Table Stakes Tries to Get Back to Winning Ways in Risen Star Stakes

Risen Star Stakes – Grade II [KYD]
FG   Race #13   1 1/16m   Dirt   Graded Stake
Purse $400.000  For Three Year Olds.

1 Tune Me Up, trained by John Henry
Competed in high level maidens taking his third try by a length over five furlongs. That win showed off his ability but when he took on The Champagne next out his limitations looked a little exposed. Starting off close to the pace he gradually went out of contention eventually finishing last by eight lengths. unperturbed his trainer then tried the DED Jackpot where he ran much better to be second but once again struggled at the end of his race. The biggest and most obvious question mark will be his stamina here but his best mile works are in the right ball park and the inside alley will help.

2 Illustrious, trained by Mb Stables
Took the usual route for this stables later maturing KYD hopes by winning a lower level maiden and a very average allowance. Of course he won that allowance easily and then went onto a more appropriate level of competition to get home by a head in the ungraded Smooth Air. With three wins in a row he started off the year in the Sham Stakes at grade three where he looked the winner for a while before flattening out and ending up second. That wasnt a bad first up effort and it is just a matter of which of the stables three runners will be most advantaged by instructions.

3 Table Stakes, trained by Barcelona Farms
This was the talking horse of last year after an eight length maiden win followed some insane work out times. He then came out of that low level maiden and took the grade one Breeders Futurity by a clear cut two lengths and there was some including myself that thought this one was a freak of digital nature. Drawn the very outside in the BC juvenile he ran a magnificent race to be fifth beaten a length after being prominent throughout. After those three runs he was a little disappointing in the Springboard Mile in his last start when second to Newsnight but he was only beaten a neck so it was hardly a disaster. His works are now pretty much the norm for an entry in this sort of race but whichever way you look at his horse he remains a potential superstar.

4 Liverpool Rocket, trained by Estero Farms
Bought for $175.000 Golden Stables the investment on paper didnt look so good after two races for the new owner but in both those starts there was a very credible draw excuse and he showed what he was really about when a brilliant all the way winner in the LA Futurity. With three horrible draws in a row he was due a change of luck and todays gate looks perfect for him to track the outside speed and launch himself down the stretch. A flying 1.36 and 2 work out at GP puts him in tip top form and i expect a huge run from the Kopites bred gelding.

5 Subutai, trained by EasyMoney Stables
This stable knows how to win a KYD and this very accomplished gelding may just be flying under the radar. He took the Bashford Manor before a couple of solid efforts but really picked up the bit after being gelding in September. A good fourth in the Breeders Futurity was followed by a flying finish from a long way back in the BC juvenile that saw him beaten less than a length into third. Drawn poorly in that race he again faced a tough draw on his seasonal debut when another flying late finish saw him third in the Lecompte. A much better draw today will see him to advantage and i expect him to be a leading contender.

6 Drift, trained by D J C Racing Stables
He built nicely to a couple fo wins before taking on graded company for the first time in The Pilgrim. Taken back that day he made up plenty of ground to end up sixth which wasnt too bad and led his trainer to keep him closer to the pace in the BC Juvenile Turf where he again raced into sixth but this time after stalking the lead. With both his wins and his black type efforts coming on turf he is difficult to read for this race but a 1.37 flat mile work at the end of january suggests he is at least as good on dirt and he takes his chance to get on the TC trail today.

7 People Doubted, trained by Mb Stables
The second of the stables entries he was looking like a superstar after a 4 length win in a PRX allowance but failed to really step up on that in his subsequent runs. His third in the Breeders Futurity wasnt exactly bad, in fact it was very good but he had everything in his favor that day and just couldn’t quicken up at the end. The same thing happened in the DED Jackpot where he was fourth, another good run but he just didnt have the pace at the end to really threaten the win. His trainer spotted this lack of a turn of foot too as he tried him on the turf last time out but suffered the same result. He’s a good sort with a high cruising speed but his one paced finish causes me concern in this competitive line up.

8 Siberian Prince, trained by Sir Daniel Martin
He raced nearly entirely on the turf last year finishing with a  stunning victory in the BC Juvenile Turf and whilst it would’ve been easy for his trainer to continue on that route there is only one TC and that is on the dirt. To that end he took his chance in the Remsen and ran OK to be sixth but didnt show the same sort of zip he had in the BC. His dirt works this season have been that of a serious KYD contender so on that score he should be in this but i will need to see his best turf form reproduced on dirt before i become a believer.

9 Rough Housing, trained by Smokey Stover
This $20.000 purchase has proved four times now that he has a serious motor and comes into this race the only unbeaten runner. After three good wins in overnight company he proved he had the class to win at black type with a decent win in the Pasco Stakes but this will be his biggest test to date as he bids to get on the TC trail. His work times are good, not the best but racing heart is a big deal here and he looks to have plenty of it. A sticky draw may prove tricky but there are plenty of positives for him and it would be no surprise to see him run very well.

10 Indistinguishable, trained by Mb Stables
The stables third runner and possibly their best but he has to cope with a wide draw here which may bring him back to the pack a little. He won a couple of statebred black type races before being sent out in the DMR Futurity where he ran a cracker to be beaten just a neck after a game finish. A late finish saw him fifth in the Front runner next up but a wide draw didnt help that day and he showed his best from an inside gate in his latest start the DED Jackpot. Racing in the stalk he waltzed home by a very impressive two lengths  but he will find it hard to get such an ideal trip from this draw. His works are slick and it looks like the draw will be his biggest hurdle to winning today.

11 Zombie City, trained by Pan Farms
Started the KYD trail early by taking the Jerome on the 1st January by a fairly comfortable length. That win came off a second in his previous start in the KY Jockey Club where he finished fast to be beaten a length. Like the horse inside him he has the ability to win this but a wide draw will make it pretty difficult for him and he will need a bit of luck to get a decent trip.

13 El Gran Landing, trained by Sccj Stables
Gets in off the ballot and has the nightmare of the extreme outside draw to contend with. He has run some nice races, second in the Sanford, a decent fifth in the Hopeful but at the end of the day he will have to be two lengths better than these to win from the outside and i am not sure he is.

As it should have there is plenty of talent in this race. Table Stakes looks to build on his reputation and Indistinguishable will be trying his best to over come the draw but i rather like Liverpool Rocket or Subutai to take down those big reputations.

Categories: Grade II, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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