Risen Star was a 17-hand dark bay colt by Secretariat, out of the mare Ribbon.
In 1988, he started his march toward the Kentucky Derby by winning the Louisiana Derby and the Lexington Stakes. However, that would be one of the rare years when a filly won the Derby (Winning Colors.) Risen Star finished third but came roaring back to win the Preakness at 1:56 1/5, the second fastest time since Secretariat in 1973. He then thrilled the crowds at the Belmont Stakes by winning by 14 ¾ lengths as the announcer shouted “He looks just like his daddy!” He posted the then-second fastest time of 2:26 2/5 behind his sire’s record-shattering 2:24. Risen Star’s groom Harold Joseph reportedly said, “You’re the champeen! Your daddy jumped out of you today!” Because he’d won two jewels of the Triple Crown, Risen Star earned the $1,000,000 Chrysler Triple Crown Bonus awarded to the three-year-old with the best finishes in the three races. He won the 1988 Eclipse Award as the top three-year-old colt. This made him the first third-generation Eclipse Award winner in the same category, as he followed Secretariat in 1973 and his grandsire Bold Ruler in 1957. He was retired to stud after an injury which occurred in his famous Belmont. The Risen Star Stakes for 3-year-olds is named in his honor and is held annually at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana.