Race 12 at Fair Grounds | Saturday, February 15 | Post Time 6:38 PM Eastern Time

Risen Star Stakes – Grade 2 (first division)| Purse $400,000 | One Mile and One Eighth | Three Year Olds


Although Enforceable (8) won the local prep for this race, the Lecomte, on January 18, and is a contender for all the marbles in this first division of the Risen Star Stakes, I think the one-two finishers of an allowance race earlier on the same card have a slightly better chance to win, as well as offer much better value on win bets. Those two are Blackberry Wine (7) and Digital (1), who finished first and second, respectively, in that race.

Blackberry Wine led from the start in the race while Digital stalked in third in the early and middle stages. At the top of the lane, Digital made a run to get the lead by a half-length, before Blackberry Wine surged back to win by a length at the wire. Blackberry Wine earned a 101 Equibase Figure, while Digital earned a 100 figure and both those figures are HIGHER (faster) than the 97 figure earned by Enforceable in Lecomte Stakes later that day. Not only that, but since both Blackberry Wine and Digital run on, or close to, the early pace, compared to the closing style Enforceable has, they have much less chance to get into any traffic trouble. Both colts have improved their figures over their last two races, with Blackberry Wine undefeated in two dirt routes, while Digital has lots of room to improve on a pattern of sprint, sprint, route, route and may have a slight edge from the ground saving rail. Considering it’s difficult to separate Blackberry Wine and Digital in terms of probability to win, but with both likely to offer good return for the risk on win bets, betting both at the right price seems like a viable strategy.

Silver State (2) was the second choice in the Lecomte last month at 7 to 2 odds, with Enforceable going to post at 6 to 1, but Enforceable got the better trip and result when winning as Silver State, who had no chance to win after a poor break, being bumped mid-race then going six paths wide on the turn, rallied from ninth to get second at the end by a head over Mr. Monomoy (9). Although Silver State regressed to a 94 figure effort off a 99 figure winning at a mile prior to that, with less trouble and a better post which helps him gain better early position, this colt has a shot to rebound to form good enough to win.

Enforceable (8) broke his maiden at this nine furlong trip last August at Saratoga and is the only horse in the field to have even run the distance. The 97 figure earned winning the Lecomte was a career best and Leparoux stays aboard after being in the saddle for the first time last in victory last month. Aside from the possibility of traffic trouble in an 11 horse field, which he suffered from a bit when third in the Breeders’ Futurity in October and again when fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November, Enforceable does appear to be a top quality horse and as a son of Tapit could easily win his second graded stakes in a row on the way to being one of the favorites in the Louisiana Derby and Kentucky Derby in three months.



Betting Strategies:

Win Bets: Blackberry Wine (7) and Digital (1) at odds of 7 to 2 or more.

Note: When betting on two horses to win, for the best advantage try to use a “Dutching” calculator, which helps you allocate bets in proportion to the odds. There are many free ones on the internet to help maximize your return in these situations. You can usually enter the amount you want to bet in total, or the amount you want to win, and the calculations of how much to bet on each of the horses is done for you.

To finish out the four contenders with minimum odds, Silver State and Enforceable both can be considered for win bets at 4 to 1 or more, but I believe those odds thresholds will not be met.

Exactas: Box Digital (1), Silver State (2), Blackberry Wine (7) and Enforceable (8). 

Trifecta: (Two options)

Box Digital (1), Silver State (2), Blackberry Wine (7) and Enforceable (8), OR

Digital (1), Silver State (2), Blackberry Wine (7) and Enforceable (8) over Digital (1), Silver State (2), Blackberry Wine (7) and Enforceable (8) over ALL. (At the $0.50 minimum level and if all 11 horses run, the cost of this bet is $27)