Rachel Alexandra Stakes & Risen Star Stakes Recaps

There were tales of the unexpected at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, when Angel Of Empire made his stakes breakthrough by landing a 13-1 upset in the G2 Risen Star and nailing down a place in the gate for the Kentucky Derby in the process. Half an hour earlier, the high-class juvenile Hoosier Philly was very disappointing in the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, trailing in third behind game-winner Pretty Mischievous.

Risen Star Stakes

G2, $400,000, 1m 1f dirt, 3yo

Empire in conquering mood

It was no surprise that Brad Cox came out of the Risen Star, the main event at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, with a strengthened Kentucky Derby portfolio, but it was still a surprise when his third-string Angel Of Empire outran Sun Thunder and Two Phil’s to claim 50 RTKD points and a safe spot in the gate at Churchill Downs.

Risen Star Race Video


Angel of empire wins the 2023 Risen Star #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horseracingtips #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

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This was the first stakes win for the Classic Empire colt, a 13-1 shot who came through under Luis Saez to take control in the last sixteenth, looking as though he’d be happy going longer. He got home by a length from rallying rail runner Sun Thunder, with Two Phil’s one-paced in third, a length and three-quarters further back. Hot favorite Victory Formation – Cox’s first-choice – tamely gave up his unbeaten record when dropping right out to finish ninth.

Angel Of Empire moved to the top of the RTKD leaderboard with this win, while Sun Thunder and Two Phil’s rose to fourth and fifth. Next stop for the winner, now 50-1 for the Derby on the Jazz future book, may well be the G2 Louisiana Derby back at the Fair Grounds on March 25.

Risen Star Stakes PayOuts

1. Angel Of Empire$29.40$16.00$8.80
2. Sun Thunder$14.80$8.60
3. Two Phil’s$4.60

Winning time: 1m 51.47s

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Rachel Alexandra Stakes

G2, $300,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 3yo fillies

Mischievous is pretty good

There was another upset in the Rachel Alexandra when star juvenile filly Hoosier Philly ran a flat third behind the progressive Pretty Mischievous, who outgamed longshot Miracle for a narrow victory and 50 RTKO points.

The stretch run was all about the first two, with 8-1 chance Pretty Mischievous getting on top of her tenacious rival after a stirring duel to win by three-quarters of a length under Tyler Gaffalione. Hoosier Philly, 2-5 favorite and unbeaten when the gates opened, had no kick at all and trailed in seven and three-quarter lengths behind.

Rachel Alexandra Stakes Race Video


Pretty Mischievous takes the 2023 Rachel Alexandra Stakes #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horseracingtips #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

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“She’s done awfully well from two to three and the last few weeks she really came into her own,” said trainer Brendan Walsh, who may keep his filly here for the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 25.

Pretty Mischievous – whose only defeat in five starts came in the G2 Golden Rod at the hands of Hoosier Philly – was cut to 20-1 for the Kentucky Oaks on the Jazz future book, behind new 8-1 favorite Faiza. Former favorite Hoosier Philly will bid to regroup but all thoughts of an audacious Derby bid are now over.

Rachel Alexandra Stakes PayOuts

1. Pretty Mischievous$18.20$6.60$3.40
2. Miracle $10.00$5.80
3. Hoosier Philly$2.10

Winning time: 1m 45.15s

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