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2012 Louisiana Derby Preview Day

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El Padrino wins the 2012 Risen Star Stakes
El Padrino horse racing

El Padrino (outside) wins the 2012 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course over Mark Valeski

© Steve Queen
February 25, 2012

It was an excellent day for racing at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, with cloudy skies and temperatures around 60 degrees. Six stakes races were contested on Louisiana Derby Preview Day, including the main event, the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (G3), the major local prep for the Louisiana Derby and ultimately the Kentucky Derby. A field of 11 (9 betting interests) went to post in this 1 1/16 mile main track feature, with Remsen Stakes (G2) third place finisher El Padrino sent off as the 4-5 favorite off an allowance win at Gulfstream last out. In to challenge him included the two horse entry of Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling at 3-1, and Lecomte (G3) third place finisher Shared Property at 5-1.

Jockey James Graham sent 79-1 longest shot Hero of Order to a clear lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 24.44, 48.72, and 1:13.15 while stalked by Mark Valeski 1 1/2 lengths back and to his outside. Hero of Order led into the stretch but tired at the 3/16 pole, allowing Mark Valeski to inherit a short lead with a furlong to go. El Padrino, who raced behind them in 3rd early, moved up to challenge. El Padrino and Mark Valeski dueled to the line, but El Padrino prevailed by a nose in 1:42.96 over the fast track. It wass a long 5 1/2 lengths back to 10-1 Z Dager third. Rosie Napravnik aboard Mark Valeski claimed foul against Javier Castellano aboard El Padrino for interference in the stretch but the claim was disallowed by the stewards.

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