Road to the Kentucky Derby: Analyzing the Risen Star Stakes


Baffert’s Hoppertunity, unraced at age two, just broke his maiden Jan. 30. In these early Kentucky Derby prep races, Baffert has a way of getting his maiden winners on the board, so consider this one in the exotics.

Intense Holiday has only a maiden win under his belt in six career starts. However, four of those starts came in Grade 1 (Champagne) and Grade 2 (Nashua, Remsen, and Holy Bull) races and he’s never finished worse than fifth. He’s been beaten by some of the best three-year-olds this crop has to offer including Cairo Prince and Honor Code. This Harlan’s Holiday colt could be waiting just off the pace of the early speed and be in like to pick up more than show money. Jockey Mike Smith inherits the mount from Joel Rosario who will be at Gulfstream Park to ride Top Billing in the Fountain of Youth.

Doug O’Neil’s Front Runner (G1) winner Bond Holder was scratched Wednesday after injuring himself on the flight over from California.

The field from the rail out is: Albano, Rise Up, Flat Gone, Vigorish, Gold Hawk, Interchange, Hoppertunity, Intense Holiday, Son of a Preacher, Quick Indian, Xtra Luck, Commanding Curve, and Vicar’s in Trouble. Emmett Park and Teniente Coronel are on the Also Eligible list in the overflow field. The race is the 11th on Fair Ground’s Saturday card with a scheduled post time of 6:25 EST. The race can be seen on HRTV and TVG. Click here for free race PPs courtesy of Brisnet. 

Photo: Courtesy

About Jessie Oswald
I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as an immigration paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!
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