A full field of 14 3-year-olds will leave the starting gate in Saturday's $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course. The Risen Star Stakes is the final local prep for the 100th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 30.
Part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, winning the Risen Star will be worth 50 points.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Palace Malice in the 1 1/16-mile stakes. Owned by Dogwood Stable, the colt will ridden from post 6 by Rosie Napravnik for the first time.
"We can get Rosie Napravnik (to ride our horse in the Risen Star) in New Orleans," Dogwood president Cot Campbell said in a press release. "Our horse is an easy shipper and he's been training sharply for Todd Pletcher since his good 2013 debut."
Palace Malice was second last month in an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park. Last July the colt was second in his debut at Belmont Park and won a month later at Saratoga. He was away from the races until January with shin problems.
"This will be his first quest at a mile-and-a-sixteenth," said Campbell. "In his last race at Gulfstream he caught a sloppy track and the horse that beat us was quite a speed horse, but (Palace Malice) galloped out well that day, and he looks to me like a horse that wants to go long."
Pletcher won the 2010 Risen Star with Discreetly Mine.
Highly regarded Normandy Invasion begins his 2013 campaign on Saturday for owner Fox Hill Farms and trainer Chad Brown. The colt will start from post 9 with Jose Lezcano again riding.
Normandy Invasion broke his maiden the second time racing and was second to Overanalyze in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 24. He's been training at Palm Meadows training center near Gulfstream Park.
"He ran good in the Remsen," Brown said, "and he's been training real good down here in Florida. But he hasn't had a lot of experience and I know the (speed-favoring) track at Gulfstream wouldn't be conducive to his style."
Mylute, the most experienced starter, will break from post 5 with Shaun Bridgmohan getting the ride for the first time. The gray colt is trained by Tom Amoss for Goldmark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm.
A veteran of seven career starts, Mylute has won twice with two seconds and two thirds for $213,695.
After finishing third in his debut last June, Mylute was second in the Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows and broke his maiden in August at Arlington Park.
Next time out he was fifth in the Arlington-Washington Futurity and then second at Delta Downs in the Jean Lafitte Stakes. The colt was third in the Delta Downs Jackpot to Goldencents and the day after Christmas won an allowance optional claiming race at Fair Grounds.
From the rail out, here is the field for the Risen Star: Proud Strike, Gary Stevens; Code West, Martin Garcia; Agent, Richard Eramia; Golden Soul, Miguel Mena; Mylute, Shaun Bridgmohan; Palace Malice, Rosie Napravnik; Hardrock Eleven, Jamie Theriot; Ive Struck a Nerve, James Graham; Normandy Invasion, Jose Lezcano; Oxbow, Jon Court; Bethel, Iram Diego; He's Had Enough, Mario Gutierrez; Circle Unbroken, Leandro Goncalves and Departing, Brian Hernandez Jr. Sunbean is also eligible.
Post-time will be approximately 5:57 p.m. (ET).