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Nominations have been announced for the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) and the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The co-headlining prep races for the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and Longines Kentucky Oaks will be run on Saturday, Feb. 17, along with four other stakes on the Louisiana Derby Preview Day card.
The 1 1/8 miles Risen Star and the 1 1/16 miles Rachel Alexandra mark the next stage for Derby and Oaks prep races as they offer 50-25-15-10-5 qualifying points to the top five finishers.
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Post positions for the Feb. 17 card (noon CT first post) which also includes the $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) Presented by Relyne GI By Hagyard, the $175,000 Fair Grounds Stakes (G3) presented by Horse Racing Nation, the $100,000 Colonel Power Stakes, and the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes will be drawn on Saturday, Feb 10.
Along with the 60 early nominations for the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 23, which automatically subscribes a horse for the Risen Star, seven more late nominations were accepted. Chad Brown nominated the Remsen place-finisher, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg, Brook Smith, and Peter Brant’s Sierra Leone.
Having to scratch Maycocks Bay from the Southwest (G3), where he was the morning line favorite, Mike Stidham nominated the impressive winner of a local allowance to the Risen Star.
Charles Fipke’s homebred Bee Dancer was nominated by trainer Dallas Stewart having beaten a strong field of 3-year-old maidens on “Road to the Derby Preview Day.”
Todd Pletcher nominated two more colts, bringing his total to six, Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables’s Pilgrim (G2)-winner Agate Road and Stonestreet Stable’s Cardinale, who followed up his debut win by running second in a two-turn allowance, both at Gulfstream Park.
The Rachel Alexandra closed with 18 nominations, led by four from trainer Brad Cox: Full of Run Racing II and Madaket Stables’ Untapable-victress Alpine Princess, Gary and Mary West’s Silverbulletday-winner West Omaha, and two who scored last out on the “Road to the Derby Preview Day” undercard, Godolphin’s Tarifa and Sumaya U. S. Stables’ Ghalia Princess.
Winner of the Golden Rod (G2), Bradley Thoroughbreds, Laura Leigh Stable, Scott Estes, and Cambron Equine’s Intricate was nominated by Brendan Walsh. Pretty Mischievous, the heroine of last year’s Rachel Alexandra from Walsh’s barn, went on to win Kentucky Oaks 149 and later be named 3-year-old Filly Eclipse Award champion.
Todd Pletcher nominated the winner of the Demoiselle (G2), Mike Repole’s Life Talk. Steve Asmussen nominated a trio, including the Silverbulletday place-finisher, Whisper Hill Farm’s Perfect Shot.
Ken McPeek’s two nominees include Brownwood Farm’s Sistina Chapel and MJM Racing and Magdalena Racing’s V V’s Dream, who followed up her dominant Pocahontas (G3) win with a place-finish in the Alcibiades (G1).
Tom Amoss nominated two fillies, Gregory Tramontin’s Alys Beach, who ran third in the Alcibiades (G1), as well as Richard Emmett and Joel Politi’s Standoutsensation.
The 1 1/16 miles $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) Presented by Relyne GI By Hagyard attracted 16 older males. Brad Cox, Ken McPeek, Joe Sharp, and Steve Asmussen each nominated two.
The millionaire 4-year-old colt who finished second to Saudi Crown in the Louisiana (G3), Red Route One leads Asmussen’s pair of nominees, which also includes Magic Tap. Both are bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds.
The three turf stakes on the Louisiana Derby Preview Day card each received a sizable number of nominations.
Run at 1 1/8 miles on the Stall Wilson turf course, the $175,000 Fair Grounds Stakes (G3) presented by Horse Racing Nation received 32 nominations.
Mike Maker leads all trainers with four nominations, most notably Three Diamond Farms’ 2023 Pegasus Turf (G1) winner Atone, as well as Paradise Farms, David Staudacher, and Angelo Carlesimo’s Chasing the Crown, who set a new track record at one mile in a “Road to the Derby Preview Day” undercard turf allowance.
Gary Barber and Kinsman Stable’s Strong Quality, who won the Colonel Bradley gate-to-wire, leads Mark Casse’s trio of Fair Grounds Stakes nominees.
Steve Asmussen nominated the Woodchopper champion, Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing’s Gigante, who with five stake titles on his resume is knocking on the door of one million in lifetime earnings.
Nominations for the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, closed with 16 fillies and mares, including the Marie G. Krantz exacta: The Estate of Brereton C. Jones’s Creative Cairo, one of two from trainer Lindsay Schultz, and Gervais Racing’s Join the Dance (trained by Dallas Stewart).
Twenty-three older turf sprinters were nominated to the 5 1/2 furlongs $100,000 Colonel Power, including the exacta finishers from the series’ first two stakes: Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, and R.T Racing Stable’s Sosua Summer and Griffon Farms and Michelle Lovell’s homebred Just Might.
The list of nominees and the past performances for all six stakes to be run at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday, Feb. 17 can be found here:
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