Gate Is Full of Hopefuls in Lecomte Stakes

Lecomte Stakes (Grade 3) (KYD)- $200.000 Purse
FG- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
January 18, 2020

Now that we have started the new year, trainers of highly talented three year olds have begun to lay out their plans for this prep race season. Over the course of the next few months, there will be thrills and disappointments for many as hopefuls fizzle out and late bloomers emerge into the picture. Which contenders will remain strong all the way until the KYD? It’s time to decide. This Saturday, we head to FG for the fifteenth running of the Lecomte Stakes. It is a race that has been dominated by S X Bridgmohan and R J Albarado, as they have combined for 10 of the 14 winners (six and four) in the race’s history. Only once since 2011 has a jockey other then them won the Lecomte. Albarado does not currently have a mount, as his form has declined to become “an 8%” jockey, but Bridgmohan will be able to return for a chance to win his seventh race. Mb Stables has won three of the last four races, and has had Bridgmohan on each of them. However, the jockey will be on someone else’s ride this time. Let’s look at that one and the rest of the field!

#1- Chai Morning (Aer Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- We don’t have to wait long to get to the horse that Bridgmohan will be riding here, and he has had some history with Chai Morning, riding him in his last two races. One of those was a win, coming in the ungraded $120.000 Street Sense in October. A month later, he just missed, shot down at the wire by City Sniper. This will be his best starting post in a little while, so that will be helpful.

#2- Spirited Stride (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- After setting the pace in the BC Juvenile, Spirited Stride held on to finish fourth in the race. That effort was after back-to-back Grade 1 wins, coming in the DMR Futurity and the Pharoah out on the west coast. This is certainly looking like one of the better KYD contenders right now, and he should be able to make a statement in this race.

#3- Aggravated Sky (Estero Farms, ridden by R M Hernandez)- He won two races last year, with his best performances occurring in NY-bred races over the fall. Unfortunately, he has not really been able to have the same success as of now in his graded stake tries, and his effort at the LA Futurity in December was rather disheartening. He can’t use starting posts as an excuse, as he always seems to get a good draw.

#4- Supreme Confidence (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- The second of two runners being saddled here by the trainer. Supreme Confidence has done his best work north of the border, as that has been where all but one his starts have come thus far. There are two ON-bred stake wins mixed in there, one on each surface. This will be his first graded race, and our best chance to see him against top opposition.

#5- Peachtree (Smokey Stover, ridden by M Franco)- After running second in the Grade 3 Nashua, which is held just a couple days after the BC Juvenile, Peachtree, like others here, took on in-state rivals. For him, it was the $100.000 PA Nursery, and he would win the seven furlong race. His only graded attempt is the lone dud in his past performances, and an poor start from the gate could have had something to do with it.

#6- Neighborhood Hero (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J Lezcano)- His career started flawlessly, with three wins in his first three races, culminating in a triumph in the $100.000 Saplin. Since then, however, things have been a lot more difficult for him, and his last two starts have seen him finish seventh of 12. Most recently we saw him in the Grade 2 Remsen. His works are a couple tenths slower then several here, but that can be made up for on the track.

#7- Anoush Command (Serenity Stables, ridden by L Contreras)- Like Neighborhood Hero, Anoush Command is also coming here out of the Remsen. However, his finish was much better, placing second to Sars. Overall, he has won two of six, showing plenty of potential, but is still looking for his first stake win. He has been knocking on the door of that, and I would not rule out that happening here.

#8- Raid Of The Mist (Allinthegate, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- After winning the Grey Stakes in the slop at WO in October, things seemed to be looking up for Raid Of The Mist, but he turned in quite a dud in his last start. In the LA Futurity, he ran well early, but tired out quite a bit. Each race was the same distance, though the tactics used were very different. Don’t look for him to be near the lead here in the early stages.

#9- Notorious Temper (Night Rider Stables, ridden by T Gaffalione)- Won the first three starts of his career, and that was while he was taking on in-state competition. That has been somewhat of a theme in this race. For Notorious Temper, that saw races in the FL Sire Stakes, and he won the $400.000 In Reality in September. He has transitioned pretty well to graded competition since then, and was second last month in the LA Futurity.

#10- Bound Bay (Gdp Inc, ridden by M J Sanchez)- One of two in the field that ran in the BC Juvenile a couple of months ago. For Bound Bay, it was not a successful venture, placing ninth. He has raced since, and won the muddy $100.000 Display Stakes at WO last month. That marked his second career win, but may have been an important confidence booster after a couple of races where he was not near the front. Worked very well for New Year’s at the Big A.

#11- Class Edge (Chili King Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- This horse took part in the BC, but did his running in the BC Juvenile Turf. If you didn’t remember that, his uneventful 13th place finish may have had something to do with it. He returned to the main track last month on a rain soaked day at GG, and won the $75.000 Gold Rush after opening up a big lead, and hanging on at the end.

#12- Graveyard- Scratched

#13- The Mist (Rampage Stable, ridden by J Rosario)- Drawing into the race is a horse with some graded experience, as The Mist has been in both the Nashua and the Remsen over the last couple months, and earned a check in each of them. He also ran in the Grade 1 Pharoah, and even had J Rosario aboard that day, but it did not go well. The trainer has some good prospects this year, so be on the lookout for them!

Prediction: 2-7-1-9

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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