Risen Star and Rachel Alexandra Nominations Announced

Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Notes Writer/Media Relations
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  • Nominees highlighted from all six stakes on Louisiana Derby Preview Day

New Orleans, La (Feb. 8, 2021) – Nominations have been announced for the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) presented by Lamarque Ford and the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and Longines Kentucky Oaks preps will be run on Saturday, Feb. 18, 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 50-20-15-10-5 qualifying points to the top five finishers. 

Post positions for the Feb. 18 card (noon CT first post) which also includes the $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) presented by Relyne GI by Hagyard, the $150,000 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 11. 

Along with the 56 early nominations for the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 25, which automatically subscribes a horse for the Risen Star, ten more late nominations were accepted. Steve Asmussen nominated two more colts, Three Chimneys Farm’s impressive debut winner First Defender and Whisper Hill Farm and Three Chimneys Farm’s Shopper’s Revenge, making eleven total from the Asmussen barn. Brad Cox added one more as Gary and Mary West’s Aristocracy brings the Cox barn total to twelve. The Cox barn won the Lecomte (G3) with Instant Coffee. Trainer Todd Pletcher nominated Whisper Hill Farm’s Classic Catch and Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable‘s Crupi.

Another late nominee to the Risen Star is R.T. Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine’s Sun Thunder, who finished fourth in the Southwest (G3) for trainer Ken McPeek.

The only two fillies nominated to the 2023 Triple Crown, Gold Standard Racing’s Hoosier Philly and Stonestreet Stables’ Julia Shining are both nominated to the Rachel Alexandra. After a perfect 3-for-3 juvenile campaign, the Golden Rod (G2) winner Hoosier Philly has fired two bullet workouts for trainer Tom Amoss since returning from her vacation in Florida. The Demoiselle Stakes (G2) winner Julia Shining is a full sister to Malathaat. Two-for-two, she has been training at Palm Meadows for Todd Pletcher.

Brad Cox leads all trainers with four fillies nominated to the Rachel Alexandra, including the Silverbulletday-exacta: Ike and Dawn Thrash’s The Alys Look and Selective LLC’s Chop Chop. Cox and the Thrashes teamed up to win the 2022 Rachel Alexandra with Turnerloose.

The 1 1/16 miles $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) presented by Relyne GI by Hagyard attracted a big crowd of older males including a handful who ran in the 148th Kentucky Derby: Peachtree Stables’ Tawny Port, one of five nominated by Brad Cox, WSS Racing’s Barber Road (John Ortiz), and Sumaya U.S. Stables’ Pioneer of Medina (Todd Pletcher). Steve Asmussen nominated three, most notably George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred’s graded stakes winner Max Player.

Other notables on the nomination list include Lothenbach Stable’s Happy American, the impressive Louisiana (G3) and the Tenacious winner from Neil Pessin’s barn; Jet Set Racing Stable’s Super Corinto (ARG), a Group 1 winner trained by Amador Sanchez; and Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Hoist the Gold, third last out to Taiba and Forbidden Kingdom in the Malibu (G1) for trainer Dallas Stewart. 

The three turf stakes on the Louisiana Derby Preview Day card will be limited to fields of eight with the portable rail set at 34 feet out. 

Run at about 1 1/8 miles on the Stall Wilson turf course, the $150,000 Fair Grounds Stakes (G3) presented by Horse Racing Nation received 23 nominations. Mike Maker leads all trainers with five nominations, most notably Three Diamond Farms’ Pegasus Turf (G1) winner Atone. Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ Tiz the Bomb, who ran in last year’s Kentucky Derby, was nominated by trainer Ken McPeek, along with Walking L. Thoroughbreds’ Camp Hope. Trainer Dallas Stewart nominated the 2022 Fair Grounds Stakes winner, West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook and Robert Masiello’s Cavalry Charge.

Nominations for the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes, run at about 1 1/16 miles on the turf, closed with 15 fillies and mares, including the Marie G. Krantz trifecta: Hernandez Racing’s Wave of Goodness (trained by Armando Hernandez), Godolphin’s Lake Lucerne and John Gallegos’ My Philly Twirl, both trained by Brendan Walsh. 

A mix of turf and dirt horses were nominated to the about 5 1/2 miles $100,000 Colonel Power, a sprint across the Stall-Wilson turf course.  Ken Copenhaver’s Pyron (Al Stall Jr.) won last year’s installment of the Colonel Power is one of 25 nominated, including Susan Moulton’s graded-stakes winner Manny Wah (Wayne Catalano) and multiple-stakes winner Ed and Susie Orr’s All in Sync (Steve Asmussen). Big Chief Racing, Rocker O Ranch, and Keith Desormeaux’s Surveillance was nominated in pursuit of his fourth stakes victory in a row.

The list of nominees and the past performances for all six stakes to be run at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday, Feb. 18 can be found here: https://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorsemenAreaSNHW.cfm?trk=FG.


About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 15 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 151st Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 110th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from Nov 18, 2022 through March 26, 2023. More information is available online at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.