The 17th Running of the G3 Lecomte Stakes
January 22, 2022 16:20
FG Race #11 $200.000 11/16 Dirt
3YO C/G 122 Lbs/F 117 Lbs (plus penalties)
KYD Points Race (10-4-2-1)
Track Record-1:39.97 (Phuneios-2013)
Stakes Record-1:41.93 (Proud Crown-2021)
The KYD Prep Season is picking-up steam and this Saturday we have the G3 Lecomte Stakes at FG. Sophomores will be competing for $200.000 as well as qualifying points as they go 8.5 furlongs on the main track. Proud Crown took this race last season for conditioner, Mb Stables and the conditioner’s four Lecomte victories lead all trainers at HRP. While four victories is impressive, S.X. Bridgmohan has been the winning rider on six occasions and he leads all HRP jockeys.
This year’s G3 Lecomte has drawn a full field of 12 and over half of those runners can call themselves stakes winners with four graded winners included. Two G1 winners, Custom Continental and Chai West, are in here and neither will be penalized on the scale for those prior triumphs. The other graded winners, Blasphemy and Mr Nix Nooks, found their success at this G3 level. The other stakes-winners, The Greek, Warrior Of Chiefs, and Changing Times, have all conquered state-bred foes.
As far as what to expect when the gates spring open, a variety of horses appear most likely to set or be close to the pace. Breaking from post two, Shadow Police (the race’s lone filly) has led every step of the way in her two most recent efforts; a state bred MSW and allowance, both against her own sex. Look for her to try to use the inside draw and the weight break to her advantage and see just how far she can take them on Saturday. Custom Continental took his G1 in front-running fashion, has been off of the pace in his two most recent runs, but could show more early foot to keep his rail position without getting shuffled-back. War All The Time broke his maiden on the front end and could be close early from stall four. Further out in the field, Warrior Of Chiefs, Blasphemy, and Changing Times have all found success from being up close to the pace. Those six individuals look most likely to be in the top half of the field during the early running, but what that looks like on race day is hard to predict. They could be in two groups of three; a lone leader, one chaser, and a pack of four; or the doomsday scenario, for a stalking type, where someone gets caught 4-5 wide going around the first turn. How those six reach the first turn will have an affect on the chances of those not on/close to the pace. And I didn’t even mention The Greek(who will be making his two-turn debut after showing enough gas to be close to the pace in all four of his sprint starts) nor The Tonight Show (who has shown speed on grass in all four of his starts).
Hoping to be on the rail and in the third flight, Chai West, Winstorm, Keyhunt, and Mr Nix Nooks should be anywhere from four-to-six lengths off of whoever the pace-setter is. Again, the fashion in which they reach the first turn could be a determining factor in how they finish in the race. Get caught too wide and you are left praying that you are much the best; get caught too far behind and you risk getting blocked for a significant part of the running. At this level, the trip you get is every bit as important as the horse you bring to the race. How does all of this shake out? Here’s one man’s guess.
Final Analysis: The race will come down to trip and the two most likely choices to get the right kind of trip are Custom Continental and War All The Time. Those two will decide the top two spots and will have to hold off Chai West, Winstorm, Keyhunt, and Blasphemy. Good luck to everyone!
$200.000 G3 Lecomte 11/16 FG Race #11
#1 Custom Continental (Jive Inc./Jive Inc./D. Moran 122)
#2 Shadow Police (Smokey Stover/Smokey Stover/S.X. Bridgmohan 117)
#3 The Greek (Arindel/Arindel/R. Gutierrez 122)
#4 War All The Time (John Henry/Harrell Racing/D. Davis 122)
#5 Chai West (Alydar Stables/Alydar Stables/J.R. Velazquez 122)
#6 Winstorm (Fractious/Team 7 Illusions/G. Saez 122)
#7 Warrior Of Chiefs (Wood Duck Stables/Wood Duck Stables/V. Espinoza 122)
#8 Keyhunt (Arindel/Arindel/C.J. Hernandez 122)
#9 Blasphemy (Mb Stables/Mb Stables/A. Cedillo 122)
#10 Mr Nix Nooks (Martyparty/Martyparty/T. Gaffalione 122)
#11 The Tonight Show (Rock Creek/Greeko Holdem/Mario Gutierrez 122)
#12 Changing Times (D J C Racing Stables/D J C Racing Stables/E. Jaramillo 122)