Fair Grounds will host a spectacular day of racing on Saturday, which will be highlighted by the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) for three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Fifty Kentucky Derby eligibility points will go to the winner with 20 for second, 10 for third and five for fourth. Full fields abound and you are going to have to spread out your wagering combinations to have any success in the late Pick 3, Pick 4 and the Black Gold Pick 5. RACE 12: Risen Star Stakes (G2) Working backwards, I like MR. MONEY (#4) (12-1) in the Risen Star off a sudden emergence last year. He scratched out of the Lecomte Stakes (G3) here four weeks ago and shows back up for more money and Derby points. He draws well and gets Gabriel Saez back aboard. A bullet five-furlong breeze here last week indicates he’s ready. FREE Brisnet PPs for the Risen Star Stakes! WAR OF WILL (#14) (5-2) will have to overcome the wide draw but he has been a revelation since switching to the dirt. A decent turf horse last year, the Mark Casse trainee finished up the season with an easy win in his dirt debut on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. The son of War Front came back in the Lecomte and won convincingly despite losing ground throughout. These two are must-use runners and underneath I am going to go with LIMONITE (#10) (10-1) and OWENDALE (#8) (6-1). RACE 11: Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) In race 11, the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track, it looks to be completely wide open. I like five in here and it means that I will have to narrow down other legs of the bets. In no apparent preference I like: SERENGETI EMPRESS (#3) (6-1) was a monster winner of two stakes races by wide margins who did little in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) when she could not make the lead. POSITIVE SPIRIT (#4) (5-1) was maiden breaker two starts back going a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs who then came back to win the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) by 10 lengths at Aqueduct. OXY LADY (#6) (6-1) captured the Tempted Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct when blinkers were added last November and came back with an even fourth in the Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos to close out her juvenile campaign in December. BELL’S THE ONE (#7) (8-1) is an undefeated winner of three starts going six furlongs who stretches out for the first time. NEEDS SUPERVISION (#9) (5-1) scored in her last three starts including the Silverbulletday Stakes here last out. I have to use all five as any can take this on their best effort. RACE 10: Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) Race 10 is the Fair Grounds Handicap (G3), a nine-furlong turf race for older horses. The distance makes it interesting since the turf course at Fair Grounds is sand-based and doesn’t lend itself to front runners, even when it is listed as firm. SYNCHRONY (#9) (3-1) won this race last year as well as the Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2). The son of Tapit comes in here in good form with two Grade 3 wins last summer at Monmouth Park and a closing third in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) last out at Del Mar. The one-dimensional closer might need some racing luck but gets Joe Bravo back aboard – 18 percent with his turf mounts and shows a flat-bet profit with his last 317 of them. TIZ A SLAM (#1) (8-1) showed good speed when he won the Nijinsky Stakes (G2) going 1 1/2 miles at Woodbine last July, then finished up the year with two tiring efforts there at the same distance against Grade 1 company. He draws post 1 here and rallied for third at this venue last year in this race after falling far back from post 10. BIG CHANGES (#5) (6-1) is a former $50,000 claimer who has won six of his last eight starts and should get a good trip off the pace with Florent Geroux. RACE 9: Mineshaft Handicap (G3) Race 9 is the Mineshaft Handicap (G3) for older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. It has a huge field of 13, which includes the return of QUIP (#13) (6-1), winner of last year’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and second in the Arkansas Derby (G1) before finishing up the track in the slop in the Preakness Stakes (G1). The son of Distorted Humor has been training steadily at Payson Park in Florida and showed he can run well fresh when he won his career debut. HARLAN PUNCH (#2) (4-1) has some big efforts on his resume where he ran faster triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings. He just missed two starts back then came here and won the Louisiana Stakes going this distance. He draws inside for Brad Cox, who wins 29 percent first start after a win. SILVER DUST (#4) (6-1) is finally getting it together at the age of five and the gelded son of Tapit won here two starts back before a good second in the Louisiana Stakes. RACE 8 Finally, the Black Gold Pick 5 kicks off in race eight. A full starting gate of 14 has been entered for the second-level allowance/optional $40,000 claimer. ZUMURUDEE (#11) (4-1) looks to have a slight advantage over these but has to overcome the wide draw. He won his first-level condition here two starts back then returned with a closing third against these after being bumped at the start. He gets away from the gate terribly and will need some luck to overcome it. CARRICK (#14) (7-2) drew even worse but he won the Secretariat Stakes (G1) last year at Arlington Park and has a major class edge over these. DAWN RAIDER (#3) (20-1) should be able to get over to the best part of the turf course on the rail and save ground until the stretch. He was a good second in a $200,000 stakes last September at Indiana Grand, then returned here with an even effort in an off-the-turf event. The son of Scat Daddy should benefit from that race and his ability to save ground should be key. KITTEN’S BOY (#5) (20-1) ran well on turf and synthetic late last year at Woodbine then shipped down here to run poorly from post 11 against this class level. TIGERS RULE (#1) (12-1) broke his maiden here 51 weeks ago in his first start of the year and didn’t run badly last out against this class level. He does his best when sent to the lead and jockey Miguel Mena has won aboard him before. The Black Gold Pick 5 is wide open and we will try to spread out enough to get to our top two choices in the last leg. Pick 5 #1, #3, #5 with #2, #4, #13 with #1, #5, #9 with #3, #4, #6, #8, #9 with #4 = $67.50 Pick 4 #2, #4, #13 with #1, #5, #9 with #3, #4, #6, #8, #9 with #4, #14 = $45 Pick 3 #1, #5, #9 with #3, #4, #6, #8, #9 with #4, #8, #10, #14 = $30 PHOTO: Fair Grounds (c) Holly M. Smith Photography 2019