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Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest

Laissez le bon temps rouler

Let the good times roll!

Saturday’s 13-race program at Fair Grounds in New Orleans is a Mardi Gras celebration on its own, just days before Fat Tuesday. Six stakes, four of them graded, make for a competitive feature track for the third week of the Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest.

The $400,000 Risen Star Stakes is a Kentucky Derby prep and has attracted 13 entries including Robertino Diodoro trainee Keepmeinmind. Factor This, owned by Minnesota Cutshall brothers, is entered in the G3 Fair Grounds Stakes.

First post at Fair Grounds and thus entry deadline for R2K is noon. An additional bonus prep race is on the slate as well: the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

It was reported Tuesday that Minnesota-bred filly Charlie’s Penny, winner of the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds, will be scratched from the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes due to a hairline fracture of the shin. She is owned and bred by Robert Lothenbach of Wayzata.

Defending R2K Champion Josh Taarud finished third last week, confirming that he again is a serious contender. The weekly winner was Ben Monnens and  Bret ‘Bozo’ Hoffman was second.

Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager begins Friday and runs through Sunday afternoon. More information can be found here: