Risen Star S. (gr. III)

(gr. III , 8.5f ,)

NOTIONAL (B h, 122 lb) $180,000
In Excess (IRE) —Truly Blessed , by French Deputy
B—Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, CA.; O—J. Paul Reddam; T—Doug F. O'Neill

Imawildandcrazyguy (GR/RO g, 116 lb) $60,000
Wild Event —Frosty Cupcake , by Top Account
B—Geraldine Theisen, FL.; O—Pell, Lewis and Eigner, Michael; T—William A. Kaplan

Zanjero (DK B/ h, 120 lb) $30,000
Cherokee Run —Checkered Flag , by A.P. Indy
B—Dr. Walter Zent, KY.; O—Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC; T—Steven M. Asmussen

Margins: 2¼, head, 4. Others: Izzie's Halo 116($12,000) , Circular Quay 122($6,000) , Westwon 116($3,000) , Beta Capo 120($3,000) , Spankey Come Home 116($3,000) , Scat Thief 116($3,000) , Makeithapencaptain 116 , Weather Warning 120 , Slew's Tizzy 116 . Winning Jockey, Robby Albarado.

J. Paul Reddam’s classics hopeful Notional emphatically answered one big question in winning the Feb. 10 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. The victory proved the Southern California runner could throw in a top effort against graded company away from his home region.

Notional’s task in the 11/16-mile Risen Star was made even more difficult because the Doug O’Neill trainee had started from the outside 12th post position. Eighth in the early going, Notional surged to the front in the final furlong to win by 21/4 lengths.

Unlike 6-5 favorite Circular Quay, Notional proved lucky in that he avoided all the commotion caused when Slew’s Tizzy clipped heels with Makeithapencaptain in upper stretch near the rail and lost jockey James Graham. Circular Quay, who swerved to avoid the fallen rider, finished fifth. Makeithapencaption ran 10th and Slew’s Tizzy 12th. Graham emerged unscathed.

Reddam bought Notional for $235,000 at the 2006 Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training upon the recommendation of O’Neill’s brother, Dennis, who liked the way Notional breezed and looked. Notional was consigned by Scanlon Training Center, agent.

The $235,000 was a nice jump from the $77,000 that Notional commanded at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. Consigned by Eaton Sales, agent, he was purchased by Smithland Stable.

Reddam, who is president of the California-based finance lending firm CashCall, also has Great Hunter and Liquidity on the Triple Crown trail with Doug O’Neill. Liquidity, a son of Tiznow, ran second in the Feb. 3 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita in his first start of the year. As a 2-year-old, he ran second in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and third in the Real Quiet Stakes.

Great Hunter, by Aptitude, hasn’t run since finishing third in the Nov. 4 Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He won or placed in all seven starts last year, including a triumph in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I).

Notional, Great Hunter, and Liquidity were ranked on the 2006 Experimental Free Handicap for males. Great Hunter was weighted at 122 pounds, five pounds less than the impost assigned champion and highweight Street Sense. Liquidity was weighted at 119 pounds and Notional at 113 pounds.

Notional was bred by Vessels Stallion Farm, owned by Frank “Scoop” Vessels III and located near Bonsall, Calif. Notional’s dam, Truly Blessed, produced her 2007 foal, a colt by Jackpot, for Ernest Moody’s Mercedes Stables. A grade II winner, Jackpot stands at Vessels Stallion Farm.

In Excess has sired 47 stakes winners. His six added-money winners of 2006 included grade I winner Romance Is Diane. In Excess stands for a private fee at Vessels Stallion Farm.—D.S.