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2015 LeComte

Fair Grounds’ LeComte

Vicar's In TroubleOn Saturday January 17th we have the $200,000 Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds. This race is a part of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Points System where the winner receives 10 points towards a possible Kentucky Derby entry. If you are unfamiliar with the points system, you can read up on it here- 2015 Kentucky Derby Points System. You’ll want to bookmark that page as we will be keeping up with the points leaders, races and replays leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby to help you with your handicapping efforts. In last year’s LeComte we saw my value play, Vicar’s In Trouble run away with a 6 ¾ lengths win over Albano and the favorite Gold Hawk. Vicar’s In Trouble paid $5.40 for the win, but I’m hoping to spot a more valuable winner in this year’s edition. Let’s see what we can find!

2015 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds

EagleThe $200,000 Grade 3 LeComte Stakes is Race 11 on Saturday’s card and will feature 11 three year olds traveling 1 mile 70 yards. The morning line favorite is Eagle at 3 to 1 on the morning line. In his last outing, this son of Candy Ride was a fast closing third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes back in November, missing the win by ¾ of a length. He will definitely be the one to beat since his best dirt speed is the fastest among today’s starters. He put in a sharp 4 furlong work on January 12th indicating that he is ready to run, but I’m looking for a bit more value and I believe the shorter distance here might produce a similar outcome to his Kentucky Jockey Club effort. As the distances stretch out later in the year, I believe we will see something from this colt, but for this race I’m looking elsewhere. Eagle will have Brian Hernandez, Jr. in the irons for trainer Neil Howard. There seems to be a lot of possible early speed in this race, so I’m looking for a colt with a similar running style to Eagle’s or at least one that can stalk the pace. Savoy StompFor value, I think that Savoy Stomp has to be my play at 8 to 1 on the morning line. For starters, trainer Todd Pletcher has enlisted the services of Mike Smith for this race. This will be Smith’s first race with Savoy Stomp and I have to believe that Pletcher and Smith know something that we don’t. His past performances don’t look so great at a glance, but he did put up a good speed figure in his last outing that ranks with the likes of Eagle. He stalked the pace in his first outing and captured a 2 length win gaining ground there, so I believe he will mimic that effort here. He also gets first time Lasix in this race which should be to his advantage. For a longshot that I think the public may ignore, I like International Star. His last two outings haven’t been so great, but I was impressed with his late drive win in the Grade 3 Grey at Woodbine and I look for a similar effort here. Good luck everybody!

Be sure and check back with us Monday for our coverage of the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn!

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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