A field of 13 sophomores, including a pair of late surprise entrants from multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainers
D. Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher,
has been named to contest Saturday’s 67th renewal of the Grade III Lecomte Stakes for 3-year-olds possible for a Triple Crown campaign later this spring.
As the first local prep for the
$1 million Grade II Louisiana
Derby April 1, the
$175,000 Lecomte at a mile and 70 yards is the centerpiece event among
six stakes race worth $650,000 slated for Saturday’s expanded 13-race
program packaged as
Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone. First post is 12:10 p.m. General Admission is $5 and Clubhouse Admission is $10.
Also on tap Saturday is the
Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap for older horses over the
Stall-Wilson turf course, the $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes as the first leg of Fair Grounds’ sophomore filly series, the
$100,000 Louisiana Handicap for older horses on the main track, the
$75,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes for older sprinters and the
$75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters on the grass.
As the headline attraction this weekend, the Lecomte precedes Fair Grounds’
Grade II Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 25 and that local sophomore series concludes with the Louisiana Derby on Closing Day of the
New Orleans oval’s 2011-2012 Thoroughbred racing season.
Shared Property, hero of
Chicago’s Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity last Sept. 10, has been installed as the lukewarm 4-1 choice in the Lecomte based on that performance. The altered son
of Scat Daddy, conditioned by nine-time Fair Grounds’ trainer champion Tom Amoss, will be ridden by regular rider
Leandro Goncalves in the
Lecomte. Shared Property, who breezed a bullet half-mile in 1:15.80 last
Saturday here, will be making his first start as a 3-year-old after
finishing sixth in the
Grade I Breeders’ Futurity last Oct. 8 over Keeneland’s Polytrack course.
Stewart Madison, Justin Querbes III and Al Stall Jr.’s
Seven Lively Sins, fourth in the
Grade III Delta Jackpot in his last start Nov. 19 but second in Churchill’s
Grade III Iroquois Stakes
before that Oct. 30, has been pegged as the 9-2 second choice in the
Lecomte early line. Fair Grounds’ defending jockey champion and current
Rosie Napravnik will be astride the
Al Stall Jr. trainee. The Stormy Atlantic colt breezed a half-mile in 50 flat Monday at Fair Grounds.
Stoneway Farm’s Exfactor, hero of Fair Grounds’
$60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes
Dec. 17 and winner of Churchill’s Grade III Bashford Manor last July 2, is the projected Lecomte third choice at 5-1. Trained by native New Orleanian
Bernie Flint, Exfactor will be ridden by
Shaun Bridgmohan, Fair Grounds’ leading rider two seasons ago.
Completing the Lecomte field is the Zayat Stables’-owned coupling of
Dan and Sheila and Z Dager, 6-1 with
John Velazquez and Shane Sellers aboard respectively; the Raut LLC-owned entry of
Adena’s Chance and Hero of Order, 20-1 with
Marlon St. Julien and Iram Diego up in that order; Steve Martin’s
Ted’s Folly, 10-1, Jose Medina; Brereton Jones’
Mr. Bowling, 8-1, Robby Albarado; Robert Cartwright’s
Alexander Thegreat, 30-1, John Jacinto; Terry Hamilton’s
Hammers Terror, 6-1, James Graham; Bluegrass Hall’s
Chalybeate Springs, 20-1, Brian Hernandez Jr.; and David Randal’s
Capetown Devil, 6-1, Corey Lanerie.
of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas made the surprise supplementary
nomination of Chalybeate Springs at entry time after that Dynaformer
broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park last Saturday, and five-time Eclipse
Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher called something of an audible not
sending Let’s Go Stable’s El Padrino and then substituting Dan and
Sheila as part of a Zayat coupling following that
More Than Ready ridgling’s maiden win at first asking at Gulfstream