Road to the Kentucky Derby: Risen Star & Fountain of Youth Preview
by Raphael Esparza - 2/17/2015
It's that time of year to start looking ahead to the Kentucky Derby, and this Saturday, Feb. 22, we have not one race but two major races. Around the country tracks are being prepared for what is typically their big race day, and this weekend in New Orleans and Florida these tracks will be planning for some big crowds. Some of these prep races are more significant than others, but who knows what horse could be the next big name or the next Kentucky Derby winner.
Risen Star, Fairgrounds quick overview
This Louisiana Derby prep hasn't produced a Triple Crown race winner since 1988 when Risen Star himself won it and then took the Preakness and Belmont. It had produced older horse superstars Lawyer Ron and, one of my favorites, Mucho Macho Man.
The Risen Star, for three-year-olds at 1-1/16 miles, is the final local prep race for the $750K Louisiana Derby March 28. The Risen Star draws a field of 10 horses, and from the post positions I see 4-5 contenders in this race.
Risen Star Stakes Draw
1. St. Joe Bay - Jockey Geroux
2. Tiznow RJ - Jockey Albardo
3. Bluff - Jockey Clark
4. J S Bach - Jockey Bejarano
5. Imperia - Jockey Smith
6. War Story - Jockey Desormeaux
7. Hero of Humor - Jockey Murgia
8. Keen Ice - Jockey Graham
9. Big Big Easy - Jockey Eramia
10. International Star - Jockey Mena
Fountain of Youth quick overview
This race has produced four different horses that have gone on to win Triple Crown races, but none since 1995 with Thunder Gulch. In recent years it has again become significant as in 2013 winner Orb went on to the Derby, and 2012 champ Union Rags took the Belmont Stakes.
The Fountain of Youth is a major prep race for the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby on Saturday March 28. The Fountain of Youth draws a field of eight horses, and the favorite in this race will be Upstart. This horse will be tough to beat.
Fountain of Youth Stakes Draw
1. Juan and Bina - Jockey Castellano
2. Bluegrass Singer - Jockey Lopez
3. Frammento - Jockey Velazquez
4. Gorgeous Bird - Jockey Rosario
5. Itsaknockout - Jockey Saez
6. Frosted - Jockey Ortiz Jr.
7. Upstart - Jockey Ortiz
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