Risen Star Stakes (Grade 2) (KYD)- $400.000 Purse
FG- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
February 15, 2020
In the first race of the KYD-chase that paid 50 points for the winner, we had a full field of twelve hoping to make a statement. It was a good mix of horses and we would be treated to an entertaining race. At the end, it would Spirited Stride, always considered a top contender in this division, picking up the win. Spirited Stride had an excellent two year old season, winning both the DMR Futurity and the Pharoah, each a Grade 1, but it was time to get another win. The trainer, Mb Stables, may have needed that, after watching Relax not have a good outing in the race that preceded this one. For Mb Stables, it is his second win in the race, having also done so in 2016 with Moment Of Madness. R Bejarano, also needing to redeem himself for the Relax run, is the winning jockey and does so for the third time. Congratulations to them! The race was won in a time of 1:48.26. It’s the first time the race has been run at this distance. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :46.81)- No one is fired out of the gate, and it took a little bit before we started to see the ones who would emerge as the early pacesetters. That began to clear up once we made it into the opening turn as Class Edge, the Chili King Stables entry who started on the outside, and Sweet Sweat, from Mb Stables, became the first two. They would be joined in this turned by Gdp Inc’s Bound Bay, and it would be that one with a half length lead at a half mile. Class Edge ran second, and moving into the third position early in the backstretch portion was our eventual winner from Mb Stables, Spirited Stride. He had a nice lane right to the inside of his stablemate, though he would have some more company on his own inside in the form of Estero Farms’ Dawning II. A length further back both Mystery, from Fractious, and Becket, the new member of the John Henry stable ran side by side. There was an approximate two length gap to the rest of the field. There we saw King Que Niagra (Aer Stables) and Zigs Really Poor (Rock Creek run side by side). In the third lane, about another length back was Anoush Command (Serenity Stables). At this point, Anoush Command was five lengths from the leaders. The trailers are Red Divos Alliance (TwinTowersRacing) and Stark (D J C Racing Stables).
(3/4 Mile- 1:10.55)- Moving down the backstretch, the first five horses are running in close proximity to one another, but none of them makes an effort to pull away from the other. Into the turn, Bound Bay is still the one in front, but Spirited Stride has wisely used this time to push himself into the second position while not over extending himself. For the turn, he is positioned quite well. Running five wide here is Class Edge, who is holding his own and still very much a threat right now. Sweet Sweat and Dawning II are the other two in this group of five, so it will be interesting to see how things end up for the stretch between them. There’s a slight gap to Becket, who rides the rail, and Mystery, who had the option to follow Spirited Stride through if wanted it. Anoush Command is now in front of those group that he had been running with, and has cut a length off of deficit. The others are still involved but not making a move yet.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Those front five horses continue to lead the way, and do it while running side by side. Spirited Stride was the best of all of them within the turn, and as they entered the top of the stretch, it began to look like he was going to put away the other four, leading by a half a length over them. The other four, still Bound Bay, Class Edge, Sweet Sweat, and Dawning II maintained their positions and all hoped for a strong run. As this was going on, there was not much room for someone to come through from behind, and for Anoush Command’s jockey K J Desormeaux, that created a tough decision. His horse was gaining ground, and on exit of the turn, it looked like he was going to take it six wide, and then suddenly called an audible. There was an option to the inside of Class Edge, and he would go for that lane instead. Becket and Mystery stayed in their lanes without much room to move at this point. Stark began to have visions of following Anoush Command through, certainly not a bad idea there. The three word name horses were lacking response.
(Finish- 1:48.26)- In impressive fashion, Spirited Stride holds off challengers from his inside, from his outside, and closing from behind to get this win. For much of the stretch he looked a little better then the rest of the field, but those he was running with since the start were still showing fight, and there was a great charge from another great horse coming, in Anoush Command. As they got closer, Anoush Command looked like the only one that could possibly beat him. Bound Bay was having a very steady run on the rail here as was Class Edge on the outside, but neither were putting a move on Spirited Stride. Despite all this, Spirited Stride prevails. Anoush Command does nothing wrong except failing to beat one horse, and you have to wonder if he will like going a little longer once the TC races get going. Class Edge never gave up and takes third while running five wide nearly the whole race, Bound Bay gets a solid fourth. Stark came from off the pace to end up fifth, ahead of Sweet Sweat and Dawning II, each of whom get credited with sixth. Rounding out the order, its Becket, Mystery, Red Divos Alliance, King Que Niagra, and Zigs Really Poor.
About The Winner- Spirited Stride, trained by Mb Stables, and ridden to victory by R Bejarano, is a three year old gelding by Worst Case Scenario, and is out of Xmas Fox. He was bred as a first quarter two year old in California by Mb Stables, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in nine starts, and his third stake win, all of which are graded. His career earnings are now $728.000.
Time: :464 1:102 1:351 1:481
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 3 – 8 Paid 54.00
$1 Trifecta: 3 – 8 – 12 Paid 657.40
Scratched: Cheap Trick
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES