02/15/2013 3:13PM

Fair Grounds: Risen Star attracting horses from coast to coast

Barbara D. Livingston
Palace Malice is expected to make his stakes and two-turn debut in the Risen Star Stakes.

NEW ORLEANS – Five invaders – from Florida, California, and points in between – are expected for the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23.

As of Thursday, the racing office considered 12 horses possible for the 1 1/16-mile race, the final two-turn stakes prep for the Louisiana Derby. Entries will be taken Monday.

Remsen runner-up Normandy Invasion, trained by Chad Brown, and Palace Malice, who will be making his stakes debut for trainer Todd Pletcher, will be coming from Palm Meadows in Florida. Each of those colts has raced three times.

Normandy Invasion, a late runner, will be racing for the first time since losing the Remsen by a nose to Overanalyze on Nov. 24 at Aqueduct. Brown said he was looking to run Normandy Invasion at a track that would fit his style better than Gulfstream Park, which generally is speed-favoring.

“I don’t have a lot of experience at the Fair Grounds,” Brown said. “I know the track at Gulfstream wouldn’t be conducive to his style. We’re searching for a better situation.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Palace Malice is coming off a runner-up finish behind Majestic Hussar in a seven-furlong optional claiming race Jan. 19 at Gulfstream. “It wasn’t an ordinary allowance race,” Pletcher said. “Majestic Hussar is a pretty nice horse, and the race got a pretty good number.”

Oxbow, who ran away with the Lecomte by 11 1/2 lengths for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, will be back from Oaklawn Park for the Risen Star. Other invaders expected are Code West, trained by Bob Baffert in California, and Agent, whom trainer Amy McAnally has sent to Fair Grounds from Sam Houston.

Fair Grounds-based 3-year-olds headed to the Risen Star are Mylute, Golden Soul, Departing, Sunbean, Ive Struck a Nerve, Proud Strike, and Bethel.