Skip to main content

By Jarrod Horak

The Risen Star Stakes and Sunland Park Derby were the latest road to Kentucky Derby 2024 points races. In this article, I will look back at those events and update my “Exceptional 11” Kentucky Derby contenders. The next points race is the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Risen Star – Feb. 17 (Fair Grounds)

Fractions: 24.32, 49.67, 1:14.74, 1:39.40, 1:52.13

Top 5 Finishers: Sierra Leone, Track Phantom, Catching Freedom, Resilience, Honor Marie

The pace was slow to develop and Track Phantom was in complete control for the opening six panels. Resilience stalked the pace and cut into the lead, but Track Phantom was just cantering up front and let it out a notch. The lead was a length and a half in the lane and Catching Freedom and Sierra Leone were on the move. The latter was moving best of all and found his best stride late to secure the victory by a half-length. Track Phantom was the clear runner-up and Catching Freedom raced wide, stayed on his left lead, and was put in a tight spot between horses late. He was 1 3/4 lengths clear of weakening stalker Resilience. Honor Marie was near the back of the pack for the opening six furlongs or so, and he improved his position in the stretch to finish a clear 5th. Sierra Leone and Track Phantom have accumulated 55 points and both are virtually assured a starting spot in the 2024 Kentucky Derby. I will talk more about the top two Risen Star finishers in my “Exceptional 11” writeup below.

Read more at Today’s Racing Digest

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.