Lecomte Kicks Off Derby Preps at Fair Grounds

A field of 11 line up in the $200,000 LeComte at Fair Grounds.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby goes through New Orleans on Saturday, as a field of 11 will line up in the $200,000 Lecomte (G3).

The race offers up 10 Derby points to the winner and serves as the first of three key Derby preps held at the New Orleans racetrack. Coming up is the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 21, followed by the marquee event of the meeting, the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 28.

The Neil Howard trained Eagle, who was a close up third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), is the 3-1 morning line favorite, but drew the 11 post. He was three-quarters of a length back of the winner El Kabeir, who returned to win the Jerome Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in his next outing.

I am going with the Todd Pletcher trained Savoy Stomp, who has just three starts under his belt. The $875,000 purchase broke his maiden in his debut in impressive fashion, but caught a muddy track in the Nashua (G2) in his first go against winners where he checked in a well-beaten fifth.

His third against first level optional claimers looked better when the winner Bluegrass Springs came back to win the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Pletcher has not won the Lecomte, but is a familiar face in New Orleans. In the past five years, he has won with 14 of 35 starters, all the winners coming in stakes races.

Among those wins were victories in the Risen Star three times (Discreetly Mine in 2010, El Padrino in 2012 and Intense Holiday last year). Pletcher has also won the Louisiana Derby three times, the last time with Revolutionary in 2013.

My Best Plays for Saturday includes my strongest plays from Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds including all of the stakes action.

Let’s head out New Orleans for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Fair Grounds Race 11 The Lecomte G3 (Post time 5:24 CT)

6 Savoy Stomp    8-1

11 Eagle  3-1

10 Another Lemon Drop   6-1

1 International Star   8-1

Analysis: Savoy Stomp ships in from Florida for the Todd Pletcher barn and bounced back with a better effort in a third place finish against Alw-1 optional claimers last out after getting outrun in the Nashua (G2) two back in his stakes debut. The winner of his last race was Bluegrass Springs. who returned to win the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 3

His Nashua poor showing could be blamed on a wet track. He comes back here with lasix added to the mix here and should be a decent price. The colt was an $875,000 purchase, by Medaglia d’Oro out of an A.P. Indy mare.

Eagle draws a tough post breaking from the far outside and going back five years horses breaking form this post at this distance have gone just 3 for 97. Last out the colt staled the early pace, came with a run but had to steady briefly while down along the inside, angled out and finished up well for third, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot.

The winner El Beirut came back to win the Jerome (G3) in impressive fashion in his next outing. The Neil Howard trainee owns the top last out speed fig but will need to work out a trip.

Another Lemon Drop also drew a tough post just inside of our second choice. The colt beat non-winners of two optional claimers last out in the slop in a race washed off the turf rather easily. Two back in his first go against winners he ran third behind Dortmund, who returned to win the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in his next outing. He has shown improvement in each of his starts and looks as if he will appreciate some extra ground.


WIN: #6 to win at 5-1 or better.

EX: 6,11 / 1,6,10,11

TRI: 6,11 / 1,6,10,11 / 1,2,6,10,11


Road to the Kentucky Derby Package

Catch Derby Fever with Michael Dempsey’s Road to the Kentucky Derby Package! Subscribers receive ALL of Michael’s Saturday’s Reports now until the first Saturday of May! Included in the package is coverage of all of the major Derby preps, his Best Plays Report and his full card reports each Saturday! In addition, this package includes his Kentucky Oaks Day and Kentucky Derby Day Reports! A $400 value for just $119.95!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

DRF Past Performances

Check out the most powerful
interactive Past Performances
used by Michael Dempsey. Use the code TENOFF19 which gives
you a 10% discount on any DRF Formulator plan that is one month or longer.


Free Horse Racing Picks

Get free horse racing picks each day from expert race handicapper Michael Dempsey Click Here

Belmont Stakes News & Reports
Breeders' Cup
Turf ‘n’ Sport handicapper Michael Dempsey has the Belmont Stakes covered with his selections, analysis and fair odds for every race on the card!
Wager on the Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes News

Belmont Stakes Reports

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Horse Racing Betting Tips
Turf 'n' Sport handicappers give out basic horse racing handicapping information..