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Intense Holiday wins the 2014 Risen Star Stakes

Intense Holiday wins the 2014 Risen Star Stakes: The Risen Star Stakes took place at Fair Grounds on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The Risen Star Stakes is another important race on the road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs with the winner gaining 50 points towards a position in the starting gate. The Risen Stakes is also Fair Ground’s final prep for the Louisiana Derby with a $1 million dollar purse in March.

Intense Holiday Horse

Intense Holiday with Mike Smith aboard wins the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds Saturday, February 22, 2014
Lou Hodges Photo / Hodges Photography

Favorites going into the 2014 Risen Star Stakes were Albano, Delta Jackpot winner Rise Up, and Lecomte winner Vicar’s in Trouble; however, it was Intense Holiday that took the win.

Vicar’s In Trouble’s trainer Michael Maker reported, “When we brought him down here and started breezing him on the dirt he really took to the dirt well.”

However it wasn’t quite enough as Starlight Racing’s Intense Holiday took the win at the wire beating out Albano by just a head, and Vicar’s In Trouble coming in third.

Intense Holiday was able to come from behind and run down Albano posting a time of 1:43.86. Albano was the pace setter going into the first turn, but he was unable to beat out Intense Holiday. Vicar’s in Trouble tried to make a big move late in the race, but he tired out.

Intense Holiday was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and trained by Todd Pletcher. Smith said of Intense Holiday “There’s a lot of room to improve there and a lot of room to grow…What I really liked at the end was galloping out. He took one breath and came back so we did not get to the bottom of him (today).”

Although Intense Holiday may have more to learn and grow, he certainly proved himself at the grade 2 stakes at Fair Grounds.

Risen Star Stakes 2014 Results and Payouts
9-Intense Holiday, $12.00 to Win, $6.00 to Place, $4.00 to Show
1-Albano, $12.20 to Place, $6.80 to Show
14-Vicar’s in Trouble, $3.40 to Show
Also ran: 8 – Hoppertunity , 6 – Gold Hawk , 13 – Commanding Curve , 2 – Rise Up , 3 – Flat Gone , 10 – Son of a Preacher , 11 – Quick Indian , 4 – Vigorish , 15 – Emmett Park , 7 – Interchange , 12 – Xtra Luck
Scratched horses: Bond Holder (Trainer) , Teniente Coronel (Also-Eligible)