GRADE II RISEN STAR STAKES

December 11, 2015

Mike Maker (trainer, International Star, 1st) – “He was doing super and he ran as advertised. I wasn’t worried about the post. Realistically I thought we had an outside trip and we wound up having a trip like in the Lecomte turning for home looked.” On coming back for the Louisiana Derby: “Not going to change routes for him; he loves it (at Fair Grounds) and there’s no reason to change course.”

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Miguel Mena (jockey, International Star, 1st) – “The post position worried me. You never know if you can get to the rail, where he wants to be. I was impressed because I moved at the five-sixteenths-pole to get through and he came through a tight hole and then another one at the quarter-pole and kept running and drawing away. I think more distance will be no problem. He rates well, he loves the rail; it doesn’t matter how tight the hole is – he goes for it. When I put him on the rail, he grabs the bit and when we come up to a tight hole, he just goes for it. Not many horses do it. The more you save, the more you’re going to get. He’s not much to look at it, but he has a big heart.”

Tom Amoss (trainer, War Story, 2nd) – “I’m disappointed that we haven’t solved his problem leaving the gate. It’s something we’ll continue to work on and is the difference between winning and losing a race like this. When you break like that, it’s such a compromising factor; your options become limited. We lost a lot of ground on the turn and were widest of all. There are a lot of encouraging things and he had a tougher trip that last time. He’s not a big horse but he shows a lot of grit. There’s more to come from this guy. His next start has not been decided.”

Kent Desormeaux (jockey, War Story, 2nd) – “We had about the same trip as the winner, but he cut the corner and I had to swing five-wide. He didn’t break well. There’s nothing more to say.” James Graham (jockey, Keen Ice, 3rd) – “He’s going to be okay. We had a fairly good trip. He broke good, but he’s devoid of speed early and it takes him a while to get going. He felt good.

Florent Geroux (jockey, St. Joe Bay, 4th) – “Great trip. I was going nice and easy, but (Hero of Humor) hooked up with me way too early and my horse got a little tired.”

Peter Miller (trainer, St. Joe Bay, 4th) – “The horse ran great. I’m really happy with him. We just got hounded the whole way with a fast pace and the he still ran well. We’ll look at all our options but will certainly consider coming back for the Louisiana Derby.”

Mike Smith (jockey, Imperia, 5th, beaten favorite): “We had a great trip, but he just didn’t handle the surface. When I had him in hand he was fine, but when I asked him to pick up, he just started swimming.”

Kerwin Clark (jockey, Bluff, 6th): “It wasn’t as bad as it looks. He struggled a bit on the track – it has changed a bit as the day has gone on – but we were in a good spot and he was just sort of spinning his wheels and I had to keep getting after him to get him into the bit.”

Robby Albarado (jockey, Tiznow R J, 7th): We had a good trip – a great trip. The two in front of us were faster which I knew they would be. I wouldn’t have traded places with anyone on the backside.”

Travers Stakes at Saratoga

Early look at the 150th running of the $1,250,000 Travers Stakes which will be held on Saturday, August 24 at Saratoga Race Course.

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