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Feb 16, 2007

Notional wins marred Risen Star Stakes


New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - San Rafael Stakes winner Notional solidified his position as a Kentucky Derby contender on Saturday with a victory in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds. The race was marred by an accident at the top of the stretch.

The 6-5 favorite in the 12 horse field was Circular Quay, the defeated 3-1 favorite in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Notional was sent off at 5-2 and Remsen Stakes runner-up Zanjero was 5-1.

Makeithapencaptain broke well from the gate and set the pace around the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch. Beta Capo pressed the pace with Westwon running third. Racing far off the leaders was Circular Quay with jockey John Velazquez.

At the top of the stretch Slew's Tizzy clipped hooves with the horse in front of him causing jockey James Graham to be thrown to the track. Circular Quay was right behind Slew's Tizzy. Velazquez tried to avoid the fallen rider aboard the favorite.

Notional, with Robby Albarado riding, took the lead in the middle of the track and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Imawildandcrazyguy finished second followed by Zanjero and Izzie's Halo. Circular Quay was able to finish fifth. Completing the order of finish was Westwon, Beta Capo, Spankey Come Home, Scat Thief, Makeithapencaptain and Weather Warning.

The time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.18 on a fast track.

Notional has now won both starts this year for $270,000. Owned by J. Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O'Neill, the colt has won three of five career starts for $313,200.

Notional returned $7.80, $4.80 and $4.00. Imawildandcrazyguy paid $8.60 and $6.00, and Zanjero paid $4.00 for show.

Last year's Risen Star Stakes was won by Lawyer Ron at Louisiana Downs. The stakes is the final prep for the Louisiana Derby on March 10.

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