02/14/2012 3:24PM

Fair Grounds: Afford targets Risen Star


The Feb. 25 Risen Star has picked up another likely local runner in Afford, who won a first-level route allowance race by a nose Feb. 9. Afford, a Jim Tafel homebred by Street Sense, is a half-brother to Fast Alex, who is scheduled to start in the Mineshaft Handicap on the same day. Greg Geier trains both horses.

Afford, a seven-length maiden winner at Hawthorne last fall, was making his route debut in last week’s race, and he rallied gamely to get up in the final strides. Geier had hoped Afford could start in a route allowance race earlier in February, but his intended spot failed to fill,

“The timing’s not great for the Risen Star, but I really don’t want to have to ship to run, and there’s not much else for him,” Geier said. “We’ll just see how he comes of the race. He’s galloped good so far.”

◗ Nehro, the 2011 Kentucky Derby runner-up, worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 on Monday, his third five-furlong workout and sixth timed breeze of 2012. Nehro hasn’t started since finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes last year.

Also working Monday was Rachel Alexandra Stakes hopeful Avie’s Sense, who went six furlongs in 1:14.40.