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Risen Star Stakes | Race Profile

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Risen Star Stakes

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The Risen Star Stakes is a Grade II event for 3-year-olds run at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. The race is contested annually in February at a distance of 1 1/16 miles. The purse is currently $400,000 and the race is a major prep to the Louisiana Derby (G1), and one of many prep races on the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby.’ The winner of the Risen Star receives 50 Derby points, and secures a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.

The race was renamed to honor locally-owned Risen Star, a son of Secretariat, who won the race in 1988 and went on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and be voted the 1988 Eclipse Award for American Champion Three-Year-Old Male horse. Risen Star finished 3rd in the Kentucky Derby, but is the only Risen Star Stakes winner to win two Triple Crown races.

The race earned its graded stakes status in 2002 and was upgraded from Grade 3 to Grade 2 in 2010. Zarb’s Magic completed the 1 1/16 mile distance in a record 1:42.80 in 1996.

Eleven horses have won both the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby: Girvin (2017),  Gun Runner (2016), International Star (2015), Friesian Fire (2009), Pyro (2008), Repent (2002), Comic Strip (1998), Line in the Sand (1992), Risen Star (1988), Taylor’s Special (1984) and Master Derby (1975).

The 1977 Risen Star winner, Run Dusty Run, was also one of the best to race in the event. He went on to finish 2nd in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes and was 3rd in the Preakness, each time finishing behind Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Run Dusty Run had an impressive career filled with near misses that also included runner-up finishes in the Louisiana Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and Travers Stakes.

Jockey and Louisiana native Robby Albarado has won three editions of the race aboard Badge of Silver (2003), Gradepoint (2004) and Notional (2007). Another Louisiana native, trainer Keith Desormeaux, won the race in 2013 with I’ve Struck a Nerve.   

Over the last decade, the Risen Star Stakes winners have included: Girvin (2017), Gun Runner, International Star, Intense Holiday, I’ve Struck a Nerve, El Padrino, Mucho Macho Man, Discreetly Mine, Friesan Fire and Pyro

Risen Star Race History

The Risen Star Stakes is held annually every February at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana, except in 2006, when it was held at Louisiana Downs. The Risen Star Stakes is for three-year-olds and is run on a dirt surface, left-handed track at a distance of 1 1/16 miles (or 8.5 furlongs). From 1988 to 1990, it was raced at a distance of 1 mile and 40 yards.

The Risen Star stakes gets its name from Risen Star—the 1988 U.S. Champion Three-Year-Old Colt of the Year Eclipse Award winner, who also won the Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) that same year. The race was previously named the Louisiana Derby Trial Stakes, but was changed in 1989.

Considered a major prep race for the Louisiana Derby, and included in the pre race circuit for the Kentucky Derby, the Risen Star Stakes was upgraded to a grade two level race by the American Graded Stakes Committee in 2010. Previously, from 2002 to 2009, it was a grade three level race.

When the race went by the Louisiana Derby Trial Stakes, Master Derby became the first horse to win that race and a Triple Crown race in the same year (1975, Preakness Stakes). He was also the first to also win the Louisiana Derby in the same year. Since then, 10 other horses have won the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby in the same year: Taylor’s Special, Risen Star, Line in the Sand, Comic Strip, Repent, Pyro, Frisian Fire, International Star, Gun Runner, and Girvin.

Risen Star Records

The biggest margin of victory at the Risen Star Stakes is ten lengths, which was set by Badge of Silver in 2003.

The record for fastest time at the Risen Star Stakes (1 1/6-mile distance) is 1:42.96, set by El Padrino 2012.

The record for most Risen Star Stakes wins by a jockey is three, jointly held by Robby Albarado (2003, 2004, 2007) and Shane Romero (1988, 1989, 1992). The record for most wins by a trainer is two, with five owners achieving the feat: D. Wayne Lukas, J. Larry Jones, Neil J. Howard, Steve Asmussen, and Todd Pletcher. Winchell Thoroughbreds is the only stable with more than one win: Pyro in 2008 and Gun Runner in 2016.

Risen Star Winner Notes

Many notable horses have a Risen Star Stakes victory on their resume. A few of the more noteworthy and recognizable names include Risen Star (1988 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes winner), Lawyer Ron (2007 American Champion Older Male Horse of the Year), Pyro (2008 Louisiana Derby winner), Friesan Fire (2009 Louisiana Derby winner), Mucho Macho Man (2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner), and Girvin (2017 Louisiana Derby winner).

