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Florida Shippers Add Spice to Risen Star at Fair Grounds


Louisiana’s Kentucky Derby Trail had been considered by many to be light on talent up until the declarations took place for the widely-anticipated Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes which unfolds at Fair Grounds this Saturday. The previous two-turn race for three year-olds, the Lecomte Stakes, only managed to attract four entrants when it was run earlier in the year.

Notably, five of the contenders in the Risen Star ship west from neighboring Florida. With a large amount of high-quality talent running at Tampa Bay and Gulfstream this year, connections might be gambling on the notion that this Grade 2 contest is distinctly more winnable than what we’ve seen in the Holy Bull and the Sam F. Davis in the past few weeks.

Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) will be looking to make a major statement about his Derby intentions as he faces after disappointing in the Holy Bull – a tame fourth to the electrifying Dialed In (Mineshaft). Contenders making three year-old debuts have been able to collar some of the higher-profile Derby Trail fixtures and there will be a few candidates lining up for a seasonal debut here. Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Santiva (Giant’s Causeway) will enter the race as an especially interesting contender – already with a headstart on graded earnings.

Undefeated Machen (Distorted Humor) steps up off an impressive score in allowance company at Fair Grounds at the end of January. Unraced as a two year-old, the Neil Howard-trained colt showed a sharp turn of foot on the gallops under Jamie Theriot this morning.

The lukewarm betting favourite appears to be third-placed Breeders’ Cup Juvenile contender Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones). All contenders will likely have their eyes firmly-fixed on the Louisiana Derby – which carries a massive $1,000,000 purse this year. 

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