Zayat Stables’ Justin Phillip and Sandra Duke’s Dreamsrunwild
both breezed five furlongs Monday morning at Fair Grounds in preparation
for the upcoming Grade III Lecomte Stakes, headline attraction and one
of six races scheduled for the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by
Hotel Monteleone program now less than two weeks away on Jan. 22.
The Lecomte, first leg of the Crescent City oval’s
3-year-old series that continues with the Grade II Risen Star Stakes
Feb. 19 and concludes with the $1 million Grade II Louisiana Derby March
26, carries a purse of $100,000 and will be run at one mile and 40 yards.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire swept the New Orleans sophomore
series two years ago and then went to the post as the favorite in that year’s Kentucky
Derby based on those local scores.
On Monday, Justin Phillip, conditioned by defending Eclipse
Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, went the five-eighths over a track
rated “good” in 1:02.20, while Dreamsrunwild, trained by Steven Duke, accomplished
his move in 1:03.
“I was real happy with his work,” said Duke shortly after
Dreamsrunwild’s move. “The track was a little heavy (after sporadic heavy
showers in New Orleans
Sunday) but he got the last eighth in 12 flat and that was what I was looking
for, so I think we’ll go ahead and shoot for the Lecomte.”