Risen Star Stakes Past Winners

Year (Race No.) Winner (Sex) Jockey (Weight) Time (Cond.-Beyer) Sire Gross Purse-Gr.
Dis.-Track (Starters) Owner(s) Trainer Odds (Margin) Bred (Color) Winner's Share
2016-Feb. 20 (11th) +Gun Runner (c) Florent Geroux (116) 1:43.94 (fast-90) Candy Ride-ARG $400,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC & Three Chimneys Farm Steve Asmussen 5.10-1 (1/2 length) Kentucky (Ch.) $240,000—44
2015-Feb. 21 (11th) +International Star (c) Miguel Mena (120) 1:43.82 (fast-93) Fusaichi Pegasus $400,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (9) Ken & Sarah Ramsey Mike Maker 3.80-1 (1 length) New York (B.) $240,000—43
2014-Feb. 22 (11th) Intense Holiday (c) Mike Smith (116) 1:43.86 (fast-97) Harlan’s Holiday $400,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (14) Starlight Racing Todd Pletcher 5.00-1 (nose) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $240,000—42
2013-Feb. 23 (10th) Ive Struck a Nerve (c) James Graham (116) 1:44.52 (fast-95) Yankee Gentleman $400,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (12) Big Chief Racing LLC Keith Desormeaux 135.20-1 (nose) Kentucky (B.) $240,000—41
2012-Feb. 25 (11th) El Padrino* (c) Javier Castellano (116) 1:42.96 (fast-98) Pulpit $300,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) Let’s Go Stable Todd Pletcher 0.80-1 (nose) Kentucky (Ch.) $180,000—40
2011-Feb. 19 (10th) Mucho Macho Man (c) Rajiv Maragh (116) 1:43.98 (fast-94) Macho Uno $300,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (10) Reeves Thoroughbred Racing & Dream Team One Racing Stable Kathy Ritvo 3.60-1 (1 ½ lengths) Florida (B.) $180,000—39
2010-Feb. 20 (10th) Discreetly Mine (c) Javier Castellano (116) 1:44.88 (fast-94) Mineshaft $300,000-Gr. II
1 1/16 Miles-FG (12) E. Paul Robsham Stables LLC Todd Pletcher 2.50-1 (1 ½ lengths) Kentucky (B.) $180,000—38
2009-Feb. 7 (9th) +Friesan Fire (r) Gabriel Saez (122) 1:45.11 (fast-97) A.P. Indy $200,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (13) Vinery Stables & Fox Hill Farm Larry Jones 2.80-1 (2 lengths) Kentucky (B.) $120,000—37
2008-Feb. 9 (9th) +Pyro* (c) Shaun Bridgmohan (116) 1:44.68 (fast-90) Pulpit $300,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC Steve Asmussen 0.90-1 (2 lengths) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $180,000—36
2007-Feb. 10 (9th) Notional (c) Robby Albarado (122) 1:44.18 (fast-92) In Excess-IRE $300,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (12) J. Paul Reddam Doug O’Neill 2.90-1 (2 ¼ lengths) California (B.) $180,000—35
2006-Jan. 14 (9th) Lawyer Ron (c) John McKee (118) 1:43.13 (fast-106) Langfuhr $268,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-LAD (7) James T. Hines Jr. Bob Holthus 2.70-1 (8 ¼ lengths) Kentucky (Ch.) $160,800—34
2005-Feb. 12 (9th) Scipion (c) Gary Stevens (117) 1:44.54 (fast-89) A.P. Indy $150,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) Virginia Kraft Payson LLC Patrick Biancone 10.10-1 (1 ¼ lengths) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $90,000—33
2004-Feb. 15 (9th) Gradepoint (c) Robby Albarado (116) 1:45.36 (fast-96) A.P. Indy $150,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (6) Mount Brilliant Stable LLC & William S. Farish Neil Howard 1.90-1 (1/2 length) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $90,000—32
2003-Feb. 16 (9th) Badge of Silver (c) Robby Albarado (116) 1:42.99 (fast-108) Silver Deputy $150,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (12) Ken and Sarah Ramsey Ronny Werner 2.90-1 (10 lengths) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $90,000—31
2002-Feb. 17 (9th) +Repent* (c) Tony D’Amico (122) 1:43.17 (fast-102) Louis Quatorze $150,000-Gr. III
1 1/16 Miles-FG (9) Select Stable Kenny McPeek 0.70-1 (2 ¼ lengths) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $90,000—30
2001-Feb. 18 (7th) Dollar Bill* (c) Chris McCarron (122) 1:43.45 (fast-102) Peaks and Valleys $125,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (10) Gary and Mary West Stables Inc. Dallas Stewart 0.90-1 (2 ½ lengths) Kentucky (B.) $75,000—29
2000-Feb. 20 (9th) Exchange Rate* (c) Corey Nakatani (119) 1:44.25 (fast-97) Danzig $125,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (8) Padua Stables & Anne Sanan D. Wayne Lukas 1.60-1 (1 ¼ lengths) Kentucky (Gr. or Ro.) $75,000—28
1999-Feb. 21 (9th) Ecton Park (c) Shane Sellers (114) 1:44.83 (fast-95) Forty Niner $125,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (12) Mark Stanley Elliott Walden 4.90-1 (nose) Kentucky (Ch.) $75,000—27
