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Sunbean headed to Risen Star, Departing under consideration
Louisiana-bred Sunbean, a sophomore son of Brahms who broke his maiden on New Year's Eve at Fair Grounds in the Louisiana Futurity and made it two straight tallies on February 1, will make his next appearance in the upcoming Grade 2 Risen Star on Louisiana Derby Preview Day, February 23.
"Sunbeam is going in the Risen Star," trainer Al Stall Jr. confirmed Friday morning while speaking outside his barn during training hours.
The Brittlyn Stable colorbearer will be making his first appearance in open company in the $400,000 Risen Star, which is the local prep for the 100th running of the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 30.
After breaking his maiden in the Louisiana Futurity at six furlongs, Sunbean successfully stretched out to two turns in a mile-and-70-yard allowance/optional claiming race which was also restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds.
Undefeated stablemate Departing could join Sunbean in the Risen Star starting gate. The Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider campaigner will make his next start in either the Risen Star or the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 16.
"Departing will run next in either the Risen Star or the Rebel," Stall added. "He's two-for-two right here on this track so that might help us when we're making a definite decision."
After breaking his maiden by 2 1/4 lengths on December 22 when going six furlongs, the Kentucky homebred son of War Front won by 4 1/2 lengths in his first start going two turns in a mile-and-70-yard optional claimer on February 1.
Trainer Dallas Stewart is likely to saddle a pair of entrants on Louisiana Derby Preview Day, as well, in Golden Soul and the filly Irish Lute. Both three-year-olds ran well in their respective races on January 19, Road to the Derby Kickoff Day.
"That's the plan for both of them," Stewart said Friday morning on horseback as he headed to the track during training hours.
Golden Soul was runner-up in the Grade 3 Lecomte at a mile and 70 yards and is expected to appreciate the added 1 1/16-mile distance of the upcoming Risen Star. The Charles Fipke Kentucky homebred son of Perfect Soul broke his maiden going 8 1/2 furlongs on December 30 by 7 1/4 lengths over the track.
Donarra Thoroughbreds' Irish Lute, a Florida homebred daughter of Midnight Lute, finished fourth in the Silverbulletday after stumbling at the start and will attempt to make amends in the upcoming Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra as the last designed prep for the Grade 2, $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 30. The dark bay miss was trying two turns for the first time in the Silverbulletday, having previously broken her maiden and finished second in the Letellier Memorial, both at six furlongs.