Intense Holiday wins Risen Star as Pletcher loads for Derby

Intense Holiday (9) nips Albano to win the Risen Star Stakes.
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Intense Holiday rallied along the outside and narrowly edged Albano to win the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds Race Course on Saturday night.

The Grade 2 Risen Star is Fair Grounds' final prep for the $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 29, and the race featured several horses that could wind up in the Kentucky Derby on May 3.

The victory all but assured that Intense Holiday, trained by Todd Pletcher, would qualify for the Triple Crown's opening race at Chuchill Downs.

Ridden by jockey Mike Smith, Intense Holiday covered the 1-1/16-mile course in 1:43.86 and paid $12.

Vicar's in Trouble, who won the Fair Grounds' Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 18, finished third.

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