Cox's Derby Hand Even Stronger: Mandaloun Wins the Grade II Risen Star Stakes

The Grade II Risen Star hands over 50 points to the winner, and today that was Brad Cox and his colt Mandaloun. With a Fair Grounds track that looked to reward front runners, jockey Florent Geroux did everything right by keeping close to the front runner. See our race review below...
The Grade II Risen Star hands over 50 points to the winner, and today that was Brad Cox and his colt Mandaloun. With a Fair Grounds track that looked to reward front runners, jockey Florent Geroux did everything right by keeping close to the front runner. See our race review below...
Risen Star Stakes 2021 Results & Betting Payout
  • Position
  • Horse
  • Win
  • Place
  • Show

Position

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3.

Horse

  • Mandaloun #11
  • Proxy #2
  • Midnight Bourbon #6

Win

  • $6.20

Place

  • $4.00
  • $5.20

Show

  • $3.00
  • $3.60
  • $3.80

Brad Cox's accomplished stable keeps churning, as his 3-yr-old Mandaloun #11, at odds of 2/1, won the Grade II Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Though the conditioner's filly, Travel Column, failed to score near the wire in the Kentucky Oaks points-driven Rachel Alexandra (G2) in the race right before, he did not miss here. Guided ably by jockey Florent Geroux, the son of Into Mischief secured 50 Points that will be applied for entry into the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. Going into this contest, after his last race in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) back in January, many questioned whether he had the ability to stretch out 1 1/8th or compete against higher levels of class competition. Cox had him ready with "Blinkers On."

Against a solid field, including Todd Fincher's Senor Buscador #5, and several of the shooters from the Lecomte (G3), the colt was sharp. Right from the beginning it looked like a pretty even break, Rightandjust #13 dueled for the lead, as Steve Asmussen's Midnight Bourbon #6 tried to keep pace, as the fractions of 23.65 at the 1/4. and 48.45 at the 1/2 peeled by. Honest to the core, that set up Mandaloun #11 to cut down the lane, and Geroux struck the front in convincing fashion. Other late-running horses, like Senor Buscador #5, tried to launch a valiant bid from the rear. In the end, Mike Stidham's Proxy #2, like he did in the Lecomte (G3), ran on steadily enough to garner 2nd (20 KYD Pts.), and Midnight Bourbon #6 earned the show (10 KYD Pts.). The final 5 KYD Points went to longer shot O Besos #7, who rounded out the Superfecta. Payouts can be viewed above.

Now, Brad Cox sits in the proverbial "cat bird seat," as he has 3 legitimate contenders for the "Run for the Roses." Next up, Essential Quality will come off the bench and make his first start of his 3-yr-old campaign, since we saw him win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland back in November. A tough field will assemble for the rescheduled Southwest Stakes (G3) next Sunday (now moved from Saturday), that will include runners like Steve Asmussen's Jackie's Warrior and Robertino Diodoro's Keepmeinmind. Afterwards, Cox will have to make a decision about when will we see his other powerful colt, Caddo River, who amazed by winning the Smarty Jones (G3) in January at Oaklawn.

Cox looks to have one of the stronger hands, and looks Baffert-esque, when it comes to the pre-Triple Crown Trail. Stay tuned for all our previews of the Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule.

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