Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

A11 - Risen Star, Southwest

Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 145 on May 4th at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses on, culminating on Friday, May 3 with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 3 and May 4, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year. Click here!

Welcome back to another season of “Anthony’s Eleven” here at I can’t believe we’ve been doing this here for well over a decade!!!

For those of you familiar with what goes on in this space, thanks for reading all of these years and we’re excited to have you back. For you first timers, welcome, you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for everything and anything concerning the Kentucky Derby.

They’ll be an actual “Eleven” posted next week. I just like to get the first round of preps completed first. We’ll do that this weekend with the first 50-point race, the G2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds on Saturday and the final 10-point race, the G3 Southwest at Oaklawn on Monday. Both will be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. We’ll start in NOLA.

War of Will comes into the Risen Star off of a four-length romp in the G3 LeComte just about a month ago in the bayou for trainer Mark Casse.

After starting his career on the turf, where he went winless in four starts, including a fifth-place finish in the G! Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, War of Will was switched to the dirt and promptly broke his maiden by five-lengths in the slop at Churchill Downs while being ridden by Tyler Gaffalione for the first time.

In the LeComte, War of Will sat a nearly identical trip to the one he had in his maiden win, camping out a couple of lengths off of the early pace before making a move on the far turn then widen his lead through the lane. He’s the 5-2 morning line favorite despite being stuck out in post 13.

Country House ships in from Gulfstream for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott off of an ultra-impressive maiden score in just his third start.

After beating just two home on the turf at Belmont in his debut, Country House rallied from last to miss by a half-length going a mile at Aqueduct in his first dirt start before joining Mott’s winter string in Florida.

Last out at Gulfstream, Country House went to post as the prohibitive 3-5 favorite and gave his backers fits soon after the start when he made a left turn coming out of the gate from his rail draw, seemingly costing him all chance. He recovered nicely, covered a lot of ground early then drew away late to win by over three lengths going the distance of the Risen Star. Gulfstream’s leading rider Luis Saez was aboard last time and returns for this. He’ll break from post 9.

Owendale has shown improvement from one start to the next over the course of his six-race career and looks ready to fire his best shot yet for trainer Brad Cox.

After starting his career in a pair of Ellis Park sprints, Owendale broke his maiden going a mile at Indiana Grand before a fourth-place finish in an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill. He’s really stepped up his game since getting to the bayou, including an impressive victory last out under his regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan. He’ll break from post 8.

Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen will be represented by the duo of Limonite and Gun It, with the latter getting in off the AE list when Kingly was declared earlier in the week after drawing poorly.

Limonite will be making his sophomore debut after a strong juvenile season. After breaking his maiden second time out at Keeneland following a narrow defeat at the hands of top three-year-old Signalman in his debut at Saratoga.

Limonite finished second after making the lead in deep stretch when trying this trip for the first time in an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill before rallying from last while wide to get third money in the G2 KJC beneath the twin spires on a day when inside speed reigned supreme. Brian Hernandez, Jr. replaces Ricardo Santana, Jr. from post 10.

Santana sticks with Gun It, who’ll break from post 14. Gun It has made all three of his starts at this distance. He was fourth in his debut, finishing just behind eventual G2 Holy Bull upsetter Harvey Wallbanger at Churchill before breaking his maiden and finishing third behind Owendale in his two starts over this course.

Henley’s Joy gets a new rider in Manny Franco while trying the dirt for the first time for trainer Mike Maker. A two-time minor stakes winner on the lawn finished second as the 3-5 favorite last out in the stakes named after his sire, Kitten’s Joy, at Gulfstream. He’ll break from post 5.

Maker will also send out Dunph from post 11 with Jose Ortiz. Dunph won the first two starts of his career, including a minor stakes at Churchill, then failed to fire in the KJC. He faded to finish third in the Springboard Mile after making the lead on the far turn.

Hog Creek Hustle finished second in the LeComte but has done much better work in sprints, as evident by his two wins in three starts around one turn. Florent Geroux rides for Vickie Foley from post 6.

Manny Wah just missed in the Sugar Bowl going six furlongs when adding blinkers two back before tiring to third after contesting a moderate pace in the LeComte. Channing Hill rides for his father-in-law Wayne Catalano from post 7.

