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Risen Star Stakes; Full Field Aiming To Become A Rising Star

2014 (GII) Risen Star Stakes; Full Field Aiming To Become A Rising Star: The 2014 Risen Star Stakes takes place this Saturday, February 22, 2014 at Fair Grounds Racecourse in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the feature race on a Fair Grounds card scheduled to also run the (GIII) Mineshaft, (GIII) Fair Grounds Handicap, (GIII) Rachel Alexandra and the ungraded Bayou Handicap. The race is for 3 year-olds and raced at the distance of 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for a purse of $400,000. It’s also a major prep race to the Louisiana Derby and one of many prep races preparing colts for the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown. The American Graded Stakes Committee upgraded the race to a (GII) from a (GIII) in 2010.

Bondholder Horse

Bondholder and jockey Mario Gutierrez will break from post position #5 for trainer Doug O’Neill in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Saturday, February 22, 2014.
Photo: Benoit Photo

Previously known as the Louisiana Derby Trial Stakes, it was re-named in 1989 to honor the locally-owned Risen Star who won the race in 1988 and went on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. He was voted the 1988 Eclipse Award for American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.

Notably, in 1975 Golden Chance Farm’s colt Master Derby won this race then went on to win the Louisiana Derby and the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes.

The Risen Star Stakes was run in two divisions in 1993 and again in 1995. Last year the race was won for trainer Keith Desormeaux with the colt I’ve Struck A Nerve in 1:44.52 and paid out $272.40 for the win. He beat Code West, Palace Malice, Oxbow, Normandy Invasion, Mylute, Golden Soul and went off at odds of 135/1. The exacta with Bob Baffert’s Code West paid out $1,147.50. The colt was injured right after and hasn’t been on the worktab since that I can find, figures.

The 2014 Risen Star is the 11th race of the day on a card of 13 with a start time of 5:25 pm, CST.

We are showcasing our guest handicapper this week, Sigifredo Mendoza, who hails from beautiful Venezuela. We have talked about collaborating on a race together but I’m being lame this week and will let him shine. We will do one soon!

Sigi Mendoza

Guest Handicapper Sigifredo Mendoza likes Bond Holder, Gold Hawk, and Intense Holiday for the 2014 Risen Star Stakes.

Sigifredo Mendozo (Sigi), is a Venezuelan Industrial Engineer who is 30 years old and loves horseracing. He mostly follows racing in the United States and South America as those are his favorites. Sigi has been following United States racing since 1996, loves the racehorse Cigar and has just kept on doing it. His grandfather started with the tradition years back and almost bought a horse but for some reason declined the negotiation. (Then the filly won 12 races…..haha). He is an amateur handicapper and mostly does it for fun!

Sigi’s 2014 Risen Star Stakes Picks:  This is a big field where the post positions may play an important role. Vicar’s in Trouble is really in trouble here as he’s starting in a very wide post.

My first pick is Bond Holder, a promising horse trained by Doug O’Neill. He’s making his first 3 year-old start followed by excellent works. In his last race, the Cash Call Futurity, he finished fourth. However, I like that two runners from that field have won stakes races this year in 2014, Candy Boy and Tamarando, so I’m expecting a good effort here.

My second pick is Gold Hawk. He was unbeaten in two starts, then was third in the Lecomte on only three weeks rest. I expect a fast pace scenario that will benefit him and I think he will improve a lot. He will be tough to beat.

Finally, my third choice is Intense Holiday who has faced serious Kentucky Derby probables like Cairo Prince and Honor Code. He’s got the class and with a fast pace he can make a big move late with Mike Smith. Hope this helps everyone and thank you!

So It looks like Sigi is digging the #5,6,9 and I must say those are some pretty nice picks. I’m on the Bond Holder bandwagon big time because if the pace falls-out, he’s in. I also like Gold Hawk to improve off his last race and Intense Holiday is cracking-the-whip to hit the board in the top three and you can’t go wrong with Pletcher on the way to the derby.

Thank you so much Sigi for taking the time to handicap this. I greatly appreciate it and so does Lady and The Track. We look forward to more from you and very nicely done! Good luck to everyone and their connections.

If you would like to follow Sigi on Twitter, he’s a great ‘capper and shares some amazing horse races from South America, you can find him at @sigimendoza. Myself you can find @horseflynawall.


Risen Star Stakes 2014 Post Positions & Odds
1. Albano 12/1 K.Clark/L.Jones
2. Rise Up 4/1 G.Melancon/T.Amoss
3. Flat Gone 30/1 C.Landeros/J.K.Desormeaux
4. Vigorish 50/1 M.Pedroza/D.Lukas
5. Bond Holder M.Gutierrez/D.O’Neill SCRATCHED
6. Gold Hawk 8/1 C.Nakatani/S.Asmussen
7. Interchange 30/1 E.Baird/T.A.Clark
8. Hoppertunity 8/1 M.Garcia/B.Baffert
9. Intense Holiday 8/1 M.Smith/T.Pletcher
10. Son of a Preacher 20/1 M.Mena/W.Calhoun
11. Quick Indian 20/1 B.Hernandez Jr./M.Scherer
12. Xtra Luck 50/1 R.Eramia/D.Pish
13. Commanding Curve 20/1 R.Albarado/D.Stewart
14. Vicar’s in Trouble 5/1 R.Napravnik/M.Maker
15. Emmett Park 20/1 J.Graham/R.J.Pincins
16. Teniente Coronel * 30/1 S.Bridgmohan/P.J.McGee

*Blinkers on for Teniente Coronel


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