The Grade II, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes is the feature at the Fair Grounds this Saturday. The 1 1/16th-mile event drew a full field of 14 (with #14 SO CONFLATED expected to scratch) and features Remsen Stakes winner MO TOWN in his seasonal debut. The Risen Star offers 50 points to the winner toward the Kentucky Derby, down to five points for placing fourth. As always, feel free to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#9 MO TOWN (7-2, morning-line favorite) has the target on his back in the Risen Star. He won the Remsen Stakes impressively last November, but those that ran behind him haven’t fared well in subsequent starts. Based on that data, it seems we should try to beat the favorite here. However, he’s been drilling exceptionally for this and John Velazquez sees fit to make the trip. MO TOWN is certainly not impossible, but he won’t be my top pick.
#6 GUEST SUITE (6-1) returns off a sharp victory in the LeComte Stakes over this course last month. He didn’t save much ground under Robby Albarado, but he took advantage of a fast pace by getting first run at the tiring leaders before holding off the late closers. GUEST SUITE’s latest work for trainer Howard Neil was exceptional, so don’t sell him short.
#5 SHAREHOLDER VALUE (15-1) was not Shaun Bridgmohan’s choice (that was #4 ARKLOW), but he still has a case for a minor award here. He was far back early in the LeComte and took some bumps at the start, but his late, wide rally for fifth (beaten just 2 1/2 lengths) was solid. Mitchell Murrill, riding at a respectable 11% at the meet, will get the leg up from 25% trainer Tom Amoss.
The play: $10 win 6
DFJ analysis: Robby Albarado rides in three of the four graded stakes on the program and has three solid mounts. He has Dazzling Gem (5-1) in the Mineshaft, Greengrassofyoming (4-1) in the Fair Grounds Handicap, and GUEST SUITE in the Risen Star. He also rides 7-5 favorite Green Mask in an overnight stake. Albarado looks like a very good investment on Saturday.
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