Fair Grounds: Midnight Bourbon, Mandaloun Expected To Point For Risen Star

Steve Asmussen’s assistant trainer Scott Blasi reports that Saturday’s Lecomte Stakes (G3) winner Midnight Bourbon came out of the race in fine order. Asmussen indicated following the win that the Winchell Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old son of Tiznow would be pointed to the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on February 13 at Fair Grounds In New Orleans, La. Midnight Bourbon earned 10 Kentucky Derby points for his Lecomte win and is currently third in the standings with 16 points.

According to trainer Chris Block, Lothenbach’s Stables’ Silverbulletday Stakes winner Charlie’s Penny also exited her Kentucky Oaks points race is excellent shape.

“So far everything looks good,” Block said. “She ate up last night and this morning, walked real well and she seems bright and not too knocked out. The next logical plan would be to point towards the Rachel Alexandra (G2, $300,000 at 1 1/16 miles on February 13 at Fair Grounds). What has pushed her forward is her mind and her determination. She’s not a very big filly, king of average in size and a little bit on the narrow side, but all that is relative to what she can do herself. Yesterday she was helped by the (slow) pace, but so was everybody else, or so I would have thought. She rose to the occasion, now it’s time to see if she can take the next step forward. It was really nice to win this race at Fair Grounds. My family used to send horses here for the winter with (the late) Richie Scherer, and management has been very kind to us.”

For her win, the Minnesota-bred daughter of Race Day earned ten points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.

Trainer Brad Cox reports that his pair of beaten favorites – Sun Path (fourth in the Silverbulletday) and Mandaloun (third in the Lecomte) – exited their respective races in good order. Sun Path will be given some time to regroup, while Mandaloun will likely get an equipment change next time out.

“I was super disappointed with the outcome of the Silverbulletday,” Cox admitted. “We don’t see any physical issue with Sun Path. She appears to have come out of it well as of now. Obviously, we will back up a little bit. We won’t run back in four weeks. We’ll just try to train up to either the Honeybee (G3, March 6 at Oaklawn Park) or the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2, March 20). They would really be our only options moving forward. We need a little more time between races. She’s going to be a little bit of a question mark until we run her again. She was doing so well leading up to this race (Silverbulletday).

“We still think he (Mandaloun) is a very good horse,” Cox said. “He raced wide around both turns. I thought it was a good experience. He showed up. He ran his race. I think we are going to add blinkers. I talked it over with the Juddmonte team and Florent (jockey Geroux). We kind of thought that ever since his first race. He came out it (Lecomte) so far so good. We will definitely look at coming back in the Risen Star.

“Gagetown raced well for his first time around two turns (second in a first level allowance earlier in the card),” Cox said. “Thought it was a good effort. Run was a little spotty. He was a little unsure of what was going on. It looked like he was going to be third, maybe even fourth, but he re-rallied and was actually running at the winner. He’s still trying to figure it out. I wanted to get two sprints into him since he broke his maiden first time. I don’t really think he’s a 6-furlong horse, but I’m not so certain he’s like a mile-and-an-eighth horse either. He’s somewhere there in the middle.”

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