It’s a big stakes day in the US on Saturday, as the racetrack heats up with several stakes races on the docket. Fair Grounds Race Course in Louisiana is the feature track of the day, as the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (Gr. 2) is a prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Along with the Risen Star, there are five other stakes races at Fair Grounds worth at least $100,000 each.
The Risen Star is the first prep race with 50 points going to the winning team. For placing 2nd, 20 points are awarded, which could prove to be very important by May. A good showing in this race and somewhere else before the Kentucky Derby could prove to be all it takes to become eligible for the Run for the Roses. Elsewhere on Saturday, the running of the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3) at Oaklawn Park is a notable event scheduled to take place today.
I’m sure most people are interested in what’s happening at Fair Grounds, so we’ll head out to Louisiana for the Risen Star. In all, there are 13 races scheduled to take place with a total of $1,670,000 in prize money available. This is one of the biggest days on the calendar for Fair Grounds, which is also home to the Louisiana Derby and New Orleans Handicap. Head below for our free Fair Grounds Race Course selections and Risen Star Stakes pick for February 13, 2021.
Post Time: 1:33 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 4 is a $60,000 event covering 1 1/16 miles on the main track. There are nine horses racing, with a couple worth considering to win. Alejandro and Run Classic are likely potential winners in Race 4. Alejandro has been in good form to open his career, finishing 4th and 2nd in the first two races.
He placed 2nd behind Caddo River by 9 ½ lengths for a $85,000 purse on November 15. It could have been better, but it was a nice effort from Aljenadro in a $85,000 event. Caddo River was much the best that day. Alejandro took a brief layoff and is ready to get back out to the track in a $60,000 event. Run Classic is a one-time starter and did pretty well for himself in that performance on January 16.
He placed 2nd behind Blamesworthy by 1 ¼ lengths in a $50,000 race. Solid try, but just a bit short in that contest. Run Classic was purchased for $475,000 in March and expected to be a stakes runner soon. He’s going to have to win $60,000 races before then, though. His work in the morning has been solid, with times of 49.20 and 49.60 seconds at 4 furlongs. As a 3/1 horse on the morning-line, there should be some good value by post time.
Race 10 – Mineshaft Stakes
Post Time: 4:44 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 10 is a star-studded field with three horses that jump off the page. The Mineshaft Stakes is worth $200,000 on the main track. The three horses I’m speaking of include Enforceable, Wells Bayou, and Maxfield. I’ve won on Wells Bayou and Maxfield in the past, but I’m going to have to take a side in this one. Wells Bayou beat Ny Traffic by 1 ½ lengths in the $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) on March 21 as an underdog.
That was by win on Wells Bayou. Since then, Wells Bayou has appeared in two races, finishing 5th and 3rd. In his most recent outing, Wells Bayou showed 3rd in the $125,000 Louisiana Stakes (Gr. 3) on January 16. He hasn’t been in the same form since winning the Louisiana Derby, but certainly has something left in the tank and has been strong in workouts leading up to today. In his most recent workout, Wells Bayou completed 4 furlongs in 59.80 seconds on February 6.
Maxfield is undefeated with four straight wins in his career, including the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders Futurity (Gr. 1) over a very nice horse in Gouvenour Morris in 2019 by 5 ½ lengths. He reappeared on May 23 in the $150,000 Matt Winn Stakes (Gr. 3) at Churchill Downs. Maxfield was one leg of my Pick 5 win at Churchill Downs that day. He continues to win since then, with a victory in the $75,000 Tenacious Stakes by 2 ½ lengths over Sonneman. Maxfield was clear inside in the stretch run. I am backing Maxfield to go 5 for 5 in his first outing as a four-year-old.
Race 11 – Royal Alexandra Stakes
Post Time: 5:47 p.m. CST
The $300,000 Royal Alexandra Stakes (Gr. 2) is a 6-furlong race on the main track. Nine horses are expected to participate in the event. Clairiere and Travel Column should be watched closely in the stretch run. Clairiere has looked good so far in her career, with solid results so far with a win and placing 2nd in two performances.
She beat Super Quick by a half length in a $85,000 assignment to open her career. Clairiere was able to show some nice drive following the ⅜ pole where she was 8th at the time. In her next appearance, Clairiere came back for her stakes debut on November 28 and did well in the $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes (Gr. 2).
It didn’t result in a win, but Clairiere placed 2nd behind Travel Column by 1 length for a pretty decent debut as a stakes runner. They will meet in a rematch on Saturday afternoon at Fair Grounds. Travel Column has finished 1st, 3rd, 1st in her career. She has a win in a $97,000 maiden special weight event over Off We Go by 4 ¼ lengths in a $97,000 assignment
In Travel Column’s next outing, she looked good again to show 3rd in a Grade 1 event in the $350,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes. Back down in class for the Golden Rod, Travel Column cleared Clairiere by a length. Travel Column is a $850,000 Brad Cox horse that is expected to have a successful career. It should include a win in the Royal Alexandra Stakes.