This weekend is set to see many big races with some of the top runners in the sport. The most anticipated of these races is the Risen Star Stakes (G2), a Kentucky Derby qualifier offering points on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
Another Derby qualifying race, the Southwest Stakes, was rescheduled to Feb. 20 due to weather conditions. Also, due to weather conditions, the following races were postponed at Oaklawn: Razorback on Feb 13 and Bayakoa on Feb 15.
Here’s a look at the big stakes races this weekend:
Fair Grounds Race 10 – Mineshaft Stakes G3
The $200,000 Mineshaft Stakes is open to 4-year-olds and up. The event covers 1 1/16 miles.
The field of seven includes big names like the Brad Cox-trained Wells Bayou, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Louisiana Stakes (G2) at the track. Sonneman, trained by Hall of Fame Steve Asmussen, and Godolphin’s Maxfield are some other top names in the field.
Fair Grounds Race 12 – Rachel Alexandra S G3
Open to 3-year-old fillies, the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra covers 1 1/16 miles. The field of nine is led by OXO Equine’s Travel Column.
The Frosted filly is making her first start as a sophomore after winning two of three races in 2020. Her biggest rivals coming into the race include Stonestreet Stables’ homebred Clairiere and Live Oak Plantation’s Souper Sensational.
Fair Grounds Race 13 – Risen Star S G2
The most anticipated race of the weekend, the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes offers qualifying points into the Kentucky Derby. The highly competitive field of 13 is led by names like Juddmonte Farms’ Mandaloun, who finished third in the Jan. 16 Lecomte Stakes (G3).
The field will also include Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith, and Spendthrift Farms’ Keepmeinminnd, winner of the Nov. 28 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
Santa Anita Race 8 – Santa Monica Stakes G2
The highlight race on Saturday’s Santa Anita card, the $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes (G2) is open to 4-year-old and up fillies and mares. The race covers seven furlongs and is led by Godolphin’s Fair Maiden, a 4-year-old Street Boss filly.
She is looking to prove that her longshot victory in the La Brea Stakes (G1) was not a fluke. She went into that race at 20-1 odds before taking a 2 1/4-length victory.
Laurel Park Race 7 – Runhappy Barbara Fritchie S G3
The $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G3) is an event for 4-year-old and up fillies and mares that covers seven furlongs. The highlight race on Saturday’s Laurel Park card will see Hello Beautiful looking for her first graded stakes win.
The runner has an impressive record of 7-2-1 from 13 starts, and she is coming off a victory in the Jan. 16 What A Summer Stakes (Black Type) at Laurel Park.
Laurel Park Race 8 – General’s Stakes (G3)
The $250,000 General’s Stakes closes out the stakes races on Laurel Park’s card. The event for 4-year-olds and up runs seven furlongs, and the field of 10 is set to include runners like Hillside Equestrian Meadows’ Laki.
The 8-year-old gelding from Cuba has an extensive career record with 10 wins, seven seconds, and five thirds. He is coming off a fourth-place run in the Jan. 16 Fire Plug Stakes (Black Type) at the track.
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