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Brisnet Handicappers Edge Fair Grounds notes 2/16/10.
Discreetly Mine, Drosselmeyer take on locals in Risen Star
Lecomte winner Ron the Greek could face three serious challengers from Florida in Risen Star (Hodges Photography/Lynn Roberts)
Saturday's $300,000 Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds has the look of a regional showdown. Florida invaders DISCREETLY MINE (Mineshaft), DROSSELMEYER (Distorted Humor) and TEMPTED TO TAPIT (Tapit) are scheduled to descend upon New Orleans to test the best of the locally-based three-year-olds, including Lecomte S. (G3) hero RON THE GREEK (Full Mandate) and impressive allowance/optional claiming winners STAY PUT (Broken Vow) and HOTEP (A.P. Indy). As a result, the Risen Star figures to have a significant bearing not only on the March 27 Louisiana Derby (G2), but on the larger Kentucky Derby (G1) picture.
Ron the Greek has been pegged as the 3-1 favorite on the morning line, with Drosselmeyer at 4-1 and Discreetly Mine the third choice at 5-1.
Discreetly Mine, a half-brother to Grade 1 star Discreet Cat (Forestry), was one of the better two-year-olds of 2009. Then trained by Stanley Hough, Discreetly Mine romped by 6 1/4 lengths in his third start, defeating eventual Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) winner Super Saver (Maria's Mon). After a troubled runner-up effort behind D' Funnybone (D'wildcat) in the Futurity S. (G2), Discreetly Mine came back with a strong second in the Champagne S. (G1), where he forced a fast pace, held the lead in the stretch, and was just collared late by Homeboykris (Roman Ruler).
The bay was transferred to Todd Pletcher and made his debut for his new barn in the January 9 Spectacular Bid S. at Gulfstream Park, but little went according to plan that day. Discreetly Mine bobbled at the break, never looked entirely comfortable on the sloppy track, and was bumped soundly on the turn before checking in fourth. He has been training sharply in the interim at Palm Meadows, and appears ready to fire with new rider Javier Castellano.
While Discreetly Mine will be making his two-turn debut in the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star, his principal rivals are experienced over a route of ground. The Bill Mott-trained Drosselmeyer, who first attracted attention when demolishing a Churchill Downs maiden by six lengths, comes off a smart allowance score going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream on January 31. The WinStar Farm colt stayed on strongly in the stretch to finish up in 1:49 2/5, a solid time for the distance at that track. Regular rider Kent Desormeaux will be back aboard the highly-regarded Drosselmeyer as he takes on stakes rivals for the first time.
Tempted to Tapit is making his first start outside of maiden company, but the Steve Klesaris pupil earned his ticket here with an 11 1/2-length trouncing of his foes at Aqueduct on January 18. The gray gelding had previously finished second to both Laus Deo (Medaglia d'Oro), who went on to capture the Count Fleet S., and Schoolyard Dreams (Stephen Got Even), who just chased home Rule (Roman Ruler) in last Saturday's Sam F. Davis S. (G3). In the wake of those efforts, Tempted to Tapit added blinkers, and he looked like a different animal altogether with the new equipment last out. He subsequently shipped to Gulfstream, where he has been training briskly for his stakes bow. Jockey David Cohen will reunite with Tempted to Tapit, who promises to flash speed from post 2.
The deep closer Ron the Greek will be hoping for a blistering pace. A fast tempo in the January 23 Lecomte set the stage perfectly for his last-to-first rally, and an early crawl would make his task difficult. The Tom Amoss trainee, whose only loss was a closing fourth in the Springboard Mile S., keeps James Graham in the irons.
Stay Put likewise uncorked a potent move from the tail of the field in his January 3 victory at Fair Grounds. Unlike Ron the Greek, however, he did it off steady splits, without the help of a quick early pace. The Steve Margolis trainee defeated a few useful rivals in that contest, including LETSGETITONMON (Maria's Mon), who came back to finish a closing third in the Lecomte, and WORLDLY (A.P. Indy), who reported home fifth in the Lecomte. Jamie Theriot has the return call.
Hotep, who faded to fourth behind Stay Put in his return from a nearly two-month layoff, put forth a much improved performance next time out. A full brother to last year's Canadian champion three-year-old male, Eye of the Leopard, Hotep exploded from off the pace to take a February 1 allowance/optional claimer by 3 1/4 lengths. The Mark Frostad colt must overcome being stuck in post 12, however. Jockey Robby Albarado is tasked with managing that problem.
Also noteworthy in the 12-horse field is NORTHERN GIANT (Giant's Causeway), who invades from Oaklawn for D. Wayne Lukas. Runner-up to Stay Put in a Fair Grounds maiden last December, the bay exits an 11 1/4-length triumph in a maiden at the Hot Springs, Arkansas, track.
Devil May Care headlines Silverbulletday
Frizette S. (G1) heroine DEVIL MAY CARE (Malibu Moon), an uncharacteristic 11th when trying synthetic in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), will return to dirt as she makes her sophomore debut in Saturday's $150,000 Silverbulletday S. (G3) at Fair Grounds. The Todd Pletcher filly will face six opponents in the 1 1/16-mile affair, including four of the top five finishers from the January 23 Tiffany Lass S. at this venue.
Devil May Care won her first two career starts on the dirt. A 4 3/4-length maiden romper at Saratoga, she overcame a stumble at the start of the Frizette and held off the furious late charge of Awesome Maria (Maria's Mon) by a head. Devil May Care did not perform up to that level in the November 6 Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, where she was never in contention and had a rough trip in the stretch. Ironically, her half-brother Regal Ransom (Distorted Humor), a Grade/Group 2 winner on dirt, has also failed badly in his two attempts on synthetic. Devil May Care promises to show her true colors back on her preferred surface. Javier Castellano picks up the mount.
