The Grade II, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes will be renewed at the Fair Grounds this Saturday. Ten three-year-olds will line up in pursuit of valuable Kentucky Derby points (50 to the winner down to five for running fourth) for this 1 1/16th-mile test. The Risen Star is Race 9 on a 12-race card and has an approximate post time of 6:03 p.m. EST. Be sure to study this heat carefully if taking part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#5 INSTILLED REGARD (8-5, morning-line favorite) was a convincing winner of the LeComte Stakes over this course last month. That puts him in the driver’s seat on Saturday as he faces similar rivals in the Risen Star. INSTILLED REGARD was three to four-wide on both turns under Javier Castellano but it made no difference as he took over turning for home and drew off to score by almost four lengths over PRINCIPE GUILHERME. He’s training well for Jerry Hollendorfer and retains Castellano, so it’s difficult to make an argument against INSTILLED REGARD here.
#9 PRINCIPE GUILHERME (7-2), second to INSTILLED REGARD in the LeComte Stakes, is the logical alternative. He was a little wider than INSTILLED REGARD on both turns under Florent Geroux but was no match late. Geroux would be wise to send PRINCIPE GUILHERME to the front as there doesn’t appear to be much early speed entered in this race outside of NOBLE INDY.
#2 NOBLE INDY (5-1) ships in from Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher off consecutive frontrunning victories. His latest effort was a score at this distance over Derby prospect Mississippi. The speed figures are in the ballpark, and John Velazquez sees fit to make the trip.
#6 SUPREME AURA (8-1) intrigues despite having never raced a route of ground before. He made light work of maidens at Delaware last summer before hitting the shelf and returning in January. His first try vs. winners was as easy as his maiden win, as he cruised late going six furlongs over this course. Michael Stidham has SUPREME AURA working well at stamina-building distances, and Joe Bravo maintains the assignment.
#4 SNAPPER SINCLAIR (8-1) was an isolated third in the LeComte, finishing four lengths behind INSTILLED REGARD but three ahead of Zing Zang for fourth. That heat was his first two-turn dirt race, so perhaps he can improve with that start under his belt. Adam Beschizza will be aboard once more.
The play: $2 trifecta 5/2,9/2,4,6,9 ($12)
DFJ analysis: Florent Geroux appears to be a solid investment this Saturday. He rides in nine races and has five mounts that are 9-2 or less. That includes Mr. Misunderstood (3-1, morning-line favorite) in the Fair Grounds Handicap, Monomoy Girl (8-5, morning-line favorite) in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes, and PRINCIPE GUILHERME in the Risen Star.
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