2021 Triple Crown: Mandaloun Improves With Risen Star Win

The Risen Star produced yet another Kentucky Derby contender while Oaklawn Park had to push their scheduled Saturday prep, the Southwest Stakes. Check out what happened last Saturday in the Risen Star Stakes as well as why the top Derby and Triple Crown contender on the board must sit in his stall a bit longer. With that being said, let’s jump right into action so yo can keep placing your bets against their Triple Crown odds.

2021 Triple Crown Betting Predictions Update

2021 Kentucky Derby

  • When: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

Mandaloun wins Risen Star, Senor Buscador finishes fifth

Heading into the Risen Star Stakes, the horses garnering the most discussion were Brad Cox trained Mandaloun and the Mineshaft sired Sir Buscador. Mandaloun proved all the fuss was justified. Senor Buscador didn’t.

First, let’s talk about Mandaloun. Sired by Into Mischief and from Empire Maker broodmare Brooch, Mandaloun went off the odds-on chalk in the Lecomte. He failed to fire in the stretch. Cox added blinkers for the Risen Star.

The blinkers worked. Mandaloun tracked the speed, took over in the middle of the stretch and then drew off for a comfortable win. The horses that finished behind Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and Proxy, also ran well.

Midnight Bourbon couldn’t sustain the front-running tactics that led to the Lecomte victory. Proxy couldn’t catch Mandaloun. The Tapit sired runner did beat out Midnight Bourbon for second-place.

Proxy may have run the better race. The Kentucky Derby is at 1 ¼ miles while the Risen Star is at 1 1/8 miles. If Proxy provides the same run in the Derby that he did in the Risen Star, he could catch Mandaloun and the other front-runners and stalkers.

Because of his breeding, Tapit is his sire, Proxy is a better horse to back to win the Triple Crown than the Risen Star winner. Tapit has produced 3 Belmont Stakes winners.

We don’t call the Belmont the Test of Champions for nothing. We’ll see what happens in the Louisiana Derby next month.

As for Senor Buscador, he ran on well to finish fifth. But Buscador could have distance limitations. He started his closing run and it appeared as if he’d blow by the field.

However, there was a moment where he sort of in a single gear while Proxy, Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and fourth place finisher O Besos continued running. Buscador may not have the class to win the Kentucky Derby.

Essential Quality returns in Grade 3 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 27 or Feb. 28

Oaklawn Park had scheduled the Southwest Stakes, the next major Kentucky Derby prep race, for Monday, Feb. 15. After cold weather hit Arkansas, Oaklawn pushed the Southwest to Saturday, Feb. 20. They then pushed the race to Sunday, Feb. 21.

On Tuesday, weather conditions forced Oaklawn to push the race out further, to Saturday Feb. 27 or Sunday, Feb. 28. Cold conditions all across the south have led to all sorts of cancellations.

Wal-Mart shut many of their stores. The cold has even led to a few deaths and millions in Texas and North Carolina are without power. Horseplayers can wait a week to see Essential Quality run.

The Godolphin owned and Brad Cox trained equine is undefeated in three starts. He should face Keepmeinmind and Jackie’s Warrior in the Southwest.

With the Southwest on hold, this weekend is without a Derby prep. No problem. Sharpen your handicapping skills and wait for the final weekend of February.

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