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Vahva, Cavalry Charge Line Up for Big Prizes in NOLA / Friday, February 17, 2023

A 3-year-old filly who ran valiantly despite trouble in her stakes debut and a veteran returning to the site of his biggest victory, it will be Vahva and Cavalry Charge leading the brigade for West Point Thoroughbreds on Saturday’s Risen Star card at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

Coming off a third-place finish in the Untapable Stakes, Vahva is 6/1 on the morning line for the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, offering 50-20-15-10-5 in qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Luis Saez will be back in NOLA to ride her for trainer Cherie DeVaux. Luis was on board for her maiden win in November.

Cavalry Charge is a 6-year-old gelding on the brink of $500,000 in earnings for trainer Dallas Stewart. He will look to defend his title in the Fair Grounds Stakes, a Grade 3 turf event that he conquered at 35-to-1 odds a year ago. He is listed at 6-to-1 for this year’s edition, paired with jockey David Cohen in a field of 8.

Earlier on the Fair Grounds card, Cagliostro will step up to face winners in an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds, as he moves up off a breakthrough maiden win there on January 21 in his second career start. Cherie DeVaux trains the 3-year-old colt, with Brian Hernandez Jr. to get a leg up in a deep field.

Fight’n Ready, another 3-year-old colt, has the outside post for a two-turn maiden race that goes as Race 7. Fight’n Ready finished second in a similar race on December 8 at Fair Grounds. Edgar Morales has the return call for Dallas Stewart.

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