02/15/2010 12:00AM

Risen Star gets 12, but Drosselmeyer on fence


Twelve horses were entered Monday for Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Risen Star Stakes, the anchor to a six-stakes, 13-race card here in New Orleans. But the number could have been greater, and one major player, Drosselmeyer, is still not entirely certain to run.

Maximus Ruler, second in the Lecomte Stakes and one of the likely favorites in the Risen Star, was not entered in the race, having suffered an apparent bruised foot following a workout on Sunday morning. Trainer Clark Hanna said Maximus Ruler appeared to have come out of his work well, but Sunday afternoon, the colt displayed signs of discomfort his right hind foot. Radiographs taken on the foot were negative, Hanna said, and Maximus's Ruler's shoe was taken off, and his foot soaked.

"He's much better today, and bearing weight on it," Hanna said Monday afternoon. "More than anything it was bad luck when it happened. If all goes well, we'll get back to the track later in the week."

Meanwhile, in Florida, trainer Bill Mott could be found late Monday afternoon studying the Risen Star past performances and trying to decide whether to ship Drosselmeyer from Payson Park to Fair Grounds, or stay in Florida for Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes.

"We're leaning that way," Mott said when asked if Drosselmeyer would be on the flight to New Orleans from Florida this week. "We're not totally happy with the schedule that's out there. These races come back a little quick. We'd like another week, but there's nothing really to run in in another two or three weeks. He's got to get some graded earnings."

Drosselmeyer won an entry-level allowance race by 1 3/4 lengths on Jan. 31 at Gulfstream. On Sunday, Drosselmeyer worked a half-mile in 50 seconds at Payson.

"He went fine," Mott said. "Nice and smooth."

Ron the Greek, winner in three of his four starts, and a last-to-first victor in the Jan. 23 Lecomte Stakes here, was installed as the Risen Star's 3-1 morning-line favorite, and drew post 11. Ron the Greek runs from well off the pace, mitigating the potentially negative impact of the wide draw, but Hotep, a sharp allowance-race winner here Feb. 1, could be hindered by post 12. Stay Put, another good entry-level allowance winner at Fair Gronuds, drew post 9. The Risen Star speed will come from Tempted to Tapit (post 2, David Cohen), and Discreetly Mine, a Todd Pletcher-trained Florida invader set to make his first start around two turns.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Mineshaft Handicap drew a strong six-horse field headed by Friesan Fire, General Quarters, and Giant Oak. Seven 3-year-old fillies were entered in the Grade 3, $150,000 Silverbulletday, where the Pletcher-trained filly Devil May Care should be favored over Quiet Temper, Bella Medaglia, and Jody Slew.