Horse Race of the Week: 2021 Risen Star

Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, SI Gambling analyst and Vegas Insider- Frankie Taddeo – has shared his horse racing handicapping formula which has correctly predicted the following winners at SI Gambling.

Travers Stakes – Exacta (8/1), Trifecta (36/1)

Blue Grass Stakes – Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and Superfecta (443/1)

Frizette Stakes – Exacta Cold

Desi Arnaz Stakes – Exacta (31/1)

Ontario Derby – Trifecta (72/1)

Tropical Turf Stakes – Trifecta (37/1) – 2021*


On Saturday, SI Gambling’s “Race of the Week” takes us to racing action from Fair Grounds racetrack. Among the 13 races on the card is the $400,000 Risen Star, drawing a field of 12 with several attractive betting opportunities. The prestigious race is a Kentucky Derby prep race with the winner receiving 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The second place finisher receives 20 points, with third place netting 10 points and the fourth place finisher five points in the standings.

Morning line favorite Keepmeinmind has been scratched from the Risen Star and will instead be headed for next week’s Southwest Stakes (Grade 3) at Oaklawn. With his removal from the race, the likely favorite will become Brad Cox’s Mandaloun (9/2) who finished a disappointing third last time out in the Lecomte Stakes.

Midnight Bourbon (6/1), a son of Tiznow for trainer Steve Asmussen, will likely now get serious attention on the tote board on Saturday after defeating Mandaloun and Proxy in the Lecomte Stakes. The biggest question becomes can he repeat his last effort against this expanded field?

                                                           Odds courtesy of Fair Grounds Racetrack

Odds courtesy of Fair Grounds Racetrack

Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper.

Risen Star (Grade 2)

Racetrack: Fair Grounds

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021

Purse: $400,000

Distance: 1 ⅛ M, Dirt

Race: 13

Post Time: 7:18 pm EST / 4:18 pm PST

HORSES OF NOTE: Listed by post number, name, and odds:

#2 Proxy (8/1) – The formula lands on Michael Stidham’s entry who was impressive in his runner-up finish to Midnight Bourbon in the Lecomte Stakes back on January 16. This son of Tapit has posted some sharp morning workouts and now adds Johnny V in the irons. Pick

#5 Senor Buscador (6/1) – Todd Fincher’s entry – who will look to come from way off the pace like he did in the Remington Springboard Mile on December 18 – winning by over 5-lengths. This son of Mineshaft, who if he can avoid traffic issues, could mow them all down in the stretch. My biggest concern is that this will be the first time this talented colt will be racing without Lasix and that is always concerning. Win Contender

#11 Mandaloun – This son of Into Mischief for trainer Brad Cox burned bettors when he finished third in the Lecomte Stakes as the prohibitive favorite. With the scratch of Keepmeinmind it’s expected that he will go off as the favorite once again in the Risen Star. He got experience going two turns for the first time in his career in Lecomte Stakes, but at the expected short odds, I will try and beat him and use him defensively on the bottom. Likely Favorite

#10 Santa Cruiser (15/1) – He had an absolute nightmare trip in the Lecomte Stakes, but still finished fourth. If he can get a clean trip- he needs to be used at attractive odds on trifecta and superfecta tickets. Top Longshot

#6 Midnight Bourbon (6/1) – Steve Asmussen had this colt ready in his win the Lecomte Stakes when he defeated some of these same rivals he will face on Saturday. He will face speed from others up front leaving the issue of whether or not he will have enough left in the lane at the finish line? Underneath

#7 O Besos (12/1) – I am not a fan of seeing jockey Brian Hernandez jump off him in favor of the #1 Starininmydreams, but this son of Orb is the kind of horse with upside I love targeting to juice up the exotics. His last two races, both at Fairgrounds, have resulted in solid wins. If he takes to the added distance he has a serious chance to hit the board at double-digit odds. Intriguing Longshot

Risen Star Formula Rankings

  • #2 Proxy
  • #5 Senor Buscador
  • #11 Mandaloun
  • #10 Santa Cruiser
  • #6 Midnight Bourbon
  • #7 O Besos
  • #1 Starininmydreams
  • #4 Carillo
  • #13 Rightandjust
  • #9 Defeater
  • #3 Beep Beep
  • #8 Sermononthemount

Risen Star Breakdown

According to the formula, this race loves the potential of several price horses. I will use #5 Senor Buscador (6/1) with #2 Proxy (8/1) predominantly on top of #11 Mandaloun (9/2), #10 Santa Cruiser (15/1) and #6 Midnight Bourbon (6/1). I will add #7 O Besos (12/1) on the bottom to round out the trifecta tickets.

Exacta BOX: 2-5-11-10-6

$1 wager: $20

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 2 with 5,6,10,11 with 5,6,7,10,11

$1 wager: $16

SPREAD Trifecta Part-Wheel: 5,6,10 with 2,5,6,10,11 with 2,5,6,7,10,11

$1 wager: $48

PROTECTIVE Trifecta BOX: 2-5-11-10-6

¢.50 wager: $30


All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll.

Good Luck!

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