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Kentucky Derby Trail: Risen Star Stakes Odds, Analysis, Free PPs

2018 Kentucky Derby Prep Races

The Risen Star Stakes, named in honor of 1988 Preakness and Belmont winner by the same name who was owned, trained and campaigned by charismatic New Orleans natives Louie Roussel and automobile dealer Ronnie Lamarque, will be the next stop on the Derby trail for favorite Instilled Regard who’ll be looking to add to his point total off a convincing win last time out in the Lecomte here on January 13.

Several newcomers will test deeper waters in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.

While the first three finishers of the Lecomte return to the New Orleans oval, three runners will be making their first start on the Road to Louisville and will enter the starting gate for the Risen Star with plenty of momentum and a chance to upset what appears to be a wide-open race.

Noble Indy will be making his graded stakes debut for Todd Pletcher on a two race win streak at Gulfstream.

Michael Stidham will send out Supreme Aura off back to back wins at 6 furlongs and will be stretching out for the first time with plenty of speed in his form.

The Road to the Derby wouldn’t be complete without at least one D. Wayne Lukas trainee on the trail as Kentucky Club will be making his first start after an 8 length win in a 1 mile maiden claiming race for $30,000 at Oaklawn when he circled the field to win going away over the sloppy Hot Springs surface.

All-in-all it appears the Risen Star is a prime spot to take a shot with some up and coming 3-year-old starters as we see an upset in the making.

Risen Star Post Positions, Odds and Wiz Capper’s Analysis

1 – High North – 15 to 1. Draws inside for first trip as a 3-year-old for hot trainer at Fair Grounds. Faced Good Magic and Avery Island in first two lifetime starts in New York before getting maiden score on third try. That was a nice race breaking from 12 hole and lasting for the win at Keeneland. Grabbed 1 Derby Prep point when fourth in a troubled trip last time out in the Kentucky Jockey Club behind Enticed. That was 3 months ago. Sitting on a best of 55 bullet going 5/8ths.

2 – Noble Indy – 5 to 1. Two for two as the favorite in both starts at Gulfstream for Pletcher. Beat the Casse runner Mississippi who was scratched from the Holy Bull won by Audible. Winstar hopeful dives into deeper water on the Road to the Derby and will be part of the pace.

3 – Givemeaminit – 15 to 1. Louisiana bred son of hometown favorite and multiple state bred stakes winner Star Guitar. Added blinkers on seventh try to break maiden last time out vs. like company. Started career at Saratoga last summer in maiden special weight before quickly jumping into G1 company where he was competitive on his way to a nice 4th place try behind Good Magic in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 63 to 1. Toss the KY Jockey Club try when in trouble, and consider how much improvement he showed when adding blinkers, and he will be very competitive in here at a nice price.

4 – Snapper Sinclair – 8 to 1. Two time winner on turf for only trips to the winner’s circle for son of City Zip who tried deeper waters to no avail in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November. Returned in the G3 Lecomte last time out and pressed the pace through three quarters before tiring to finish 3rd behind Instilled Regard who returns in here as the 8 to 5 favorite. Connections will quickly realize after this race that the Derby is not in this guy’s future.

5 – Instilled Regard – 8 to 5. Maiden winner three back in a special weight at Santa Anita last October at this distance. Was the beneficiary of the outrageous disqualification of Solomini in the Los Alamitos Futurity (replay) when placed second behind eventual winner McKinzie who returned to win the Sham in his last start. Will open as favorite in here off the Lecomte win LTO. But that field was weak, to put it mildly. Castellano comes back to try and get the 50 points to take the top spot on the leaderboard. But as the Derby preps get tougher and worth more points, any lead won’t last long.

6 – Supreme Aura – 8 to 1. Not until Gun Runner showed up on the scene has any prodigy of Candy Ride made such a splash.  Can this guy keep things ‘sticky’ for his sire? On a two race win streak that began in Delaware last August before returning at Fair Grounds for an easy win LTO in an $50K optional claimer going 6F. Steps up big time for third career start and expect him to be contentious for as long as he can. At 8 to 1 he could be any kind in a wide-open race.

7 – Bravazo – 8 to 1. Two Hall of Fame heroes reaching the end of their illustrious careers will team up once more when Gary Stevens gets the leg up from D. Wayne Lukas on this Calumet homebred winner at 1 mile in his maiden score at Churchill. Tried stepping up in G2 KYJC and ran to his 30 to 1 odds but came back LTO to win an OC$62,500 at Oaklawn LTO. Sitting on a bullet work and expect him to be part of the pace.

8 – Kentucky Club – 30 to 1. Another for Lukas and Calumet. Son of Lukas trained and 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow who was fourth in this race that year. Taking a big step up from his $30,000 maiden claiming score last time out in the slop. Wore blinkers that day to win by 8 and was flattered by the third place finishers return to win next time out. Still it’s hard to think he can improved much in his first try after maiden win but give Lukas credit for believing in him.

9 – Principe Guilherme – 7 to 2. Won his first two in easy fashion for Asmussen including an 11 length 1 mile 70 yards score two back. Finished 2nd LTO in the Lecomte as favorite behind eventual winner but was hung out wide in both turns and didn’t get the chance to make the lead like he did in his two winning efforts. Wide again but race will set up differently at 1 1/16 miles and he should be able to get better position before they hit the first turn.

10 – Ebben – 30 to 1. Another exiting the Lecomte when he was soundly beaten at long odds. Broke his maiden at Indiana Downs going 5 1/2 last summer and only other win was a 1 mile OC$75,000 at Churchill for his best yet. Love the fact that he returned with a best of 108 bullet move going 4 furlongs since the Lecomte. But that only flatters the favorite more. Suspect this will be his last try on the trail.

Risen Star Stakes PPs – Click Todd Pletcher for Brisnet’s trainer past performances

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