Frolic More closed nicely to get second behind Owendale most recently, his first start since breaking his maiden two months earlier going seven panels at Churchill. Corey Lanerie rides for Dallas Stewart from post 12. Stewart will also send out LeComte sixth place finisher Chase the Ghost from post 4 with Mitch Murrill aboard.

Plus Que Parfait finished fifth after a troubled start and overall tough trip in the LeComte, his first start since missing by just a neck when second in the KJC. Julien Leparoux rides from the rail for Brendan Walsh.

Mr. Money returns for trainer Bret Calhoun after a three-month break following a solid fourth-place effort behind undefeated, Two-Year-Old Eclipse champ Game Winner in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Gabe Saez rides from post 3.

Roiland won two of his first three starts before finishing off the board in both the KJC and LeComte for Tom Amoss. Jimmy Graham rides from post 2.

At Oaklawn, Gray Attempt will be looking for his third consecutive stakes score when he takes on 10 others in the Southwest from his rail draw for trainer William “Jinks” Fires.

After finishing fourth in his debut at Churchill on Breeders’ Cup Friday, Gray Attempt hasn’t tasted defeat and has led every step of the way in those three starts. He broke his maiden at the Louisville oval a little over three weeks later in a sprint before taking the Sugar Bowl in his final start of 2018 at the Fair Grounds.

Last out, Gray Attempt tried two turns for the first time when he fended off several challengers, early and late, to take the Smarty Jones under regular rider Bridgmohan.

Long Range Toddy and Boldor were the closest to Gray Attempt at the finish of the Southwest and are both back as part of an Asmussen contingent that consists of five in here.

Long Range Toddy won three in a row, including the Springboard and a minor stakes at Remington, and was never far from the winner but his rail rally fell a neck short under his pilot Richard Eramia. He’ll break from post 10.

Boldor sat an identical trip until the stretch when he was forced to go around Gray Attempt. Last season, he broke his maiden in his debut at Keeneland before finishing second in the slop at Churchill. Ramon Vasquez rides again from post 4.

Jersey Agenda is perfect in his two dirt starts after just missing in his debut on turf. He broke his maiden at Churchill in the slop before taking an entry level allowance/optional claimer two months later over the course in late January. Asmussen’s main man Santana rides from post 5.

Ninth Street broke his maiden in his fifth start when blinkers were added in the slop at Remington then won a minor stakes at Delta Downs. In his lone start this season, he was second in a similar stakes at Delta. David Cabrera rides from post 2.

Rounding out Asmussen’s five is New York bred Bankit. Bankit went off the 3-2 favorite in the Smarty Jones but failed to fire in his seasonal bow. As a two-year-old, he won twice from six tries, including a statebred stakes at Belmont and closed the season with a hard charging second in the Springboard. Jose Ortiz rides from post 9.

Cutting Humor ships in from Gulfstream off of a second-place finish to top sophomore Bourbon War in an entry level allowance/optional claimer for Todd Pletcher and Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez. He broke his maiden in his third start when blinkers were added in a two-turn mile at Gulfstream Park West two starts back. He’ll break from post 3.

Sueno ships in from California for trainer Keith Desormeaux having finished second by a length in the G3 Sham at Santa Anita. A former claimer, Sueno won the Gold Rush on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate in December. Corey Lanerie rides from post 7.

Six Shooter adds blinkers after finishing a length and a half behind the winner when fourth in the Smarty Jones. Trained by Paul Holthus, Six Shooter is another former claimer turned stakes winner as he won the Big Drama two starts back. Stewart Elliott rides from post 8.

Super Steed, who broke his maiden in an allowance contest over a sloppy track for trainer Larry Jones, will break from post 6 under Terry Thompson while Olympic Runner, an off-the-turf maiden winner at Gulfstream in the slop last out, will break from post 11 for Casse with David Cohen aboard.

Prep Play of the Day

Bet $40 to win on Country House in the Risen Star and Cutting Humor in the Southwest. Also, make a $20 parlay using those two. Total is $100. Good luck!!!!

Bankroll: $0

Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6PM ET on Wednesday and 3-7PM ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 201 or streaming live at He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as the co-host of Talking Horses and a backup racetrack announcer. Follow him on Twitter @thebigastabile

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