Wild and Wonderful Stakes: Rise Up towers, plus odds and analysis

by | Sep 15, 2016 | Breaking, Racing, West Virginia, WV Racing

Rise Up. Photo by Coady Photography.

From a Charles Town release

Paul Van Doren’s graded stakes winner Rise Up headlines the field on Saturday night in the $100,000 Wild & Wonderful – the first of three six-figure unrestricted stakes on Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races eighth annual Race for the Ribbon card. All told, the Race for the Ribbon card contains eight stakes and gets underway at 5:00 P.M. EST.

After winning the 2013 Delta Jackpot (G3), the Tom Amoss trainee appeared to be on his way to the Kentucky Derby before a pair of setbacks in the Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fairgrounds forced him to change course.

Included in that change of course was a stop in the 2014 Robert Hilton Memorial at Charles Town over the same seven furlong configuration he’ll face on Saturday. Rise Up wouldn’t disappoint in the Hilton as he parlayed a front running trip into a 10 3/4 length romp over his competition as the odds on favorite. That front running trip is something his trainer makes no bones about wanting again in the five-year-old’s second trip to Charles Town.

[su_box title=”WILD AND WONDERFUL STAKES ENTRIES” style=”glass”]For three-year-olds and up, 7 furlongs, $100,000 purse

  1. Rise Up (6-5) — Javier Castellano, 119, Thomas M. Amoss — Millionaire holds class advantage, owns win over the strip, and looks to be controlling speed
  2. Starship Zeus (8-1) —  Carlos D. Lugo, 119, Murat Sancal — Still eligible for N1X
  3. I Came to Party (10-1) — Gerald Almodovar, 116, Gerald E. Brooks — Looks to be outmatched by prime contenders here
  4. Demon Buster (5-1) — Jose Montano, 119, Jose Corrales — Last out at MNR stake was a disappointment, but 5yo Ghostzapper gelding otherwise fits the bill, retains right to improve; a lively pace would help
  5. Grande Shores (7-2) — J.D. Acosta, 119, Mark E. Casse — $600k earner continues to hit hard at 8yo and won $100k stake at GP earlier this year
  6. Old Upstart (4-1) — Angel Cruz, 119, James L. Lawrence, II — Enters off a win against $50k claimers at SAR, owns two wins in last three

“It’s no secret that he’s a horse that needs to be on the lead,” said Amoss, who himself sports a Charles Town Oaks win with So Many Ways in 2013. “His last work at the Churchill Downs training track was very good. It’s a similar configuration to the track at Charles Town, and that’s what we did before his win in the Robert Hilton. So he’s coming into it as well as we could hope.”

Most recently the winner of an optional claiming allowance at Ellis Park by 3 1/4 lengths, the son of Rockport Harbor could also find himself with a pace scenario to his liking as he breaks from the rail in a race that, on paper, seems to lack an abundance of speed.

If that isn’t enough, Rise Up will also team up with jockey Javier Castellano over a track the winner of the last three Eclipse Awards as the country’s top rider has experienced a run of success on that includes a pair of Charles Town Classic wins as well as a Charles Town Oaks victory.

A win in the Wild & Wonderful would push Rise Up north of $1.1 million in career earnings.

Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred Grande Shores, the winner of this year’s $100,000 Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream Park, also journeys in from trainer Mark Casse’s base at Churchill Downs to try his hand in the Wild & Wonderful.

Much like his rival Rise Up, the now an eight-year-old Grande Shores is himself no stranger to the graded stakes ranks having finished second in back of the speedy X Y Jet in last year’s Mr. Prospector (G3) and then third, beaten just 3 1/2 lengths by Mshawish and Valid, in the Hal’s Hope (G3) earlier this year.

After making the first 57 starts of his career in the state of Florida, Grand Shores will make start number 59 his second consecutive one in the state of West Virginia, having finished fourth in the West Virginia Governor’s Cup on West Virginia Derby day at Mountaineer Park on August 6.

J.D. Acosta, who recently won the 3000th race of his career, has the call.

Starship Zeus, I Came to Party, Demon Buster and Old Upstart, the winner of a $50,000 claiming event at Saratoga in his last outing, complete the lineup.

The Wild & Wonderful is the first race in the late Pick 4 sequence that also includes the $100,000 Pink Ribbon and $350,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3). Post time for the Wild & Wonderful is scheduled for 9:10 P.M.