A gate-load of three-year-old colts and geldings were entered late last week for Saturday’s $200,000 TwinSpires.com Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds, and, informally speaking, Tom, Walter, and Dolph figure to attract a lion’s share of the attention in the one-mile and 70-yard race.
Tom is Mo Tom, a son of Uncle Mo who captured the $81,000 Street Sense at Churchill Downs on November 1, and later that month rallied from far back in the slop to finish a strong third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).
Walter is Uncle Walter, also a son of Uncle Mo, who races for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who campaigned International Star to a sweep of the Lecomte, Risen Star (G2), and Louisiana Derby (G2) last year. Uncle Walter won at first asking by a neck at Keeneland in mid-October, and followed up with a narrow defeat in a Churchill allowance going 7 1/2 furlongs.
Dolph is Dolphus, a Lookin at Lucky half-brother to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. A debut winner going six furlongs at Fair Grounds in late November, the regally-bred colt weakened to third in his first try over a route of ground in a December 18 allowance.
Pinnacle Peak, who prevailed by a neck in that track-and-distance allowance tussle by a neck over Tom’s Ready, is one of the likely pacesetters in the Lecomte. Tom’s Ready, who is now officially in the Lecomte field after initially being on the also-eligible list, will have to overcome post 14. Second to Mo Tom in the Street Sense, he later finished eighth in the Kentucky Jockey Club after being bumped at the start.
Others of note in the Lecomte lineup are Tiznoble, an off-the-turf allowance winner over the Fair Grounds strip three weeks ago; Churchill maiden scorer Battle Tap, fifth in the $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington in his stakes debut; the Todd Pletcher-trained Destin, who adds blinkers after running second as an odds-on choice in a Gulfstream allowance last time; and the New York-bred Fish Trappe Road, second in the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow at Belmont in October.
As part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Series’ Prep Season, the Lecomte will offer Kentucky Derby (G1) qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to its first four finishers.
Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 will be on offer for three-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Silverbulletday. Also at one mile and 70 yards, the tune-up for the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) was won in dominating fashion last season by Eclipse Award finalist I’m a Chatterbox.
Stageplay, who captured the $84,000 Rags to Riches at Churchill before running second as the favorite in the Golden Rod (G2), figures to be a solid favorite in a field that also includes Delta Downs Princess (G3) winner Jet Black Magic and local allowance scorers Loveable Lys and Midnight On Oconee.
(Mo Tom photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)