Many opportunities on stakes-lalden Risen Star card at Fair Grounds

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Ed DeRosa

February 20th, 2016

However you like to play the races, Saturday's Risen Star Stakes card at Fair Grounds is likely to have an opportunity for you, as the 12-race card features five stakes, big favorites, playable longshots, interesting maidens, and three Pick 4s to tie it all together. is offering a million-point bounty on each Pick 4. James Scully already took an in-depth look at the all-stakes (races 8-11) Pick 4, and he is a lot narrower in the Risen Star Stakes (race 11) than I am. Listen to the Preview Podcast for cases to be made for price horses such as Bistraya and Zapperini.

In order to spread sufficiently in the Risen Star, I'll have to be narrow elsewhere. The gamble there is that you'll need a price in the Risen Star if you lean too heavily on both Stageplay in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes and Chocolate Ride in the Fair Grounds Handicap. Beat one and you can be OK. Beat both and Uncle Sam might take 25% off the top.

It's a tough balance for me because while I do see both those favorites as the most likely winners, it's hard to imagine either will offer fair value in any pool. As I mentioned in my Kentucky Derby Dream Bet post, I like the California shippers in both three-year-old races today: #4 Forever Darling in the Rachel Alexandra and #4 Bistraya in the Risen Star, but I will single Stageplay on some plays. She's just too likely to burn up a Pick4 play. Forever Darling is a watch the tote type for sure, though.

Similar feelings on the turf stakes where Chocolate Ride looks even more likely a winner than Stageplay, but that's not to say he's a lock either. Wireless Future interests me the most from a win betting perspective, and Departing has run well enough to win in this spot.

Here is the ABC grid for the day: