Stamping a Ticket to the 2020 Kentucky Derby in the Fair Ground’s Risen Star Stakes, times two
By Saturday evening, as many as four horses will have earned their way into the 2020 Kentucky Derby. The pair of Risen Star Stakes races at Fair Grounds are the first to offer enough 2020 Derby qualifying points for the winners, and maybe runner-ups, to run for the roses.
He who wears the crown for the Risen Star Stakes Division 1 and Division 2 races receives 50 points each, second gets 20 points, 10 for third and five for fourth. Last year’s 20th and last qualifier SIGNALMAN tallied 38 points. In 2018, INSTILLED REGARD made the trip to Louisville, Kentucky with 29 points.
As you can see, snagging 50 on Saturday means Churchill Downs’ reservations for the first Saturday in May. It also comes with a $240,000 winner’s check. Both Risen Star races are 1 1/8 miles on the Fair Grounds’ main track. Horses leave the starters gate on the front stretch and will race past the finish line in a two-turn run.
The 12th race on Fair Grounds’ Saturday card is Division 1 of the Risen Star and features 11 starters. It appears to be a wide-open race as ENFORCEABLE (PP: 8) is the tepid 7/2 morning line favorite. He’s coming off a powerful, come from behind victory over fellow combatants SILVER STATE (PP: 2 ML 4-1), MR. MONOMOY (PP: 9 ML 6-1) and SCABBARD (PP: 11 ML 12-1) in the Grade 3, Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.
ENFORCEABLE may have been the beneficiary of a troubled trip for Lecomte second-place finisher SILVER STATE. The Steven Asmussen trainee bobbled at the break, was bumped and forced to race six-wide, yet finished second by just 1 ½ lengths.
Our Pick: SILVER STATE gets a better trip around the track, finds the winners’ circle and prints his ticket to the 2020 Kentucky Derby. As a backup, we are also going to use DIGITAL (#1), SILVER STATE (#2), MR. MONOMOY (#9), and SCABBARD (#11) in an exacta box.
Fair Grounds oddsmaker Mike Diliberto sees a clear-cut favorite in the Risen Star Stakes’ second division. ANNEAU D’OR (PP: 8) is the pre-race fav with 9/5 odds to hit the finish line first in the 12 horse field. It’s easy to see why Diliberto likes the son of MEDAGLIA D’ORO. The $480,000, three-year-old is a neck and a head away from being undefeated in three starts.
ANNEAU D’OR appears to be in good form and a good spot. He posted the highest, last race speed figure for this group and a trio of strong training sessions since. Seven of the other contestants have just a maiden win on their resumes and only FINICK THE FIERCE (PP: 10 ML 10-1) has raced competitively against graded company.
It’s likely to be a mad scramble for second between MODERNIST (PP: 1 ML 8-1), LIAM’S LUCKY CHARM (PP: 5 ML 9/2) and MAILMAN MONEY (PP: 11 ML 8-1).
Our Pick: ANNEAU D’OR (#8) to win and a Daily Double starting in the 12th race with DIGITAL (#1), SILVER STATE (#2), MR. MONOMOY (#9), SCABBARD (#11) and ANNEAU D’OR (#8) in the night cap.
Good Luck at the Races!