02/13/2013 2:37PM

Fair Grounds: Stall plans to run two in Risen Star

Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography
Departing wins a two-turn allowance at Fair Grounds on Feb. 1. He will face a tougher assignment in next Saturday's Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes.

Trainer Al Stall Jr. has confirmed both of his lightly raced 3-year-olds, Departing and Sunbean, for the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 23 at Fair Grounds.

“We need to see whether they fit,” Stall said this week from the New Orleans track. “Obviously, this will be a big test for both of them.”

Departing, bred and owned in partnership by Claiborne Farm, is an unbeaten son of War Front. He won a maiden sprint in December and an allowance route Feb. 1, both with ease and both over the Fair Grounds main track.

Sunbean is a Louisiana-bred owned by the Brittlynn Stable of Star Guitar fame. The colt is by Brahms and has won 2 of 3 starts, all in statebred company.

The Hernandez brothers, Brian Jr. and Colby, will have the mounts on Departing and Sunbean, respectively, when part of what is shaping up as a terrific field for the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star, with one of the Todd Pletcher arsenal, Palace Malice, being another notable. Other known prospects at this early juncture include Code West, Golden Soul, Mylute, Oxbow, Proud Strike, and maybe Normandy Invasion.

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

Palace Malice, owned by Dogwood Stable, will have leading jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard. Pletcher has won two of the last three runnings of the Risen Star, with Discreetly Mine in 2010 and El Padrino last year.

The Grade 2 Risen Star – worth 50 points to the winner in the new Kentucky Derby eligibility system – is the richest of six stakes on what is billed as the Louisiana Derby Preview Day program. Entries will be drawn Monday.