Scully: Handicapping All-Stakes Pick 5 on Risen Star program

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February 18th, 2022

Saturday’s Louisiana Derby Preview Day at Fair Grounds features a $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick 5, and the $400,000 Risen Star (G2), the first Kentucky Derby qualifier worth 85 points (50-20-10-5 scale) this year, anchors the all-stakes sequence.

Here are the horses I will use and my Pick 5 ticket.

Albert M. Stall Memorial S. – Race 9 (4:55 p.m. ET)

#8 Amiche will bring improving form to her first graded start, missing by a head to Lovely Ride when making her stakes debut in Dec. 27 Pago Hop S., and she should enjoy a perfect tracking trip on a projected slow pace. The four-year-old will be the one to catch turning for home.

#4 Out of Sorts adds blinkers after breaking poorly last time, and she’s eligible to make a late impact with a better trip. #7 Dawn’s Dancer should improve in her second stakes attempt, and her tactical speed is appealing.

Mineshaft (G3) – Race 10 (5:25 p.m. ET)

After finishing third in the Travers (G1), #5 Miles D earned a freshening, and he came back strong last fall, winning a pair of starts including the Discovery S. over Speaker’s Corner. The Chad Brown trainee appears poised for a fine four-year-old campaign, and he rates top billing from just off the pace.

#4 Olympiad, a sharp allowance scorer at Gulfstream in mid-January, merits respect for Bill Mott. #1 Sprawl looks like the speed from the inside in a field lacking pace and when he’s been able to dictate tempo, he’s easily wire-to-wire the last two times, including a Grade 3 event. Class concerns but interesting.

Fair Grounds (G3) – Race 11 (5:56 p.m. ET)

#3 Santin won his first two starts prior to a neck second in the Hollywood Derby (G1) last fall. The five-year-old appears to be training forwardly for his return, and he looks like a serious player in the spot with Tyler Gaffalione.

I’ll spread with #5 Monarchs Glen, #7 Halo Again, and #10 Largent.

Rachel Alexandra (G2) – Race 12 (6:27 p.m. ET)

A convincing maiden winner on class alone, #1 La Crete will benefit greatly from the seasoning gained in the Jan. 22 Silverbulletday S. She wound up on the lead by default last time and after being collared by stakes runner-up Fannie and Freddie, La Crete found more to win going away in her second start. That finishing kick will serve her well – she’s eligible to switch to stalking tactics given the speed entered Saturday – and La Crete’s Brisnet Speed ratings will continue to increase as she remains unbeaten.

Risen Star (G2) – Race 13 (6:58 p.m. ET)

If #8 Smile Happy moves forward off his convincing win in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), the rest of the field is running for second. Runner-up Classic Causeway and third-placer White Abarrio have already returned to post romping stakes wins, and Smile Happy appears to be training well for Kenny McPeek. But he is coming back from a layoff at a tricky nine-furlong distance.

#7 Zandon, who has experience at the distance finishing a nose second in the Remsen (G2) in early December, also will be used. Chad Brown opted to send the colt to Fair Grounds, instead of a Gulfstream prep at 1 1/16 miles

Late Pick 5 ticket: 4,7,8 with 1,4,5 with 3,5,7,10 with 1 with 7,8 = $36