Exciting colt International Star (3c Fusaichi Pegasus x Parlez, by French Deputy) continued his rapid rate of progress with an emphatic win in the $400,000 Grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on the weekend.
Trained by Michael Maker, International Star won the Grade III Grey Stakes at Woodbine last year and scored a last start win in the Lecomte Stakes, so was well fancied to win despite his wide draw.
Well ridden by Miguel Mena, International Star was able to work across to the fence back in the field and surged to the line to win the 1 and 1/16th mile contest by a length.
“The post position worried me,” revealed Mena.
“You never know if you can get to the rail, where he wants to be. I was impressed because I moved at the five-sixteenths pole to get through and he came through a tight hole and then another one at the quarter-pole and kept running and drawing away.
“I think more distance will be no problem. He rates well, he loves the rail; it doesn’t matter how tight the hole is—he goes for it. When I put him on the rail, he grabs the bit and when we come up to a tight hole, he just goes for it. Not many horses do it. The more you save, the more you’re going to get.
“He’s not much to look at it, but he has a big heart.”
An $85,000 Fasig-Tipton yearling purchase, International Star runs for well known owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and is a half-brother to stakes-winners Fools in Love and DC Dancer being one of five winners from Parlez.
A bright prospect for Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, International Star has the overall record of four wins and two seconds from eight starts with prizemoney of $560,979.