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Lukas takes the lead with Bravazo!

2018 Kentucky Derby Prep Races

Now that the dust has settled from Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, there’s a new points leader on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

With 54 points Bravazo has gone from an “also eligible” listed as part of the field in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools, to a guaranteed starter for the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Trained by legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas for the classic Calumet Farm, Bravazo, the son of Awesome Again, was one of two entered for the Risen Star before stablemate, Kentucky Club, was scratched in favor of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on Monday.

But that wasn’t the only change that Lukas made in the Risen Star.

Gary Stevens had been named on Bravazo but was replaced in the saddle by Fair Grounds leading jockey Miguel Mena who picked up the mount and gave a masterful ride. Sitting on a best of 22 bullet move over the mud at Oaklawn a week ago, Bravazo broke alertly and was in the bit from the start as Mena rated just outside the leader Snapper Sinclair down the backside. The two hit the quarter pole in : 24.15 and continued to race in tandem through a half in :47.96 and three-quarters in 1:12.85.

Bravazo outruns his odds to take the top spot on the Derby leaderboard

At 21 to 1 Bravazo, who was making his first start at Fair Grounds, battled with the Lecomte show horse hitting the mile marker in 1:36.75. As they reached the finish line, Bravazo appeared to drift out a bit but managed to get the nod at the wire in a final time of 1:42.95 for the 1 1/6 miles over the fast track. Noble Indy was third throughout. The favorite Instilled Regard finished fourth at 7 to 5.

Watch the Risen Star replay

Now that the results of the Risen Star are in, it’s a good idea to review handicapping angles for today’s Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn, taking a long look at Ezmosh.

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