Virginia Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old, was installed as the 3-1 favorite among 13 sophomores entered for the Feb. 7, $200,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
A Giant's Causeway colt trained by Chris Block, Giant Oak finished a neck behind Beethoven and in front of Capt. Candyman Can in the Kentucky Jockey Club. Capt. Candyman Can won the grade II Hutcheson Stakes last Friday in his 2009 debut. Giant Oak, who will have jockey Edgar Prado aboard in the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star, worked a bullet five furlongs Sunday in 1:00 2/5.
Friesan Fire , who is trained by Larry Jones for Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm, is the 7-2 second choice. Fox Hill owner Rick Porter and trainer Jones hope their A.P. Indy colt, who won the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds Jan. 10, can capitalize on the success they had in the classics the last two years. Fox Hill’s 3-year-old filly Eight Belles finished second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before being euthanized after the race. Hard Spun won the Lecomte in 2007 before going on to finish second in the Derby and third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Jockey Gabriel Saez has the mount on Friesan Fire, who drew post 6 and is the co-highweight at 122 pounds. He worked five-eighths of a mile on Monday in 1:04.20.
Flying Pegasus, conditioned by Ralph Nicks, is the third choice in the Risen Star morning line at 6-1. The son of Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus has not raced since finishing second by a length, but 2 3/4 lengths in front of Friesan Fire, in the grade II Futurity at Belmont last Sept. 13.
Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), $200,000 guaranteed, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds:
1—Map of the World, Curt Bourque, 116, 20-1
2—Indygo Mountain, Jamie Theriot, 116, 10-1
3—Nowhere to Hide, Corey Lanerie, 116, 15-1
4—It Happened Again, Terry Thompson, 120, 10-1
5—Uno Mas, Brian Hernandez Jr., 120, 8-1
6—Friesan Fire , Gabriel Saez, 122, 7-2
7—Giant Oak, Edgar Prado, 120, 3-1
8—Dumar, Shaun Bridgmohan, 120, 20-1
9—Code of Honour, Randall Toups, 115, 20-1
10—Soul Warrior, Patrick Valenzuela, 116, 15-1
11—Summer’s Empire, Jesse Campbell, 122, 20-1
12—Flying Pegasus, Robby Albarado, 120, 6-1
13—Au Moon, Julien Leparoux, 116, 8-1