1998-Feb. 22 (9th) +Comic Strip (c) Shane Sellers (119) 1:44.27 (fast-91) Red Ransom $125,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (7) William S. Farish, G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & James Elkins Neil Howard 1.30-1 (1 length) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $75,000—26
1997-Feb. 23 (9th) Open Forum (c) Donna Barton (117) 1:44.37 (fast-91) Deputy Minister $100,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (5) Bob and Beverly Lewis D. Wayne Lukas 3.20-1 (1 length) Kentucky (Gr. or Ro.) $60,000—25
1996-Feb. 25 (9th) Zarb’s Magic (g) E. J. Perrodin (122) 1:42.98 (fast-100) Zarbyev $63,250
1 1/16 Miles-FG (9) Foxwood Plantation Ltd. Bret Thomas 15.90-1 (5 lengths) Louisiana (Ch.) $37,950—24
1995-Feb. 28 (8th-Div.1) Knockadoon* (c) Willie Martinez (114) 1:45.44 (sloppy-90) Dixieland Band $53,137
1 1/16 Miles-FG (9) William K. Warren Jr. Tony Reinstedler 2.40-1 (1 ½ lengths) Canada (B.) $31,882—23
1995-Feb. 28 (9th-Div. 2) Beavers Nose (g) Ken Bourque (117) 1:45.22 (sloppy-92) Demons Begone $52,987
1 1/16 Miles-FG (8) R. W. Raymond & D. O. Phillips Eldridge Herbert Jr. 13.50-1 (4 lengths) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $31,792—23
1994-March 5 (10th) Fly Cry (c) Ron Ardoin (122) 1:43.02 (fast-100) On to Glory $51,923
1 1/16 Miles-FG (7) Al Prats & Bryan Wagner Tom Amoss 2.10-1 (5 lengths) Florida (B.) $31,155—22
1993-March 6 (9th-Div. 1) +Dixieland Heat* (c) Randy Romero (119) 1:43.20 (fast-93) Dixieland Band $26,800
1 1/16 Miles-FG (7) Leland Cook Gerald Romero 0.70-1 (3 ¼ lengths) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $16,080—21
1993-March 6 (10th-Div. 2) Dry Bean (g) Aaron Gryder (117) 1:43.80 (fast-87) Demons Begone $26,800
1 1/16 Miles-FG (6) Loblolly Stable Tom Bohannan 6.70-1 (1/2 length) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) $16,020—21
1992-March 7 (10th) +Line In The Sand (c) Shane Romero (119) 1:45.00 (fast-87) Mr. Prospector $32,725
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) William S. Farish et al Neil Howard 2.50-1 (2 ¼ lengths) Kentucky (Ch.) $19,635—20
1991-Feb. 16 (11th) Big Courage* (g) Tammy Fox (119) 1:46.70 (fast) Big Pistol $32,050
1 1/16 Miles-FG (8) Patsy Fox Billy Fox 0.50-1 (nose) Florida (Dk. B. or Br.) $19,230—19
1990-March 4 (10th) Genuine Meaning* (c) John Hirdes (122) 1:40.80 (fast) Bayou Hebert $25,000
1 Mile 40Y-FG (12) Robert Asaro Ronnie Tenhundfeld 2.40-1 (nose) Louisiana (B.) 18
1989-Feb. 26 (8th-Div. 1) Nooo Problema* (c) Shane Romero (117) 1:42.40 (fast) Will Win $20,000
1 Mile 40Y-FG (8) H. J. & N. Reed Don Winfree 1.10-1 (head) Kentucky (B.) 17
1989-Feb. 26 (9th-Div. 2) +Dispersal (c) Bobby J. Walker Jr. (114) 1:42.20 (fast) Sunny’s Halo $20,000
1 Mile 40Y-FG (7) T. & H. Meyerhoff Bud Delp 1.30-1 (1 length) Kentucky (Ch.) 17
1988-Feb. 27 (10th) +Risen Star* (c) Shane Romero (120) 1:40.00 (fast) Secretariat $20,000
1 Mile 40Y-FG (12) Roussel & Lamarque Louie Roussel III 1.10-1 (1 length) Kentucky (Dk. B. or Br.) 16
1987-Feb. 28 (10th) Authentic Hero (c) Larry Melancon (117) 1:48.00 (muddy) Mr. Leader $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (10) J. Devaney Don Winfree 3.20-1 (4 ½ lengths) Kentucky (B.) 15
1986-March 8 (10th) Dr. Bee Jay (g) Ricky Frazier (121) 1:45.40 (fast) Dr. Blum $30,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (13) J. Clary & T. Morgan Tommie Morgan 2.90-1 (head) Kentucky (B.) 14
1985-March 16 (10th) Mischiefinmind (c) Ron Ardoin (117) 1:45.80 (sloppy) Gallant Knave $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (6) Gerald Romero Gerald Romero 2.40-1 (nose) Florida (B.) 13
1984-March 10 (10th) +Taylor’s Special* (c) Randy Romero (121) 1:43.00 (fast) Hawkin’s Special $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (5) W. F. Lucas Bill Mott 0.80-1 (3 ½ lengths) Kentucky (B.) 12
1983-March 12 (10th) Explosive Wagon* (c) Charles Mueller (119) 1:43.80 (fast) Explodent $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (7) P. McReynolds Gene Norman 0.90-1 (5 ½ lengths) Florida (Ch.) 11
1982-March 13 (9th) Linkage (c) G. Smith (122) 1:44.40 (fast) Hoist the Flag $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (8) Christiana Stable H. S. Clark 3.20-1 (4 lengths) Kentucky (B.) 10
1981-March 14 (9th) Senate Chairman (c) Earlie Fires (112) 1:45.00 (fast) Senate Whip $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (9) R. Michael Ronnie Warren 4.60-1 (nose) Kentucky (B.) 9
           
