Committed to the Risen Star
“I’m committing him to the race, so I’m running down there,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said of Bravazo's entry in the Risen Star. Lukas said he'd considered cross-entering in the Southwest Stakes at Bravazo's home base, Oaklawn Park.
Owned by Calumet Farm, Bravazo made his 3-year-old debut a winning one last time out, facing allowance company going six furlongs on Jan. 13 at Oaklawn while guided by Gary Stevens.
There is a major difference between the two races that can impact a horse's chance to make the Kentucky Derby. While the Southwest carries a bigger purse, it carries 17 total Derby points with 10 going to the winner. The Risen Star is the first race this year to carry 85 points with 50 to the winner.
“That was a really good race, he got a good number,” Lukas said. “I think we can be competitive. I feel like he’s a competitive horse, and a lot of the horses in the race have a lot have similar numbers. The race is fifty points, and I think that he merits a chance.”
Stevens was named to ride Bravazo when entered; however, Lukas said that Fair Grounds current leading rider Miguel Mena will pilot the horse on Saturday. He will break from the seven hole at odds of 8-1.
Lukas’ other Risen Star entrant, Kentucky Club, is “50-50 at best” according to Lukas. The son of Oxbow broke his maiden last time out by eight lengths for a $30,000 tag.
“I may leave him home and run him here,” Lukas said. “He ran a huge race even if it was against claiming horses, but it would be a huge step for him, and he’s got a lot of options and still can run through his conditions. I want to see how the (Southwest) comes up. We’d like to try him a little longer at some point.”
Lukas has won two previous editions of the Risen Star with Exchange Rate (2000) and Open Forum (1997).
Edited Fair Grounds release with additional content by Dick Downey