The Grade II, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes drew a total of 23 Kentucky Derby hopefuls, so the race was broken up into two divisions by Fair Grounds track management. We’ll discuss the first division of the local prep for the Louisiana Derby here. The 1 1/8-mile heat goes as Race 12 of 13 on Saturday, and approximate post time is 6:38 p.m. ET. Our preview of Division II of the Risen Star can be found here.
#3 READY TO ROLL (20-1) was last seen crushing maidens at Oaklawn Park by 7 1/2 lengths. That was his first dirt start around two turns and the first race in which he broke cleanly. The son of City Zip still has room to improve if he’s asked for his best in the Risen Star. This is a step up in class, but bettors are getting a square price on this William Calhoun (26 percent at the meet) trainee. READY TO ROLL will be ridden by Gabriel Saez.
#8 ENFORCEABLE (7-2, morning-line favorite) took the LeComte Stakes over this course last month. He beat other prime contenders in the Risen Star like SILVER STATE that day but the speed figure wasn’t extraordinary. With seven starts already under his belt, there seems to be little room for improvement from ENFORCEABLE. Still, he has solid connections behind him in trainer Mark Casse and jockey Julien Leparoux.
#2 SILVER STATE (4-1) needs to make up 1 1/2-lengths on ENFORCEABLE from his LeComte defeat. With a clean, ground-saving trip under Ricardo Santana Jr., that might be possible. SILVER STATE was bumped early last time out and got caught six-wide turning for home.
The play: $2 exacta key box 3/2,8, $4 win 3 ($12)
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