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Dolphus Scratched From Risen Star

Half brother of Rachel Alexandra needs more time off recent Fair Grounds win.

The connections of Dolphus said Feb. 18 they plan to scratch the half brother of Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra from the $400,000 Veterans Ford Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots scheduled to run Feb. 20.

Trainer Joe Sharp said he and owner/breeder Dede McGehee are thinking long-term with Dolphus, a son of Lookin At Lucky  who improved to two-for-three when he opened his 3-year-old season with a three-quarter-length victory in a Jan. 31 allowance/optional claiming race Jan. 31 at Fair Grounds.

BALAN: Dolphus Prevails in Fair Grounds Allowance

Sharp said they knew the 20-day turnaround would be tight for Dolphus' first stakes start and continued to evaluate the decision even after he was entered in the Risen Star Feb. 13. Ultimately, the time between races wasn't enough and Sharp noted they'd be as happy to get to the Travers Stakes (gr. I) as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

"We don't want to rush anything," said Sharp, adding that they have no specific race they're targeting next for the horse he said is as talented as any he's been around. "We'll regroup and see where we're at, and then let the horse tell us when he's ready."

The scratch of Dolphus leaves the expected Risen Star field at 12 3-year-olds, incuding Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) winner Airoforce and Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) Mo Tom.

BLOOD-HORSE STAFF: Airoforce, Mo Tom Top Risen Star