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Fantasy Horse Racing

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Update: Risen Star Looms Brightly

War of Will winning the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes (Credit: Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.)

Each week, this important article will provide the standings, power rankings, and recent transactions for every league member. Not only will you see the latest claims in the league (which will show you what horses might be up-and-coming), but you will also get updates on the runners as they prepare for their next starts along the Kentucky Derby Trail. One Kentucky Derby prep race, the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, occurred last weekend, so let’s see how that race impacted the latest standings.

Current Standings

Ranking Team Score Current Team Members
1Jon White/Ryan Stillman 195Improbable, Omaha Beach, War of Will, Maximum Security, Alwaysmining
2Paul "Free Beers" Withrow152Game Winner, Super Steed, US Navy Cross, Anothertwistafate, Roadster
3Brandon "B$" Bauer151Haikal, Galilean, So Alive, Tacitus, Global Campaign
4Aaron Halterman 131Mucho Gusto, Gunmetal Gray, Long Range Toddy, Bankit, Cornacchia
5The Fans: Austin and Bones91Vekoma, Sueno, Tax, Owendale, Mihos
6Patrick "Mad Dog" Meagher86Signalman, Code of Honor, Elvis, Knicks Go, Rowayton
7Mike "Saratoga Slim" Spector57Instagrand, Kingly, Mind Control, Dream Maker, Dessman
8Jared Welch 36Country House, Gun It, Spinoff, Intrepid Heart, Gray Attempt
9The Magic Mike Show27Mucho, Limonite, Plus Que Parfait, Well Defined, Walking Thunder
10Dan "Wise Dan" Waite5Standard Deviation, By My Standards, Win Win Win, Bourbon War, Nolo Contesto

Recent Claims and Trades

There are four claims to announce this week:

  • Saratoga Slim claimed Dream Maker and dropped Federal Case
  • Magic Mike claimed Limonite and dropped Moretti 
  • Brandon claimed Haikal and dropped Coliseum
  • Dan claimed Mr. Money and dropped Uncle Benny

There is one trade to announce this week:

  • Dan traded Maximus Mischief to Jared for Standard Deviation 

Risen Star Picks

Power Rankings

1. Jon White/Ryan Stillman – This team remains number-one in the Power Rankings, and they could also be first in the standings at the end of the week as well because War of Will runs in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes on Saturday. He will be the favorite in the race, despite his poor outside post position. This team also has two other stars that are preparing for races, with Hidden Scroll targeting the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park and top pick Improbable preparing to run in March at either Oaklawn Park or Santa Anita.

2. Aaron Halterman – The current leader in the points standings will have a chance to extend his lead this holiday weekend in Monday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Long Range Toddy and Bankit are both targeting that race, which would help this team continue to build up points in the early races. The team still lacks a star horse on the roster.

3. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – This team picks up Dream Maker, an impressive allowance winner at Fair Grounds last weekend, and should also be encouraged by Dessman‘s second-place effort in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes. He will probably try a Derby prep in his next start. Like we’ve said for weeks, the success of this team still hinges on Instagrand, who is nearing a return to the races.

4. Jared Welch – The defending champ is out of the negatives; however, last week should be considered a downer. Kentucky Wildcat made a nice move to finish second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, but he was injured right after the wire and is now off the Derby trail. Things could get better in a hurry this week with both Country House and Gun It in the Risen Star and Gray Attempt in the Southwest. He also picked up Maximus Mischief in a trade with Dan while giving up Standard Deviation.

5. Patrick “Mad Dog” Meagher – Almost amazingly, this team is now third in the points standings, even though he has had just two off-the-board finishes from his team. He has not wasted points on claims, which has him in position to make a move, but his team has to get going in a hurry. Knicks Go was a no-show last weekendSignalman needs to make a strong 2019 debut, and Code of Honor has to bounce back with a nice effort next time out.

6. Dan “Wise Dan” Waite – Remember when Dan drafted Mr. Money and then dropped him? Well, he has him back once again, just in time for his start in this weekend’s Risen Star, a claim that could pay immediate dividends. This team also officially gave up on Maximus Mischief, trading him to Jared and getting back Standard Deviation.

7. Brandon “B$” Bauer – It was a mixed bag last weekend for this team. Global Campaign was fantastic in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park, and So Alive was a decent third in the Sam F. Davis. However, Coliseum was pathetic in the San Vicente, which caused this team to drop him for Haikal. There is still reason for optimism, though, but the other horses need to run in prep races soon.

8. Paul “Free Beers” Withrow – He will have a runner this weekend when Anothertwistafate makes the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby gate at Golden Gate. That would be a big win for a team that is still putting all of its eggs in the Game Winner basket. If he comes back strong, then all is well, but if not, then this team will be in major trouble.

9. The Magic Mike Show – The team was thrilled to pick up Limonite this week while dropping the sluggish Moretti. That gives this team two Risen Star runners, with Plus Que Parfait also entered to run. A solid performance from either horse will move this team up the Power Rankings next week, but if they both struggle, then things could get ugly in a hurry for this team.

10. The Fans: Austin and Bones – The Fans are slowly moving up the points standings by being patient and not claiming horses currently. This strategy could pay off, and Owendale provides a shot to pick up valuable points in the Risen Star. Things are finally looking up for this team.

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