will 5-2
9 Country House 20-1
7 Manny Wah 12-1
The Bret Calhoun trainee makes his first start since running fourth at 41-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). While the runner up in that race Knicks Go has come back with a couple of duds three others came out of that race to win stakes. This colt was pointed toward the Lecomte but was a late scratch after spiking a fever and developing a cough the day before the race. The colt graduated two back in his third career start at Churchill Downs and his first trip around two turns. The colt has worked sharply over the main track here. He should get a good tracking trip behind what could be a lively early. Decent value if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.
War of Will
This colt was my top pick in the Lecomte (G3) and he did not disappoint. The colt tracked the early pace and finished strongly to win by four lengths. He takes on five of the foes he beat last out again here and he did not draw the best of posts. With the scratch of Kingly he draws in one spot. His win last out was his first trip over a fast main track. His first four starts came on turf including a solid second in the Summer (G1) at Woodbine in his stakes debut. He broke his maiden in the slop two back at Churchill Downs. He has a solid pedigree, out of the stakes winner Visions of Clarity ($46,435) who has dropped five other winners and two are stakes winners. The colt still looks as if he may have some upside, but the tough post and the short price make him tough to back for the top spot.
The son of Lookin At Lucky was a smart looking maiden winner in his third career start for the Mott barn. His Beyer dropped from an 85 in his second at Aqueduct two back to a 70 for his maiden score. His BRIS has his last out number at 91, two points higher than his 89 two back at the Big A. The Beyer sure looks off. In his runner up two back the winner was Kentucky Wildcat, who ran a good second in the Sam F. Davis (G3) last Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. Mott has been on a roll at Gulfstream Park recently and his three-year-olds are firing big. Worth tossing in the mix here at generous odds.
WIN: Mr. Money to win at 6-1 or better.
EXACTA: 3,14 / 3,7,9,14
TRIFECTA: 3,14 / 3,7,9,14 / 3,5,7,9,14