The Risen Star (G2), the first of the 50-point races in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, drew tremendous interest from horsemen, which sparked a split to two divisions on Saturday’s Fair Grounds card. They along with the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and the Fair Grounds (G3) make up an all-stakes Pick 4 with a guaranteed pool of $400,000 that concludes a monster card in New Orleans. The first leg is set to start at approximately 5:32 eastern.
Here are Scott’s thoughts on the sequence.
Race 10: Fair Grounds S. (G3)
The pace should be honest in this 1 1/8 mile event over the sod given the presence of #1 Wound Tight, #4 Factor This, #11 Sailing Solo, and #13 Spectacular Gem. This should set things up for a runner from off the pace. #2 Synchrony and #5 Dontblamerocket appear the likeliest to take advantage of a contentious first 6 furlongs.
Synchrony is the class of the field having won 9 of 25 lifetime starts, including 4 of 5 at Fair Grounds. If he has not lost a step, the son of Tapit will be tough to deny.
Dontblamerocket was claimed for $50K last May by trainer Norm Casse. Since then, the son of Blame has won three straight, including a three-length score in the Colonel E.R. Bradley over this configuration in January. The Aj Suited Racing Club gelding continues to improve and could get another perfect trip much like he did last month.
Race 11: Rachel Alexandra (G2)
There is no doubt the $300,000 race for 3-year-old ladies goes through champion filly #6 British Idiom. The daughter of Flashback comes into her initial start of 2020 a perfect 3 for 3, including a neck victory last November in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She has a long series of steady drills in New Orleans leading up to her return to the races for trainer Brad Cox. If she gets back to her 2019 efforts going two turns she will handle this field.
If you are looking for a price option perhaps #4 Impeccable Style is worth including in your horizontals or underneath British Idiom. The daughter of Uncle Mo has not been seen since a 2 ½ length maiden score at Churchill Downs in late Sept., but has been training extremely well in Florida for trainer Kenny McPeek. McPeek shipping her to NOLA in her first start versus winners leads me to believe she is ready to run huge.
Race 12: Risen Star (Division I) (G2)
#9 Enforceable is the deserving 7-2-morning line favorite after his victory in the Lecomte (G3) last month, but I think he is worth taking a shot against in this spot. The Mark Casse trainee had an experience edge going a route of ground over the majority of his rivals in that Jan. try and got a perfect setup sitting off a contentious early pace. Given his probable odds on the toteboard I prefer others.
#2 Silver State ran second in the Lecomte in his first start going two turns, but has more room to improve than Enforceable. If Ricardo Santana, Jr. can get the jump on the Lecomte winner and get out of the gates clean he should be able to turn the tables.
#9 Mr. Monomoy draws favorably outside the other speeds in this spot after racing along the inside in the Lecomte. This should allow jockey Florent Geroux to get a nice stalking trip just off the early pacesetters and have clear run when they turn for home. I expect him to run big for trainer Brad Cox.
#5 Moon Over Miami is a longshot worth including. The Summer Wind Equine colt regressed last time out when racing against the flow at Gulfstream Park. If the son of Malibu Moon can get back to his maiden breaking effort at Aqueduct in early Dec. he can be a factor at a big price.
Race 13: Risen Star (Division II) (G2)
#8 Anneau d’Or is listed as the 9-5-morning line favorite in the weaker of the two divisions. The Medaglia d’Oro colt has the strongest resume and the highest Brisnet speed ratings at two turns making him tough to overlook. However, I am not convinced he will carry his 2-year-old form from California to New Orleans. His runner-up effort to Storm the Court in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) came over a deep racetrack that a number of horses struggled over. His follow up performance in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) was over a good going in just a field of four. He can definitely win, but at his price I will take a stand against.
I will spread out in my attempt to beat the chalk, but my top choice is #9 Lynn’s Map. I was extremely impressed with his maiden breaking effort at Churchill on Nov. 8 and even more so with his head victory over Mr. Monomoy on Dec. 21. I will excuse his dud in the mud at Oaklawn Park in the Smarty Jones three weeks ago.
- Ticket 1: ($.50 Pick 4)
- R10: 2+5
- R11: 6
- R12: 2+5+6+7+9
- R13: 1+7+9+11+12
- Ticket Cost: $25
- Ticket 2: ($.50 Pick 4)
- R10: 2+5
- R11: 4+6
- R12: 2
- R13: 1+7+9+11+12
- Ticket Cost: $10
- Total Budget: $35