Lynn's Map shifts back to Fair Grounds' Kentucky Derby trail

January 28, 2020 12:54pm
Lynn's Map shifts back to Fair Grounds' Kentucky Derby trail
Photo: Hodges Photography
Don’t expect to see Mark Casse’s top two 2020 Kentucky Derby hopefuls racing anywhere other than the Fair Grounds entries in New Orleans ahead of the first Saturday in May.

Lynn’s Map, who finished fifth of nine in last Friday’s Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park, is back at Fair Grounds, where he rejoined this month’s Lecomte Stakes (G3) winner Enforceable. “The last couple of years it’s been good to us,” Casse said of the Derby trail through Fair Grounds. “I don’t see any reason to change.” The eventual Preakness Stakes hero War of Will won both the Lecomte and Risen Star (G2) in 2019, while a minor injury leaving the gate in the Louisiana Derby (G2) prevented him from placing. Enforceable and Lynn’s Map figure to also complete the series while making their own push toward Churchill Downs.
Owned by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Mishal al Saud, Lynn’s Map scratched from the Lecomte due to a far outside post position, shipping instead for the Smarty Jones run six days later. The track ended up muddy, and he didn't take to it particularly well. did not take well from an outside post position to Oaklawn’s muddy track. “I was disappointed in him,” Casse said. “But then again, if you really analyze what went on there on the weekend it looked like inside on the rail was pretty good. “Miguel (Mena) felt like he struggled with the track somewhat. He was exhausted after the race, which really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He had just won down at Fair Grounds.” In that 1-mile, 70-yard effort, the Liam's Map colt topped next-out Lecomte board hitter Mr. Monomoy over a sloppy, sealed surface. Casse speculated that Oaklawn’s dirt was “a little sticky,” noting that others looked a step slow in a race where Gold Street took the field all the way to win. “So we’re going to throw it out,” Casse said. “He’s back in New Orleans and we’ll go from there.” The Risen Star renews on Feb. 15 before the Louisiana Derby runs March 21. Casse said that while John Oxley’s Enforceable is “happy and likes it” at Fair Grounds, those races’ respective distances make the son of Tapit a fit to stay in town, too. Each of the local preps were extended this season with the Lecomte stretched to 1 1/16 miles, the Risen Star running at 1 1/8 and the Louisiana Derby measuring 1 3/16 miles. "I think that’s a plus,” Casse said, with Enforceable already a nine-furlong Saratoga maiden winner. “We’re going to stay there.” Casse has at least one other 3-year-old to watch for the Derby trail. Untitled, a private purchase for owner Gary Barber since debuting an 11-length winner last month over Florida-breds, is expected to debut for the new connections in Saturday’s seven-furlong Swale Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

 

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