Year (Race No.) Winner (Sex) Jockey (Weight) Time (Cond.-Beyer) Sire Gross Purse-Gr.
Dis.-Track (Starters) Owner(s) Trainer Odds (Margin) Bred (Color) Winner's Share
1980-March 1 (9th) Withholding (c) B. Fann (112) 1:46.80 (good) Hold Your Peace $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (8) R. Michael Ronnie Warren 1.60-1 (3 lengths) Kentucky (Ch.) 8
1979-March 3 (9th) Incredible Ease (c) Jimmy Nichols (116) 1:45.80 (sloppy) Jacinto $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) Proler & Straus Billy Borders 2.00-1 (3 lengths) Kentucky (Ch.) 7
1978-March 4 (9th) Batonnier* (c) Wayne Catalano (111) 1:44.20 (fast) His Majesty $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (11) E. Seltzer Harry Trotsek 1.40-1 (4 ½ lengths) Florida (B.) 6
1977-March 5 (9th) Run Dusty Run* (c) Darrel McHargue (125) 1:44.60 (sloppy) Dust Commander $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (7) Golden Chance Farm Smiley Adams 0.40-1 (3/4 length) Kentucky (B.) 5
1976-March 7 (9th) Go East Young Man* (c) Eddie Delahoussaye (118) 1:45.00 (fast) Truxton King $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG (10) Mrs. J. W. Brown Dewey Smith 2.20-1 (3/4 length) Texas (Dk. B. or Br.) 4
1975-March 9 +Master Derby (c) Darrel McHargue (116) 01:44.4 Dust Commander $25,000
1 1/16 Miles-FG Golden Chance Farm Smiley Adams   Kentucky (Ch.) 3
1974-March 9 Heavy Mayonnaise (c) Craig Perret (120) 01:39.8 Tumiga $25,000
1 Mile 40Y-FG Stall & Trotter Don Kempfer   Kentucky (B.) 2
1973-March 18 Navajo (c) W. Soirez (120) 01:40.4 Grey Dawn II-FR $20,000
1 Mile 40Y-FG J. Stevenson & R. Stump James Keefer   Indiana (Gr.) 1
           
*-Favorite . . . D-Kentucky Derby winner . . . H-Horse of the Year . . . 3-Champion 3-Year-Old Male . . . + Louisiana Derby winner . . . @-Via disqualification