Risen Star Stakes

Sierra Leone Favored in Derby Future Wager

Sierra Leone (Gun Runner), winner of the GII Risen Star S., was the 7-1 favorite when Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed Sunday evening. Last year's 2-year-old champion Fierceness (City of Light) was second choice at 9-1. "All Other 3-Year-Olds" closed as the 11-1 third betting option. Japan's G3 Saudi Derby winner Forever Young (Jpn) (Reel Steel {Jpn}) (12-1); GII Rebel S. winner Timberlake (Into Mischief) (12-1); GII Fountain of the Youth S. winner Dornoch (Good Magic) (13-1); GIII Gotham S. winner Deterministic (Liam's Map) (16-1); allowance...

[ Read More ]
Sierra Leone Individual Favorite in Derby Future Pool

Sierra Leone (Gun Runner), who captured the GII Risen Star S. Saturday, was the 6-1 individual favorite when the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 closed Sunday evening. The pari-mutuel field of 'all other 3-year-olds' closed as the 5-1 favorite. Other horses who attracted interest from bettors: Dornoch (Good Magic) (9-1), the GII Remsen S. winner and full-brother to 2023 Derby winner Mage; GI Champagne S. winner Timberlake (Into Mischief) (15-1); GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile third Locked (Gun Runner) (16-1); and champion 2-year-old Fierceness (City of Light) (16-1). Total handle...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: From Out of New Orleans Gloaming, Sierra Leone Splashes into Derby Relevance

'TDN Rising Star' Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) checked off quite a few boxes on his GI Kentucky Derby development checklist with Saturday's half-length score in the GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds. In just his third career start, he handled shipping away from his home base, winning as the 5-2 favorite off an 11-week layoff, rating from mid-pack while equipped with blinkers for the first time, and racing under the lights on a sloppy, sealed and eerily shadowy track. And yet, jockey Tyler Gaffalione still believes there's room for...

[ Read More ]
Frank Taylor Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

Frank Taylor, the director of new business and development for Taylor Made, knew that there was an acute labor shortage in Kentucky, with farms unable to find reliable help. But Taylor thought he had a solution. Identify those who were struggling with substance abuse problems, put them into a recovery program and, when they are ready, teach them horsemanship skills that can make them candidates for jobs throughout the industry. Thus, Taylor created Stable Recovery, a rehabilitation program, and the Taylor Made School of Horsemanship. What he didn't know at...

[ Read More ]
In Sierra Leone, Brown May Have Best Chance Yet to Win a Derby

Chad Brown's barn includes a lot of fillies and is dominated by turf horses, which makes winning the GI Kentucky Derby more challenging than it is for trainers like Todd Pletcher, Brad Cox and Bob Baffert, who seem to have an almost endless supply of ammunition. The future Hall of Famer has started just seven horses in the Derby and the best he has to show for it is a second-place finish in 2018 with Good Magic (Curlin). But that doesn't mean the right horse won't come his way, and...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Remarkable Streak Connects Ouzts to Pre-Secretariat Era

When Perry Ouzts wired the field aboard an 8-1 maiden filly named Caberneigh (Munnings) at Turfway Park last Wednesday night, the 69-year-old jockey established a milestone that garnered little notice in the racing world. The victory extended Ouzts's remarkable streak of having ridden at least one winner in a calendar year to 52 consecutive seasons. Think about the scope of that accomplishment for a moment. On Apr. 2, 1973, Ouzts, then 18, rode his first lifetime winner on just his second day as a licensed apprentice, guiding home an Ohio-bred...

[ Read More ]
Asmussen Eyes Risen Star for Track Phantom, Hall of Fame

A day after Track Phantom (Quality Road)'s win in the GIII Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds Saturday, trainer Steve Asmussen was already looking forward to starting the 3-year-old colt in the Feb. 17 GII Risen Star S. The sophomore, who ended 2023 with a win in the Gun Runner S., will be following the same New Orleans path to the GI Kentucky Derby that Asmussen used for Epicenter (Not This Time) two years ago. Epicenter won the Gun Runner in 2021 and finished second in the Lecomte to begin his...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: 'Angel' Aided by Pace Meltdown, but Overall Derby 'Empire' Still Hazy

Saturday's running of the GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds seems unlikely to produce a colt of the caliber of the race's namesake. In 1988, Risen Star captivated New Orleans as the hometown horse owned by charismatic connections, parlaying a win in the then-GIII Louisiana Derby to Grade I scores in both the Preakness S. and Belmont S. before being voted 3-year-old champion colt at year's end. But $29.40 upset winner Angel of Empire (Classic Empire) at least fits the bill as a hard-trying underdog you can root for....

[ Read More ]
FanDuel TV to Cover Risen Star, Rachel Alexandra Stakes

The road to the Kentucky Derby runs through Louisiana Saturday, Feb. 18 and FanDuel TV will be live on-site at Fair Grounds with exclusive coverage of the $400,000 GII Risen Star S. as undefeated Victory Formation (Tapwrit) takes on a field of 12 rivals. There are 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points on the line for the top five finishers. In addition to the Kentucky Derby prep race, a Kentucky Oaks prep race on Saturday--the $300,000 GII Rachel Alexandra S.--will feature the 3-year-old seasonal bow of GSW Hoosier Philly (Into Mischief).

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Though Defeated a Huge Race for Smile Happy

The chart of the GII Risen Star S. run Saturday at the Fair Grounds will show you that the race was won by Epicenter (Not This Time) and that runner-up Smile Happy (Runhappy) was never a serious threat to win. It's just that there is a lot more to this story. Expectations were high for Smile Happy coming into the Risen Star. He was 2-for-2 last year and his win in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. came at the expense of Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway) and White Abarrio (Race...

[ Read More ]
Lecomte Runners Rematch in Risen Star

The top four finishers from the GIII Lecomte S. Jan. 16 take their next steps down the GI Kentucky Derby trail Saturday in the GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds. A $525,000 KEESEP buy, Lecomte winner Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) was second in the GIII Iroquois S. at Churchill in September and was third in Belmont's GI Champagne S. in October. The bay took the field wire-to-wire in the Lecomte, besting Proxy (Tapit) by a length. "I think the distance is right in his wheelhouse and we're excited about running...

[ Read More ]
Spendthrift Acquires interest in Keepmeinmind

B. Wayne Hughes's Spendthrift Farm has acquired a 50% ownership interest in graded stakes winner Keepmeinmind (Laoban). The 3-year-old colt was second behind Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and third behind that subsequent champion in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile before concluding his 2-year-old campaign with a win in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. He currently sits second on the GI Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 18 points. "We are delighted to be a part of such an exciting young racehorse as Keepmeinmind, and thankful to...

[ Read More ]

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.