The team of Todd Pletcher and Starlight Racing, who have had early success on the Kentucky Derby trail, but misfortunes that have quickly dashed their hopes of getting into the Kentucky Derby starting gate (i.e., Algorithms, Shanghai Bobby), have another hopeful in Risen Star winner Intense Holiday.
In sharp contrast to the running style of Wildcat Red’s Fountain of Youth, Intense Holiday remained in mid-pack of the 14-horse Risen Star field as longshot Albano took point on the front end. As the field turned for home Intense Holiday and jockey Mike Smith gained ground to chase down Albano, passing the post-time favorite, Vicar’s in Trouble, along the way to a photo finish and a winning margin of a nose. Vicar’s in Trouble was 5 ½ lengths back in third, with Hoppertunity another 1 ½ lengths behind in fourth.
The closing drive Intense Holiday exhibited in the win was just the type of thrilling finish one would want to see in a Kentucky Derby candidate.
Intense Holiday returned $12.00, $6.00, and $4.00. Albano paid $12.20 and $6.80 and completed the $2 exacta for $148. Vicar’s in Trouble paid $3.40 and completed the $2 trifecta for $513.40. Hoppertunity completed the $2 superfecta for $2,755.40. The final time for the 1 1/16 mile race over the fast dirt was 1:43.86.
Photo: Courtesy FairGroundsRaceTrack.com
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