Derby Points at Stake in Grade 2 Risen Star
Category : News
Fri 20/02/2015 - 20:43 EST
The road to the Kentucky Derby heats up February 21 at Fair Grounds with the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes as ten Triple Crown hopefuls are set to contest the mile and one sixteenth event on the main track.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will saddle the 7/2 favorite Imperia who was second, beaten just a head in his last start – the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 29 at Churchill. Imperia was making his first start on dirt in the Kentucky Jockey Club after opening his career with three turf races which included a victory in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes September 28 at Belmont. The son of Medaglia d’Oro was flattered when KY Jockey Club winner El Kabeir returned to win a pair of stakes races in New York. Imperia has been idle since the KY Jockey Club, but has worked well for McLaughlin who connects at a 19% clip with runners returning from 61-180 day layoffs.
War Story gets LeComte Rematch
War Story (5/1) has posted two wins in three career starts for trainer Tom Amoss running second in the Grade 3 LeComte January 17 in his last start. The son of Northern Afleet has shown the ability to pass horses in the stretch and will receive a rider change with Kent Desormeaux taking over for James Graham who takes the mount on 8/1 shot Keen Ice.
Lecomte winner goes for stakes double
International Star (9/2) was an impressive winner of the Lecomte, but moves from the rail to the far outside post. The Michael Maker trainee posted a career best Beyer Speed Figure of 90 in the LeComte victory.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.