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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Jones Boys Have Double-Barreled Risen Star Threat

2/22/2012

By Dick Downey

Owner-breeder Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones have a pair of horses in the Grade II Risen Star that should not be ignored.

Grade III Lecomte Stakes winner Mr. Bowling and stable mate Mark Valeski are coupled at 4-1 on the morning line for the Risen Star, comprising a two-for-one second choice to El Padrino.

Mr. Bowling surged again in the stretch to win the Lecomte by a head over Z Dager, who was coming hard at the end of the race. Robby Albarado returns in the saddle for Mr. Bowling in the Risen Star. He's a son of Istan.

"He’s a son of the young Gone West sire Istan, whose horses are just getting to the races. I have several Istans in my barn, and they all look like they can run," trainer Jones said a week before the Lecomte. “He has been training very well since he got here. We’re very happy with him. Obviously, Mr. Bowling likes this track a lot, but we also want to think he’s just getting better. He seems to be maturing more and more every day. "

After the Lecomte, Jones made a comment trainer Todd Pletcher recently echoed about Risen Star 2-1 morning line favorite El Padrino.

“To be honest, we thought he was just starting to get good," Jones said. "He’s maturing at the right time."

Jones also felt that at the time that Mr. Bowling took to the strip at Fair Grounds, saying, "He really showed an affinity for this track when we got down here. I can tell he liked it better than anywhere we’ve been to this point.

And Jones likes Mr. Bowling's outlook as distances increase in his races. The Risen Star is 1 1/16 mile, a little longer than the Lecomte's mile and 70 yards.

"Jose Caraballo was on him as a 2-year-old. That’s the first thing he said after his first work. ‘He can run as long as you can get the races to go. This one will run all day.’ I think he’s right,“ Jones said.

Yesterday, Jones said again that Mr. Bowling keeps improving.

"Mr. Bowling is training very forwardly...and is coming to hand very well," Jones said. "You might outrun him, but you can't outgut him."

Mr. Bowling will need to improve. Stable mate Believe You Can ran a little more than a length faster than Mr. Bowling did at the same distance the same day at the same track when she won the Silverbulletday Stakes.

Monday at Fair Grounds, Mr. Bowling breezed a bullet five furlongs in :59.80 (1/62).

Mark Valeski is by another son of Gone West, Proud Citizen. He won his 2012 debut, a six-furlong allowance on Jan. 13, by a length. Mark Valeski breezed five furlongs Monday morning at Fair Grounds in 1:00.20 (3/62).

Rosie Napravnik will ride Mark Valeski in the Risen Star. She's the defending Fair Grounds jockey champ and current leading rider.

"We want to see if he can carry his speed on a route of ground," Jones said yesterday.

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