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Risen Star Hopefuls

Posted by on 2/16/2015 10:26:48 PM

Sophomores hoping to get to the Kentucky Derby will get another chance to show their wares Saturday at Fair Grounds in the Risen Star Stakes.

A total of $400,000 will be on the line in the Grade 2 mile and a sixteenth fixture and here are just a few of the runners that could show up trying to take that next step.

International Star was the winner of the LeComte Stakes is bred to run all day long. His sire won the Kentucky Derby, his dam was a triple route winner and sibling Fools in Love won a pair of routes at 8 and a half-furlong. This colt finally won on the dirt last time and he’s trained forwardly in Florida since including the best of the morning 1:00 1/5 workout a week ago. The Michael Maker student should give a very good account of himself.

War Story broke onto the scene last fall overcoming a poor start to win going away at Churchill. Freshened and shipped to Fair Grounds, the colt got an ideal trip beating winners when scoring by nearly 3 lengths with an 86 Beyer Speed Figure. Wheeled back about 3 weeks later, the son of Northern Afleet made a nice middle move to go from 5th to within a length of the lead before being passed by today’s rival International Star. His sire was a Grade 2 winner at 9 furlongs, his dam was a non-winner but she also dropped Draw Two, a triple winner on grass that carried his speed a mile and a half.

Imperia is a returnee that is fresh and dangerous. The fact he ran so well in his debut when beaten a neck gives him a shot to be set for this comeback. His only poor effort came in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf when he was steadied and ran into a roadblock. In his last race in the Kentucky Jockey Club, he was gaining on the winner El Kabeir missing by just a head. And he was boosted when that runner won the Grade 3 Jerome last month with a 95 Beyer and then ran 2nd in Far From Over’s Withers victory. The pedigree is stellar as sire was a multiple Grade 1 winner routing and millionaire dam won the Grade 1 Beldame at 9 furlongs.

Two for 5 so far in his career, Another Lemon Drop was in the hung in the LeComte but faded before hitting the top of the lane. Proven locally, he can handle any kind of going and he has fired every time. He may have been compromised by post 10 last time but he has been sent through his motions in the mornings here with several drills including a 5-furlong work last week. Proven at 9 furlongs on grass, so the distance is of no concern.

Keen Ice was not all that cool winning his debut. This son of Curlin was all out to win his only race, a mile event at Churchill by a head. He beat better than half the field home next out in the Breeders’ Futurity. Left with too much to do in the Remsen in his 2014 finale, and he just never kicked in the Holy Bull last time when bumped at the break. The stamina is there on the topside as his sire Curlin won the Breeders’ Cup Classic. His dam lost her only start and this is her first to race.

Watch for the full field rundown later in the week.

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