Kentucky Derby Prep Risen Star Stakes 2023 Field, Odds and Picks for Saturday 2/18/23
The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues and the first Championship Series race of 2023 is the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans this weekend.
The Grade 2 race is Saturday, Feb. 18 and the top 5 finishers earn Kentucky Derby points (50-20-15-10-5). At the completion of all the Kentucky Derby points races, the top 20 points leaders on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard earn a spot at the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
The Risen Star is also a prep race for the $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 25, which awards 100-40-30-20-10 points to the top 5 finishers. A number of horses are worth watching and wagering on as these 3-year-olds continue to grow and develop in hopes of a chance to run in the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby.
Last year's Risen Star winner Epicenter and third-place finisher Zandon went on to finish second and third in the 2022 Kentucky Derby, respectively. In total, 33 starters in both the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby have run in the Kentucky Derby since 2013 -- the most of any Kentucky Derby prep races.
Winning Kentucky Derby Prep Race Picks
Kentucky Derby prep winning picks in February on multiple races including:
- Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs (Litigate: 3/1)
- Withers Stakes at Aqueduct (Hit Show: 7/5)
- Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita (Newgate: 6/5)
- Holy Bull at Gulfstream (Rocket Can: 5/2)
FanDuel Racing has you covered for the biggest racing days and events, and you can watch and wager on FanDuelTV. Saturday's Risen Star Stakes is Race 13 and the 1 1/8 mile race headlines six stakes, including a Kentucky Oaks prep in the $300,000 Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies in Race 12.
The Risen Star Stakes has a post time of 7:14 p.m. ET.
Risen Star Stakes Field and Odds
1. Quiet as Midnight (50/1)
Jockey: E. Nieves - Trainer: B. Chatters
2. Single Ruler (30/1)
Jockey: J. Riquelme - Trainer: J. Desormeaux
3. Shaq Diesel (30/1)
Jockey: A. Beschizza - Trainer: R. Richards
4. Determinedly (8/1)
Jockey: R. Gutierrez - Trainer: M. Casse
5. Harlocap (8/1)
Jockey: J. Velazquez - Trainer: S. Asmussen
6. Angel of Empire (8/1)
Jockey: L. Saez - Trainer: B. Cox
7. Sun Thunder (15/1)
Jockey: B. Hernandez, Jr. - Trainer: K. McPeek
8. Tapit's Conquest (6/1)
Jockey: F. Geroux - Trainer: B. Cox
9. Curly Jack (8/1)
Jockey: E. Morales - Trainer: T. Amoss
10. Two Phil's (8/1)
Jockey: J. Loveberry - Trainer: L. Rivelli
11. Silver Heist (12/1)
Jockey: C. Lanerie - Trainer: S. Asmussen
12. Crupi (15/1)
Jockey: J. Graham - Trainer: T. Pletcher
13. Victory Formation (3/1)
Jockey: Flavien Prat - Trainer: B. Cox
14. Private Creed (12/1)
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione - Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Risen Star Pick
We have a full field of 14 runners for the Risen Star, including three from Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Trainer Brad Cox has three as well, saddling the three leading favorites and contenders in Victory Formation, Tapit's Conquest and Angel of Empire.
Victory Formation is 3-for-3 and won the 1-mile Smarty Jones Stakes (Derby prep) on New Year's Day as the heavy favorite by three lengths over Angel of Empire. Victory Formation breaks from the far outside and is a major player with a strong work tab at Fair Grounds since. Only three favorites have won the Risen Star in the last 15 editions, however, and this full field is quite competitive. Determinedly at longer odds will try to push Victory Formation along the lead, but may wear out this time despite running his fastest race in eight starts a month ago when winning an allowance race by a neck over Tapit's Conquest and Silver Heist.
Curly Jack for trainer Tom Amoss has the most experience in stakes races, having raced in five of them since breaking his maiden at first asking. He won the Iroquois (Derby prep) in September at Churchill Downs and finished a close second in the Kentucky Jockey Club in November at less than 3/1 odds. A solid 5-furlong bullet work ahead of his 2023 debut makes this son of multiple Grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic a viable improving contender.
Pick: Curly Jack (8/1)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.