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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Instilled Regard Settles In for Risen Star

2/15/2018

Asmussen Likes His Chances Too

LecComte Stakes winner Instilled Regard is back at Fair Grounds from his Southern California base for what trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s assistant Christina Jelm hopes is another victory on the Road To The Kentucky Derby in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes.

The son of Arch went out to the track at 5:45 Thursday morning.

“He shipped in very well and settled right in,” Jelm said. “He had a mile and a half gallop this morning, and he’s doing great. I would say that he should get over the surface well, like he did last time. I hope to see the same thing we saw last time. He appears to have put on some weight and he’s definitely more professional this round, not that he wasn’t professional last time out but he’s maturing. He’s very relaxed, happy and enjoying being back here in Louisiana.”

Instilled Regard in the 8-5 morning line favorite for the Risen Star, and will break from post 5 under Javier Castellano.

Steve Asmussen went into the Lecomte Stakes with Principe Guilherme and Snapper Sinclair, and he's back with the same pair in the Risen Star.

Principe Guilherme finished second, beaten 3 3/4 lengths behind Instilled Regard in the LeComte, as the favorite after winning a local allowance optional claiming event on the main track in wire-to-wire fashion by 11 3/4 lengths.

“Obviously he’s a very talented horse and has a huge pedigree,” Asmussen said. “His first two races were very easy, and I thought with the numbers of runners as well as his draw in the LeComte, there were a lot of variables that he had not faced before. I feel really good about how he came out of that race and came back to the racetrack from the race. I don’t think that his confidence was shaken; I think that he’s been serious. We’ve gotten into a very good rhythm with him headed into the Risen Star. Saying that, obviously nothing but respect for the field that’s assembled. It’s a very serious race, but I feel like we have a good representation.”

Principe Guilherme did not get the easiest of trips in the LeComte. He drew the outside post and was bumped at the break before having to angle four wide approaching the top of the stretch. Like anyone else in Asmussen’s current position, he is eyeing the Kentucky Derby.

“If he can move forward from a strong race like the LeComte, it will make all the difference,” Asmussen said. “I think that if we’re able to have success in the Risen Star with him or Snapper Sinclair, then it will put us exactly in the position that we want to be in the three-year-old picture. No one misses the fact that it’s 50 points to the winner of the Risen Star which would pretty much guarantee a spot in the starting gate with them in the Kentucky Derby. If you can secure 50 points at this stage, then you pretty much can look at the Derby and go backwards from there instead of be chasing points.”

Snapper Sinclair proved that he was capable of handling the main track when  third in the LeComte.

“The advantage Snapper has – obviously he has a tremendous amount of talent, and that’s what put him in this spot – but he has experience,” Asmussen said. “He’s run at Kentucky Downs, he’s run in the Breeders’ Cup and he’s accepted the pageantry of racing already. I think that the LeComte, with the amount of horses and variables going in, he’s answered those questions. I expect with how the weather has warmed up this time of the year, I think those things will be at an advantage for Snapper Sinclair – a horse that has trained very well since the LeComte.”

Principe Guilherme will be ridden by Florent Geroux and breaks from post 9 as the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. Snapper Sinclair will emerge from post 4 under Adam Beschizza. He's 8-1 on the morning line.


Edited Fair Grounds release
 

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