â€¢ Risen Star Prospect Hoppertunity Records Monday Move at Santa Anita
â€¢ Rachel Alexandra Stakes Coming Up Strong as Fair Grounds Oaks Preview
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, February 13, 2014) â€“Ubiquitous Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, whose New Orleans invaders have won three of the last six renewals of the Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, will be sending Starlight Racingâ€™s Intense Holiday to this yearâ€™s 41st running of the Risen Star, centerpiece event of four graded stakes on the New Orleans ovalâ€™s upcoming Louisiana Derby Preview Day Feb. 22.
During the last three races of his juvenile campaign last year, the entire son of Harlanâ€™s Holiday finished fifth in Belmontâ€™s Grade I Champagne last October and was then fourth in Aqueductâ€™s Grade II Nashua and Grade II Remsen in November.
Out of an Unbridledâ€™s Song mare, Intense Holiday has made one start as a sophomore, finishing third in Gulfstreamâ€™s Grade II Holy Bull Stakes Jan. 25 while closing on the leaders. He appears to be the type of colt who will appreciate the long stretch run at Fair Grounds.
Intense Holiday breezed a half-mile Sunday at Palm Meadows in 48 flat.
Ken and Sarah Ramseyâ€™s Vicarâ€™s in Trouble, winner of the Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 18 as the first leg of this yearâ€™s $1 million Louisiana Derby series, also breezed on Sunday over the local course, getting five furlongs in 1:00.60 in preparation for the Risen Star.
RISEN STAR PROSPECT HOPPERTUNITY RECORDS MONDAY MOVE AT SANTA ANITAâ€”Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert worked Mike Pegram et al.â€™s Hoppertunity a handy half-mile in 47.20 at Santa Anita on Monday in advance of the upcoming Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 22 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The bay son of Any Given Saturday broke his maiden impressively with a three-length tally Jan. 30 at the Southern California oval.
Also on Monday here in New Orleans, Paul and Andrena Van Dorenâ€™s Grade III Delta Jackpot winner Rise Up breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 for defending trainer champion Tom Amoss.
On that same Monday work tab, Brereton Jonesâ€™s Albano, hero of the Sugar Bowl Stakes here last December, went five-eighths in 59.60 for trainer Larry Jones in preparation for the Risen Star.
Also accomplishing half-mile breezes Monday in preparation for the Risen Star were Winchell Thoroughbredsâ€™ Gold Hawk, who went :49 flat for defending trainer champion Steve Asmussen, and Michele and Cliff Loveâ€™s Xtra Luck who went that same distance in 48.20 for trainer Danny Pish.
Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher has Hill â€˜nâ€™ Dale Equine Holdingsâ€™ Got Lucky under consideration for the Rachel Alexandra after the daughter of 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breedersâ€™ Cup Classic winner A. P. Indy broke her maiden easily with a 5 Â¼ length tally at Gulfstream Jan. 29.
Out on the west coast, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has Hill â€˜nâ€™ Dale Equine Holdingsâ€™ Streaming penciled in for the same Fair Grounds Oaks prep as part of the Louisiana Derby Preview Day program.
Loooch Racingâ€™s Ria Antonia, heroine of the Grade I Breedersâ€™ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November, who arrived in New Orleans after the first of the year, is also now being pointed for the Rachel Alexandra, as are Brereton Jonesâ€™s Divine Beauty, Fox Hill Farmsâ€™ Cassatt, Winchell Thoroughbredsâ€™ Untapable and Connie Apostelosâ€™ Shanon Nicole.