The second division of the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) will be run Saturday evening as race 13 at Fair Grounds. The 1 1/8-mile race is for 3-year-olds and part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series with 50-20-10-5 points going to the top four finishers.

Top Picks for the Risen Star (2nd division)

  • #8 Anneau d’Or
  • #1 Modernist
  • #5 Liam’s Lucky Charm
  • #10 Finnick the Fierce
  • #7 Major Fed

Betting the Risen Star (2nd division)

  • $4 Trifecta:
    • 8 with 1,5,7,10 with 1,5,7,10

#1 Modernist was an even third going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct second time out. Son of Uncle Mo stretched out to Saturday’s distance and broke his maiden gate-to-wire last time, scoring as the 1-4 favorite in slowish time. What was impressive was that he did it over a dreadfully tiring track, his final Brisnet Late Pace figure was 100, and this is an aggressive move for Bill Mott. I don’t expect Modernist to be on the lead again, but he should get a ground-saving trip with Junior Alvarado, who is 6-for-14 riding for Mott lately.

#2 Truculent was badly beaten in the Champagne (G1) at 88-1 off two losses. He went to Fair Grounds and broke his maiden gate-to-wire in average time last out, and would have to show huge improvement to have a chance moving way up in class.  

#3 Mr. Big News did nothing in his first two career starts then improved with a good second here going two turns on a sloppy track. He broke his maiden by a nose in average time last out on a dry track, and the son of Giant’s Causeway looks headed for the turf after this.  

#4 Fame to Famous has made five career starts and they all came on the turf. He broke his maiden two starts back at Belmont Park then was an even fourth behind Sole Volante, who came back to win the Sam F. Davis (G3). A son of Tapit, Fame to Famous should be able to handle the dirt, but his trainer is winless and there are just too many question marks to take him seriously.  

#5 Liam’s Lucky Charm ran well against restricted company in Florida last year. Off for almost four months, he romped in a stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs going seven furlongs in fast time. The blinkers seemed to help him, and he will be a dangerous pace factor today.

#6 Excession took five tries to break his maiden by a head on a sloppy track. Next out, he was an even third in a key Fair Grounds allowance, but did nothing in the Lecomte (G3).  Son of Union Rags has the right connections and should relish the longer distance.

#7 Major Fed was an even third in his career debut going six furlongs on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. The winner that day, Gold Street, came back to win two stakes races since and the second-place finisher, Mayberry Deputy, broke his maiden next time out. That maiden race lived up to its billing when Major Fed broke his maiden going two turns locally by 4 1/4 lengths with first-time blinkers.

#8 Anneau d’Or broke his maiden by eight lengths on turf as the heavy favorite at Golden Gate. He was thrown into the deep water in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), missing by only a head at long odds, and came back to post a terrific second behind Baffert monster Thousand Words in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). Blaine Wright adds blinkers and gets Joel Rosario for the ride.

#9 Lynn’s Map beat Mr. Monomoy two starts back going two turns here on a sloppy track but skipped the Lecomte because of a wide post. He went to Oaklawn where he tired over a muddy track in the Smarty Jones, and post nine is not going to make it any easier in this spot.

#10 Finnick the Fierce was a game second in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) going two turns on a sloppy Churchill Downs main track then raced evenly here in the Lecomte after being shuffled back from post 1. He loses blinkers and will be a stretch factor.

#11 Mailman Money broke his maiden first time out at long odds going six furlongs on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs then romped in an off-the-turf allowance event here. The son of Goldencents looks like a progressive colt, but post 11 will be very hard for a midpack stalker.

#12 Ny Traffic began his career with four straight dirt sprints. Switched to the red-hot barn of Saffie Joseph Jr., he romped by almost seven lengths in his two-turn debut at Gulfstream Park last out, and Javier Castellano picks up the mount.

How to bet the 1st division of the Risen Star Stakes