2015 Lecomte Stakes Preview
The only Kentucky Derby prep race on Saturday will be the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds. A field of 11 will run 1 mile and 70 yards over the main track dirt surface. The 11 horses will be battling out for up to 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. The race is scheduled to go off at 6:24 PM Eastern Time with partly cloudy skies expected. Below is a look at each of the horses starting in the Lecomte.
1. International Star (8-1 Morning Line) – He has not run since November 29 when he finished fourth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. He lost that race to El Kabeir, who came back to win the Jerome two weeks ago. He has worked decently in the interim, but of more concern is his 0 for 2 record on dirt despite being by Fusaichi Pegasus. The jury is still out whether he can run at this level on dirt. Wait and see on him in this spot.
2. Tiznow R J (5-1 ML) – It took him to his third start to break his maiden, but he did so in style here at the Fair Grounds. He won by 13 lengths five weeks ago while going gate-to-wire. He has worked well since that win and should be the controlling speed in this race from the inside post. He certainly has a chance in this race.
3. Four Leaf Chief (10-1 ML) – He owns a 3 for 5 record, however, all of his races have been at lower levels. To be fair, he does sport 2 Louisiana-bred Stakes wins at two different tracks (Delta Downs and Louisiana Downs). Last out he came from way back to grab third, but was well beaten by War Story. His deep closing style will not do him any favors as there does not appear to help his cause.
4. War Story (9-2 ML) – This guy is two for two in his career while employing different tactics in those races. In his debut race he came from nearly 10 lengths back to win by 2 3/4 lengths. In the latest race he was far closer to the pace and took over in the stretch to win by the same 2 3/4 lengths margin. He should be in great position in this race as well and deserves a long look.
5. Hero of Humor (50-1 ML) – He broke his maiden in his second start at Churchill before running 2nd in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park West on Halloween. However, the last two starts have been dismal in stakes competition. He has been beaten a combined 53 lengths in the last two starts and has beaten only 1 horse. Pass on this guy here.
6. Savoy Stomp (8-1 ML) – After breaking his maiden in his debut at Belmont, he was crushed by 21 lengths in the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct on November 2. His last start was at 1 mile at Gulfstream Park where he finished third beaten 7 1/4 lengths. He adds lasix for this and may improve second off the layoff. In this spot, it may be best to take a wait and see approach, but he could surprise here as well. Tough to decipher…
7. Runhappy (8-1 ML) – He broke his maiden impressively last time out in his debut at Turfway Park. Going six and a half furlongs he took over on the backstretch and powered his way to a 8 1/4 lengths win. The connections feel this son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver deserves a chance in the road to the Derby. He is an interesting horse here, but there are more likely contenders as well.
8. Killingit (15-1 ML) – He has ran in four career races with a win, a second, and a third to his credit. Those three finishers, however, came in maiden races. His last start was an Optional Claimer $50,000 where he finished 6th beaten 4 1/2 lengths at one mile. That does not bode well for him in this spot. Pass on him in the Lecomte.
9. Dekabrist (30-1 ML) – The most experienced runner in the field has run 9 times with 2 wins. Those two wins were in his first two career starts at 4.5 and 5.5 furlongs respectively. Since the last win he has not hit the board, nor has he been defeated by less than 11 lengths. Pass on him.
10. Another Lemon Drop (6-1 ML) – He broke his maiden in his second start on turf by 2 lengths before running his last two races on dirt. His latest race was run in the slop here at the Fair Grounds and he won by 5 lengths in an Optional Claimer $50,000. He has come from off the pace in each of his career starts and he does have an outside post here. Both of those are concerns, but he definitely figures underneath in this race.
11. Eagle (3-1 ML) – The morning line favorite has the outside post in this race. He broke his maiden in his debut race on July 5 at Ellis Park by a length before going on 2 1/2 month break. He returned from that break to finish second before his following race at Keeneland provided him his second win. His latest race was the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes where he finished 3rd beaten only three-quarters of a length. If he can get a good spot before they hit the first turn, he will definitely be there at the wire.
1. Tiznow R J
2. War Story
4. Another Lemon Drop