Friday, February 24, 2017

Risen Star 2017

Triple Crown Coverage starts now for the ChicagoRailbird. Thinking about horses running in circles is the perfect salve for a cold and dark thoroughly Februaried Chicagoland. Nevermind that it's been a glorious 70 degrees or the darker implications this weather presages. We're talking horses now. And I should start by shouting out Gun Runner who took down the Razorback last week with so much light between him and his nearest foe. Gun Runner was up for third in the Derby last year under stalwart (former?) Chicago rider Florent Geroux who's truly blooming.

I imagine that when the Kentucky Derby was first conceived it was probably thought of as the introduction of new talent. For some this has held true, especially horses with lower breeding ROIs like California Chrome and Animal Kingdom. But, for the majority of this century, the Kentucky Derby has been the horse's last victory (see Nyquist, Orb, Super Saver, Mine that Bird, Barbaro, Giacamo, Smarty Jones, Monarchos, Fusiachi Pegasus). And if we want to look at wins as a 4 year old that list becomes very select ( again the breeding shed value darlings: Chrome and Animal Kingdom). I bring this up to show how much I like Gun Runner and his connections for giving us someone to cheer for. 

Risen Star Analysis 
Mo Town is off the layoff and he's been eager in the mornings at Payson. Dutrow says he's happy, but that's what every trainer says. He doesn't have to win this, but he does seem to have the best chance. Guest Suite who won the LeComte also has a great shot. He finishes his races well, which suits this oval. He was no match for McCracken, but McCracken could be a beast. Untrapped was up for 2nd in the LeComte and should also be in the thick of it in the late stages. Nothing too cute here. Finally Reddam brings an Eskenderaya colt named So Conflated whose form improved over the Tapeta in last. It was smart to get this colt out of California, but post 14 in Louisiana doesn't seem ideal either. 

Mo Town 
Guest Suite
So Conflated