QUIET TEMPER (Quiet American), who had been runner-up in her first three tries in tough maiden company, broke through with a dynamic 7 3/4-length score in the Delta Princess S. (G3). Trained by Dale Romans, the bay sauntered to an effortless allowance/optional claiming victory at Fair Grounds next time out, and was accordingly bet down to 4-5 favoritism in the Tiffany Lass. Quiet Temper threw in a lackluster effort that day, tiring to fifth, and will try to bounce back with regular rider Robby Albarado.
JODY SLEW (Slew City Slew), the upset winner of the Tiffany Lass at 23-1, will bid to prove that performance was no fluke. Third in the grassy Caressing H. at Churchill Downs two starts back, she was subsequently switched to the Bret Calhoun barn. Jody Slew will look to go two-for-two for the trainer/jockey tandem of Calhoun and Miguel Mena here.
Tiffany Lass runner-up BELLA MEDAGLIA (Medaglia d'Oro) has been admirably consistent, never finishing out of the top two in four lifetime outings. Prior to just missing by a half-length to Jody Slew last out, she had gamely chased Quiet Temper in the aforementioned allowance/optional claimer. Shane Sellers has the return call.
Tiffany Lass fourth ELUSIVE JOZI (Johannesburg) looms as a pace factor, along with AGE OF HUMOR (Distorted Humor), a wire-to-wire winner of the January 9 Busanda S. at Aqueduct. Age of Humor has since been sold for $350,000 at the Keeneland January sale and transferred to Mike Maker. She has been training forwardly at Gulfstream Park, most recently firing a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 on Sunday. Kent Desormeaux will team up with Age of Humor for the first time.
Rounding out the field is three-time stakes queen THE RUMOR'S TRUE (Kafwain), who comes off a third in a Louisiana-bred stakes at Delta Downs.
Maximus Ruler to miss Risen Star
MAXIMUS RULER (Roman Ruler), runner-up behind Ron the Greek (Full Mandate) in the January 23 Lecomte S. (G3) at Fair Grounds, will not run in Saturday's Risen Star S. (G2) after coming up with a slight injury following a breeze Sunday morning at the New Orleans oval.
"He didn't want to place his right hind foot down toe to heel when he was being walked yesterday afternoon," trainer Clark Hanna said Monday morning. "Usually, he walks very forwardly, but when we took his shoe off his foot seemed to be a little sensitive. We took some pictures and they came back clean, so we gave him some hot water therapy and some anti-inflammatory medication to take the soreness out, and he seems to be much, much better this morning. Now, we're going to play things by ear, and evaluate him for a few days. We'll see how he does with no medication over the next 24 to 48 hours to make sure he's okay.
"I just don't feel comfortable running him back this weekend," Hanna added. "This is the best horse I've had in my lifetime and I don't want to ruin him. My best educated guess right now is it's only a stone bruise and he'll be fine, but he'll have plenty of other opportunities."
Maximus Ruler, who would have been one of the favorites in the Risen Star, finished third by a neck in his maiden debut at Churchill Downs on November 14 and returned two weeks later to break his maiden in an allowance at the same venue. He made his seasonal debut in the one-mile Lecomte, finished second to Ron the Greek by 1 1/2 lengths after leading through the opening seven furlongs.
Maximus Ruler, who sports a record of 3-1-1-1, $53,890, closed at 76-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Sunday.
Seven sophomore fillies will celebrate Fat Tuesday by contesting the $60,000 Mardi Gras S. over about 5 1/2 grassy furlongs at Fair Grounds. CHANTILLY NAYLA (Five Star Day), who was runner-up to eventual Grade 2 winner Amen Hallelujah (Montbrook) three back, shortens up off a hard-fought allowance score going about one mile on the turf here. Others with experience over the course include the undefeated MIDWAY HOLIDAY (Harlan's Holiday), two-for-two so far, and BABY SISTER (Tale of the Cat), who exits a maiden score at this distance. The Grade 3-placed KINSOLVING (Posse), unraced since capturing a stakes at Charles Town last August, will test the turf for the first time for Steve Asmussen. Also making their grass debuts are a pair of Tom Amoss fillies -- the speedy WICKED UNO (Macho Uno), who just lasted by a head in a 5 1/2-furlong dash that was transferred to the main track, and BRONX CITY GIRL (Yankee Gentleman), who tired late for third in the Genesis S. at Delta Downs last out. The Ronny Werner-trained HATHORS LEGACY (Buddha) takes a steep class hike in her turf debut…
On the Louisiana worktab
Grade 2 winner FRIESAN FIRE (A.P. Indy), a 1 3/4-length winner of the Louisiana H. on January 23, breezed four furlongs in :50 1/5 over the sloppy track at Fair Grounds on Monday. He's readying for Saturday's Mineshaft H. (G3).
Lecomte S. (G3) third LETSGETITONMON (Maria's Mon) worked in :49 3/5 over good conditions in advance of Saturday's Risen Star S. (G2).
Multiple Grade 3 veteran SILVERFOOT (With Approval) breezed in :52 3/5 in advance of Saturday's Fair Grounds H. (G3).
Debutante S. (G3) runner-up WILD FOREST CAT (D'wildcat) went four furlongs in :53 4/5.
Multiple stakes winner WILDRALLY (Wild Event), unplaced in his last two starts versus stakes rivals, negotiated five panels in 1:03 1/5.
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