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Homeracing

Local Hero, Honorable Duty among stakes plays at Fair Grounds

Profile Picture: James Scully

February 25th, 2017

Fair Grounds will offer six stakes races Saturday, including the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) and $200,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls, and players at TwinSpires.com have the opportunity to split 3 million TSC Elite points by wagering at least $150 on all of the stakes races. Be sure to click “Opt In” for eligibility.

Here are my thoughts on the stakes action:

5th race, Colonel Power: #2 Hogy enters 5 ½-furlong turf sprint in good form, registering triple-digit BRIS Late Pace numbers in the last two outings, and looks capable of getting the money today. Win wager.

7th race, Daisy Devine: A smart allowance winner over the course two back, #2 Cambodia experienced troubled trip finishing a close third in her stakes debut, the Marie Krantz Memorial. Lightly-raced 5yo mare can continue to show more for Tom Proctor. Win wager.

8th race, Minehsaft H. (G3): None of the eight entrants can be dismissed in this contentious field and #7 Honorable Duty will make his graded debut off an encouraging win in his first Fair Grounds appearance, the December 17 Tenacious. A lightly-raced 5yo by Distorted Humor, gelding didn’t break his maiden until last April at Keeneland and has captured four of his last six starts for Brendan Walsh, registering a career-best 100 BRIS Speed rating as well as commendable Pace numbers most recently. Honorable Duty will be sitting just off the leaders with his tactical speed and runs well fresh. Playing him to win and place and will key in vertical exotics. #3 December Seven and #6 Dazzling Gem will be added to multi-race tickets.

9th race, Rachel Alexandra (G2): Short but select field of seven 3yo fillies are set for the 1 1/16-mile clash and I will give a slight edge to #2 Farrell, who figures to flash to the front in an attempt to lead wire-to-wire. Don’t think we’ve seen the best of the daughter of Malibu Moon, who exits a 2 ¾-length victory in the January 21 Silverbulletday for trainer Wayne Catalano, and Farrell is starting to come on with back-to-back stakes wins to her credit. Win wager on the likely second choice in the wagering and spreading four-deep with #1 Untapped, #3 Shane’s Girlfriend and #5 Valadorna in Pick 4.

10th race, Fair Grounds H. (G3): Mike Maker has four of the nine runners and I will stick with #5 Granny’s Kitten off a nice win in the January 21 Colonel Bradley (G3) at Fair Grounds. Will play him to win and key in most vertical exotics. #8 Western Reserve is the possible lone speed and boxed in an exacta with Granny’s Kitten. #3 Blame Angel may not be good enough to win, but the reformed claimer brings improving form into this event, winning two of his last three turf starts and two in row at Fair Grounds last year, and 5yo son of Blame could crash the exotics at 20-1 on morning line. I’ll also use #2 Greengrassofyoming and #9 Oscar Nominated for the Pick 4.

11th race, Risen Star (G2): Doubt his 4-1 morning line will hold as #3 Local Hero figures to take plenty of action as the probable controlling speed in the Kentucky Derby qualifier. He’s displayed outstanding gate speed in the last two outings, immediately flashing to a clear lead, and I don’t expect to see him dueling up front today in a mostly paceless field. Hard Spun colt tried two turns and Fair Grounds with scintillating flair, rolling to a 7 ¼-length maiden tally on January 26, and promising sophomore should take another step forward for Steve Asmussen under favorable circumstances. Front-runner is a best bet.

All Stakes Pick 4

A 50-cent ticket starting in 8th race:

3,6,7 with 1,2,3,5 with 2,3,5,8,9 with 3 ($30)

Good luck!

The $25,000 Kentucky Derby Dream Bet is underway at TwinSpires.com and players can qualify for the final round by cashing a $5 win bet on one of the contest races, with the Risen Star being this week’s offering. Be sure to “Opt In” for eligibility from the contests & promotions page and brisnet.com has Ultimate PPs for the 2017 Triple Crown nominees

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