01/13/2016 5:40PM

International Star looks to rebound in Louisiana Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
International Star, winner of last year's Louisiana Derby, will make his second start following a long layoff in Saturday's Louisiana Stakes.

International Star won all three Kentucky Derby prep races last winter and spring at Fair Grounds, sweeping the Lecomte, Risen Star, and Louisiana Derby, but he was injured and scratched from the Kentucky Derby the morning of the race. None of the Fair Grounds 3-year-old dirt-route stakes last year appeared to be top quality, and International Star’s comeback race following a long layoff did little to suggest he’s a top-class colt.

The heavy favorite Nov. 25 at Zia Park, International Star contested a slow pace but had nothing for the stretch run, finishing fourth in the Zia Park Derby.

But owner Ken Ramsey believes there are better races to come, starting with the $75,000 Louisiana Stakes on Saturday.

“We ended up vanning that horse all the way from Kentucky to New Mexico, and he probably didn’t arrive there in tip-top shape,” Ramsey said. “He’s back at Fair Grounds now, and Miguel Mena is back on him. I’m throwing the race in New Mexico out.”

International Star is one of seven entrants in the Louisiana, though Freestyler is cross-entered in stakes at Delta Downs and Oaklawn Park, and trainer Joe Sharp said Wednesday he’s not yet sure where the horse will run. Eagle is the likely favorite in the Louisiana.