Handicapping

Fair Grounds – Risen Star Day Picks 2/20/16


It’s Risen Star Day! The first of the Championship Series races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby is today and Fair Grounds has produced an amazing day of racing to supplement this big stakes race for 3yos.  So, I have selections for the full card to monument this big day.

  • Race 1 – Claiming $5k
    • Chapter and Verse
      • Easy runaway with with Florent Geroux last time out in a tougher claiming race.  Sticking with the distance, Jones and Geroux team up again with this one.
  • Race 2 – AOC $20k
    • Malachite
      • Was knocking at the door at Arlington in the summer.  Moving off of a layoff, he had a poor performance last time out but returns to this company will help.
  • Race 3 – Maiden Special Weight
    • Jazz Man
      • Would’ve went with Taprize (full to Untapable) if he didn’t scratch but my second choice is Jazz Man.  Graham and Jones bring in this 1st time starter for Fox Hill Farms and is a Hard Spun out of a Unbridled’s Song mare.  First start for this 3yo might just be a winning one.
  • Race 4 – Maiden Special Weight
    • Stradivarius
      • Now the girls get a chance in the MSW.  Going with the experience on the rail.  Very good second to Shaken last time out and should improve off that effort.  Keeps Colby Hernandez.
  • Race 5 – Mineshaft Handicap (G3)
    • International Star
      • Easy winner of the Louisiana Stakes last time out, he steps into graded company for the first time since his Fair Grounds win in the Louisiana Derby.  Undefeated at the Fair Grounds, it is very hard to bet against this horse.
  • Race 6 – AOC $40k
    • Slip and Drive
      • Going with the son of Artie Schiller, this 8yo veteran has raced in good class in the past and is trying to get back to his winning ways.  Off of a very good 3rd last time out here.
  • Race 7 – Duncan F. Kenner Stakes
    • Shotgun Kowboy
      • This son of Kodiak Kowboy was an absolute monster at Remington Park for the past two years.  After a poor effort in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap, he returns in this race.  He has a lot of class and should appreciate this track.
  • Race 8 – Daisy Devine Stakes
    • Mizz Money
      • Huge fan of Mizzen Mast horses on the turf, this one is no exception.  Winner of the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes last summer on Arlington Million Day, She has been coming up short in her last two tries.  I’ll take a shot with her again and hope she can finally get back to the winners circle… although using her underneath in exactas is a very nice play.
  • Race 9 – Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2)
    • Stageplay
      • Fair Grounds is course for certain horses.  You either love it or hate it.  Stageplay loved the course last time out in the Silverbulletday.  This daughter of Curlin is looking like a very nice filly and will be very interesting looking forward.
  • Race 10 – Fair Grounds Handicap (G3)
    • Chocolate Ride
      • Winner of this race last year, he comes in with much better form than he did last year.  But even more impressive than his Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap win is that he is riding a 5 race win streak at the Fair Grounds.  Going to make it 6 in a row with a win today.
  • Race 11 – Risen Star Stakes (G2)
    • Bistraya
      • Shipping in from California, Bistraya was one of the more impressive winners at Santa Anita last month.  Last time trying Graded company was the Best Pal, Nyquist’s run away Del Mar win.  Edwin Maldonado gives this horse a lot of upside and the price is well worth a bet here.  Off of a 103 Beyer, Bistraya can give Ricky Agarie his first Graded Stakes win.
  • Race 12 – Maiden Claiming $10k
    • Deeliteful Walk
      • In a race that lacks early speed, Deeliteful Walk should get the lone lead early.  Getting the rail will help this troubled starter get a clean break.  If he can break well, it is off to the races.  Also looking at a longshot underneath, Payden Cash; shows great lat speed and could do well in this spot.

There you have it.  That is how I see today’s races.  Enjoy the racing from the Fair Grounds!

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