El Padrino Likely for Lecomte

Let’s Go Stable’s El Padrino, a son of Pulpit from the barn of multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, is expected to be among those arriving in New Orleans to contest the Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds Jan. 21, according to Fair Grounds stakes coordinator Scott Jones.


The Lecomte, for 3-year-olds of Triple Crown potential, is the headline event of six stakes worth $650,000 to be contested on Fair Grounds’ Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone on the third Saturday in January.


El Padrino has not run since concluding his juvenile campaign with a fast-closing third-place finish in Aqueduct’s Grade II Remsen Stakes Nov. 26. However, the chestnut colt out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Enchanted Rock worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40 at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Training Center Monday morning.


Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez is expected to journey to New Orleans to ride El Padrino in the Lecomte, first leg of Fair Grounds’ three-race sophomore series that concludes with the $1 million Louisiana Derby, to be run April 1 on the current session’s Closing Day.


Prior to his third-place finish in the Remsen, where he was beaten three-quarters of a length for the win, El Padrino broke his maiden by 12 3/4-lengths over sloppy going at Belmont Park Oct. 29.




Steve Martin’s Ted’s Folly, winner of Remington Park’s $300,000 Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 10, arrived at Fair Grounds late last month and is expected to contest the upcoming Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 21, according to Fair Grounds stakes coordinator Scott Jones.


Two years ago, Jack Hammer’s Ron the Greek won Fair Grounds’ 2010 Lecomte Stakes after finishing fourth in the Springboard Mile, and last season George and Lori Hall’s Pants On Fire parlayed a runner-up finish in the 2011 Lecomte to a win in last season’s Grade II Louisiana Derby.


This spring’s $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby will be run April 1 with the Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 25 serving as the bridge between the Lecomte and the 99th running of the showcase race of the New Orleans’ Thoroughbred racing season.


Ted’s Folly, an Oklahoma-bred conditioned by Wilson Brown who has now won six straight, captured the restricted $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes by 5 1/4-lengths Nov. 18 prior to his Springboard Mile score and won the state-bred $79,000 Oklahoma Juvenile before that on Oct. 28.


According to Jones, others considered likely for the Lecomte on Fair Grounds’ Road to the Derby Kickoff Day include Jerry Namy’s Shared Property, winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity Sept. 10 and subsequently sixth in Keeneland’s Grade I Breeders’ Futurity Oct. 8; Stewart Madison, Justin Querbes III and Al Stall Jr.’s Seven Likely Sins, second by three-quarters of a length in Churchill’s Grade III Iroquois Stakes Oct. 30 and most recently fourth in the Grade III Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs Nov. 19;  Willis Horton’s Laurie’s Rocket, second by a nose in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes Dec. 17, fifth in the Delta Jackpot before that and fourth in Saratoga’s Grade I Hopeful Sept 5; as well as Terry Hamilton’s Hammers Terror, a winner of his last two straight including a 2 3/4-length tally here Dec. 8.


Local maiden winners Tetradrachm, Z Dager and Gowhereyougaze, owned respectively by Mrs. Jerry Amerman, Zayat Stables and Agave Racing Stable, complete the list of the early likely Lecomte participants, while the Sugar Bowl winner Exfactor, owned by Stoneway Farm, is considered a possibility at this time.



The 25th renewal of Fair Grounds’ Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap for older horses over the Stall-Wilson turf course, the 20th anniversary edition of the $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the main track and the 66th running of the $100,000 Louisiana Handicap for older horses over the main track are also to be contested as part of the gala Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone Jan. 21, with the $75,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes at six furlongs and the grassy $75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes at about 5 1/2 furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course complete Saturday’s stakes sextet.


The Silverbulletday Stakes is the first leg of Fair Grounds’ sophomore filly series that is continues with the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford on Feb. 25 and concludes with the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 31, penultimate day of the New Orleans’ Thoroughbred season.


The grass-contested Col. Bradley is followed by the Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap Feb. 25 and concludes with the Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap on April 1, while the Louisiana Handicap is followed by the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 25 and ends with the Grade II New Orleans Handicap on Louisiana Derby Day April 1, Closing Day of the season.




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