Risen Star Stakes Preview

RisenStarWinners1-IN EQUALITY (30/1)
Started his career on dirt, despite having a pedigree that seems better suited for dirt — the surface over which he eventually broke his maiden. His overall speed and pace figures are on the light side and he looks up against it this weekend.
Fair Odds: 40-1 

2-MO TOM (3/1)
Winners of the LeComte Stakes have gone on to capture the Risen Star three times in the last seven years, which bodes well for Mo Tom, who overcame a troubled start to win the LeComte going away by 2 ¼ lengths on Jan. 16. That said, his pace figures are ho-hum and he might well be an underlay on Saturday.
Fair Odds: 9-2 

3-DOLPHUS (15/1)
Since 1999, five horses have won the Risen Star after last competing against allowance foes, like Dolphus did on Jan. 31. I also like the fact that Dolphus earned a strong -3 late speed ration in that allowance affair.
Fair Odds: 12-1 

4-BISTRAYA (15/1)
Despite just breaking his maiden on Jan. 24, this guy looks very, very interesting in this spot. A son of Haynesfield, Bistraya made his route debut last time, earning a race-best 97 Brisnet speed figure, along with a -7 ESR and a -5 LSR — both exactly matching Saturday’s race par.
Fair Odds: 10-1 

5-FOREVAMO (12/1)
Last race was arguably the best of his career, but he’d need to make another big jump forward to win the Risen Star.
Fair Odds: 15-1 

6-GUN RUNNER (6/1)
Bid and hung in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club — a productive prep for this race — in his latest on Nov. 28 and he’s had two outstanding six-furlong workouts since. Looks like a very strong contender.
Fair Odds: 7-2

7-ITS ALL RELEVANT (15/1)
Showed a lot of zip in his maiden-breaker (-12 ESR) and, like Bistraya, is intriguing in this spot because of that early speed.
Fair Odds: 20-1 

8-TOM’S READY (8/1)
Fine second-place showing in the LeComte, but his 8/1 morning line odds seem way too low.
Fair Odds: 20-1

9-LAOBAN (30/1)
Scratched.
Fair Odds: N/A 

10-AIROFORCE (5/2)
Very talented colt made his dirt debut in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club and won impressively, recording a 96 Brisnet speed figure and a -6 LSR. He’s a deserving favorite.
Fair Odds: 2-1 

11-ZAPPERINI (30/1)
Broke his maiden last time with so-so speed and pace figures; insist on a big price.
Fair Odds: 50-1 

12-UNCLE WALTER (8/1)
LSRs have gotten worse as the distances have gotten longer, which gives me pause — especially considering Uncle Walter’s 4.00 Dosage Index and his 8/1 morning line odds.
Fair Odds: 20-1 

13-CANDY MY BOY (15-1)
On the positive side, his LSRs are great and his trainer Roger Brueggemann is great in graded stakes. On the negative side, the son of Candy Ride has recorded subpar speed figures and has won each of his last two races in wire-to-wire fashion off of soft fractions.
Fair Odds: 15-1

Derek Simon
Derek Simon is the Senior Editor and Handicapper at US Racing.