The first of three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races at Fair Grounds is coming up on Saturday, with 15 entered to run in the $200,000 Lecomte (G3) led by the Tom Amoss trained Mo Tom, the 7-2 morning line favorite.
The field likely will be reduced to 11 as Noble Thought will scratch due to an injury and Battle Tap, Indygo Breeze and Tarpon Bay Road may opt for an allowance race on Monday’s card.
As a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, there are 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs for entry into the Run for the Roses. The Lecomte is the first of three Derby points races at Fair Grounds. Coming up on Feb. 20 is the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) and then the marquee event of the meeting is the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26.
Amoss will saddle the likely favorite Mo Tom, who is coming off a good third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs which was contested in the slop.
The other main contender appears to be Fish Trappe Road, a New York bred who raced against the track bias in a runner up finish in the Sleepy Hollow in his last outing.
The Lecomte is one of five stakes on an outstanding 12-race card at Fair Grounds. The $150,000 Silverbulletday features three-year-old fillies with sights on making it to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in May at Churchill Downs.
In addition to the big day in the Bayou, it is Sunshine Millions Day at Gulfstream Park, with six stakes with purses of over $1 million up for grabs.
At Aqueduct the feature is the $125,000 Jazil which drew a field of seven led by Claiming Crown Jewel winner Royal Posse (8-5) and Kid Cruz (2-1) who is winless in eight races since taking the Dwyer (G3) in July of 2014.
Let’s head out to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Fair Grounds Race 11 The Lecomte (G3) Post time 5:21 CT
7 Mo Tom 7-2
2 Fish Trappe Road 6-1
3 Uncle Walter 6-1
5 Dolphus 10-1
Mo Tom exits the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in the slop last out at Churchill Downs where the Tom Amoss trainee checked in third. Outrun in the early going the colt came up the inside, had to wait briefly coming out of the far turn and came up the inside with a good late run, losing momentum just briefly when switching leads. He was beaten 1 ¾ lengths for the top spot. The runner up Mor Spirit came back to win the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in his next outing on Dec. 19. Two back our top pick was a sharp winner of the Street Sense at Churchill Downs going a mile. The $150,000 Keeneland purchase has four sibs that are winners and two are stakes winners, top earner Beautician ($636,175).
Fish Trappe Road steps out of the New York bred ranks where last out the colt ran second in the Sleepy Hollow at Belmont Park going a mile. The colt set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in the stretch while drifting out. He caught a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. The third place finisher Governor Malibu graduated in his next start while the fourth place finisher Sudden Surprise came back to win his next two starts, taking the state bred Notebook and a New York Stallion Series race. He is out of the stakes winner Electric Shock ($134,100), who has dropped five other winners.
Uncle Walter is coming off a game second against first level optional claimers last out at Churchill Downs in his first start against winners, beaten just a neck for the top spot. The Mike Maker trainee broke his maiden in his debut two back at Keeneland going seven furlongs by a neck with a strong late run. He looks as if two turns will suit him. He is by hot sire Uncle Mo out of a Unbridled’s Song mare that has dropped six other winners. The colt has been working sharply over the main track at Gulfstream Park for his stakes debut.
WIN: Mo Tom to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 2,7 / 2,3,5,7
TRIFECTA: 2,7 / 2,3,5,7 / 2,3,5,7,15
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