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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Double-Digit Field Lines Up for Risen Star


Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Vicar’s in Trouble, the dominant 6 3/4-length winner of the Lecomte Stakes, may be a slight choice in the wagering when he faces an overflow field in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes.

The $400,000 Risen Star, to be contested at 1 1/16-mile, is the final local stakes prep for the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 29 and carries 85 Kentucky Derby points -- 50 to the winner. The rac is part of what Churchill Downs calls the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. A win would guarantee a place in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May, and 20 points, part of the prize for second place on Saturday, may very well be enough.

Trained by Mike Maker, Vicar’s in Trouble has Rosie Napravnik – three-time Fair Grounds defending jockey champ – named to handle the reins. The Louisiana-bred son of Into Mischief has worked three times since the Lecomte, most recently breezing five furlongs in 1:01.20 Sunday morning. Vicar’s in Trouble is assigned 120 pounds.

Paul and Andrena Van Doren’s Rise Up, winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot on Nov. 23 last time out, has been based at Fair Grounds since shortly after the first of the year following a brief vacation in Ocala, Florida. He's posted four increasingly intensified works, most recently going a half-mile last Saturday in :47.60. Gerard Melancon has been slated for the saddle by 10-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss and will carry 120 pounds.

Sure to attract strong support in the Risen Star is the invading Intense Holiday, owned by Starlight Racing and conditioned by Todd Pletcher, winner of two of the last four Risen Stars. Mike Smith will be aboard the son of Harlan’s Holiday who was third in Gulfstream’s Grade II Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 25. Intense Holiday gets in with 116 pounds.

Not to be discounted in the Risen Star are Brereton Jones’s Albano and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Gold Hawk, second and third respectively a neck apart behind Vicar’s in Trouble in the Lecomte. Albano’s trainer Larry Jones has engaged Kerwin Clark with 116 pounds assigned and Gold Hawk’s conditioner Steve Asmussen has tabbed Corey Nakatani for his charge at 116 pounds.

Doug O’Neill is shipping Reddam Stables’ Bond Holder in from Santa Anita. Last year, he won the FrontRunner Stakes and finished fourth in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and CashCall Futurity to close out his 2-year-old campaign. The Risen Star will be his first start of 2104. Bond Holder must shoulder the top impost of 122 pounds, most of which will be made up by jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Bob Baffert is shipping Mike Pegram et al.’s Hoppertunity from Santa Anita where the son of Any Given Saturday broke his maiden by three lengths in his last start Jan. 30. Martin Garcia gets the mount at 116 pounds.

Commanding Curve, trained by Dallas Stewart for West Point Thoroughbreds, will be ridden by Robby Albarado. It's his 2014 debut after capturing a two-turn maiden special weight at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30 in his fourth career start. He's put in eight published workouts at Fair Grounds since Dec. 20.

D. Wayne Lukas entered Calumet Farm’s Vigorish, a six-race maiden, with Martin Pedroza up at 116 pounds.

Completing the field for the Risen Star, with riders assigned at 116 pounds, is Flat Gone, Chris Landeros; Interchange, E. T. Baird; Son of a Preacher, Miguel Mena; Quick Indian, Brian Hernandez Jr.; and Xtra Luck, Richard Eramia.

Currently on the also-eligible list: Emmett Park, James Graham, and Teniente Coronel, Shaun Bridgmohan.

Edited Fair Grounds release with additional content by Dick Downey


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