As the NFL celebrates its 100 anniversary, the league welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. The Chiefs, 1.5-point favorites in Super Bowl 54, won Super Bowl 4 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings as 12-point underdogs. Their opponents, the San Francisco 49ers have won five of six Super Bowl appearances but none since a 1995 victory in Super Bowl 29.
2018 Risen Star Stakes Picks
Risen Star Stakes Preview and Odds
The second of three Kentucky Derby preps run at Fair Grounds, the Risen Star offers Derby qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 scale. Given that the cut-off to make the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field for the past two years was right around 30 points, a win on Saturday would pretty much lock up a spot for that horse, while even a second-place finish might be enough for Lecomte Stakes winner Instilled Regard who currently sits in ninth place on the leaderboard with 14 points.
Off that effort in the Lecomte, where he won by 3 3/4 lengths after running 3 to 4 wide in the turns, Instilled Regard has been made the solid 8-5 morning line favorite for the Risen Star. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the Kentucky-bred son of Arch began his career racing in southern California, where he broke his maiden in his third try at Santa Anita. Following that he moved up to stakes company, where he ran very well to grab second in the (G1) Los Alamitos Futurity, sandwiched between Derby contenders McKinzie and Solomini.
Never worse that third in five lifetime starts, and with an apparent affinity for the Fair Grounds dirt, Instilled Regard is a solid bet to book his ticket to Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Lecomte Challengers Back to Try Again
Along with Instilled Regard, both the second and third-place finishers in the Lecomte are back to challenge for the Risen Star. Pincipe Guilherme (7-2) is also a previous winner at Fair Grounds, having won at the allowance level on the track back in December, his second lifetime win in two starts. In the Lecomte, he had to break from the outside post #10 and raced very wide throughout, but still managed to get up for second albeit well back of the winner.
He'll have to overcome the same wide post here, but gets an extra 1/16 of a mile to work with, and perhaps that will be enough to get closer at the wire.
Checking in third in the Lecomte was Snapper Sinclair (8-1) who enjoyed an excellent trip on that day and managed to poke his head in front with a quarter-mile to run, but could not keep up with the top two in the lane. Expect him to be running near the front early once again, but in contrast to Principe Guilherme, the added distance here will be tough for him to overcome.
A new shooter trying to upset the apple cart is Todd Pletcher's Noble Indy (5-1) who comes in with a maiden win and an allowance score in two lifetime tries at Gulfstream Park. In the second of those he chased quick early fractions and then won the duel in the stretch to win by 3/4 of a length, with the runner up more than six lengths ahead of the field. A repeat of that race on Saturday in New Orleans makes him a solid play on exacta and trifecta tickets, if not for the win.
The Risen Star Stakes goes Saturday, February 17 from Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Lousiana. It's race #9 of 12 on the Fair Grounds Saturday card, which also features the running of the (G2) Rachel Alexandra Stakes for three-year-old fillies, which is a qualifying race for the 2018 Kentucky Oaks.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- High North (15-1)
- Noble Indy (5-1)
- Givemeaminit (15-1)
- Snapper Sinclair (8-1)
- Instilled Regard (8-5)
- Supreme Aura (8-1)
- Bravazo (8-1)
- Kentucky Club (30-1)
- Principe Guilherme (7-2)
- Ebben (30-1)
Risen Star Picks
- 1) #5 - Instilled Regard
- 2) #9 - Principe Guilherme
- 3) #2 - Noble Indy
- 4) #4 - Snapper Sinclair
Bet the Risen Star and Rachel Alexandra Stakes with your account at Bovada's racebook, and also take a shot at picking a Derby winner at big odds with a bet in Bovada's 2018 Kentucky Derby future bets.
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