Lecomte opportunities, choices, free PPs

After a two-weekend break, the Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby will resume on Saturday in New Orleans.

daddy cap is the 8-5 morning line favorite for the grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte Bets. Posting time from Fair Grounds is 7:20 p.m. EST, with TVG showing the 1 1/16-mile bet for 3-year-olds.

The Lecomte awards points to the Kentucky Derby on a 10-4-2-1 basis. It’s the second of Fair Grounds’ four Derby preps, following last month’s Gun Runner Stakes and ahead of the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) on Feb. 19 and the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on Feb. 26. March.

Pappacap enters the Lecomte and leads the way to the Kentucky Derby standings with 12 points. He finished second to Corniche in both the US Pharoah Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but that colt was ineligible for Derby points awarded due to the suspension of Churchill Downs coach Bob Baffert.

Mark Casse trains Pappacap, a son of 2016 Risen Star and Louisiana Derby hero Gun Runner. Jockey Joe Bravo will be attending Saturday’s Florida-bred colt, winner of last August’s Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar.

Epicenter (9-5) took the first leg of the Fair Grounds Derby prep series impressively, scoring with lengths of 6½. Trainer Steve Asmussen has won the Lecomte three times, including in 2021 with Midnight Bourbon, who will race in the $150,000 Louisiana Stakes (G3) on Saturday.

AlStall Jr. trains Trafalgar (5-1), who takes back-to-back wins, including a local grant score on Dec. 2. Brad Cox intern Cyberknife (6-1) broke his girl on the third question on Dec. 26 at Fair Grounds and adds turn signals for the Lecomte.

War Emblem in 2002 became the first Lecomte starter to capture the Kentucky Derby. The race has produced two Preakness Stakes winners over the past decade with Oxbow (2013) and War of Will (2019).

This is the field for the Lecomte Stakes 2022 (trainer and jockey in brackets) with morning odds:

1. Surfer Guy (Dallas Stewart, Reylu Gutiérrez), 15-1

2. Uniform Report (Dallas Stewart, Corey Lanerie), 15-1

3. Pappacap (Mark Casse, Joe Bravo), 8-5

4. Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr., Colby Hernandez), 5-1

5. Epicenter (Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario), 9-5

6. Cyber ​​Knife (Brad Cox, Florent Geroux), 6-1

7. Blue Kentucky (Wayne Catalano, Jareth Loveberry), 20-1

8. Call Me Midnight (Keith Desormeaux, James Graham), 20-1

9. Presidential (Steve Asmussen, Brian Hernandez Jr.), 20-1

Tempo projections from TimeformUS predict a tempo duel between Surfer Dude under jockey Reylu Gutierrez and Cyberknife with rider Florent Geroux. Favorite Pappacap is expected to follow the early pace of mid-pack.

For more information on Fair Grounds’ Lecomte and Louisiana Stakes, visit: Horse Racing Nation‘s free page with previous performances.

Kentucky Derby points top 10

1. Pappa cap, 12

2. Rattle N Roll, 10

3. Jack Christopher, 10

4. Make it big, 10

5. Smile happily, 10

6. Slow down Andy, 10

7. Major General, 10

8. Dash Attack, 10

9. Mo Donegal, 10

10. Courvoisier, 10

Lecomte Stakes Links

Laurie Ross and Ashley Tamuloni go mutual handicaps of the Lecomte Stakes. One handicapper thinks Pappacap will support his favoritism in this place, while another has a local hope on top of her ticket.

J. Keeler Johnson has two Lecomte starters among his horses to watch, along with a Kentucky Oaks prospect that also runs on the map.

Ron Flatter digs into the historical records and reveals that Fair Grounds has not been a productive track for producing Kentucky Derby winners.

This week’s Ron Flatter Racing Pod features Previews of Fair Grounds racing courtesy of trainer Mark Casse, track announcer John Dooley and HRN’s Mark Midland.

Casse spoke to Flatter about Pappacap and his others Road to Kentucky’s Prospects for an HRN Barn Tour.

Reinier Macatangay previews the Lecomte Stakes and shows that a speed horse is the best choice, even if the pace scenario seems on the fast side.

HorseCenter hosts Matt Shifman and Brian Zipse preview three big races on Saturday’s Fair Grounds map: the Lecomte, the Louisiana and the Silverbulletday.

Lecomte Stakes Card

Here’s a look at the other races with rings taking place at Fair Grounds on Saturday. All post times are EST and broadcast on TVG.

Related: Saturday Games: Lecomte Card Comes Into the Spotlight

4:25 pm – $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes, 4-and-up, 5½ furlongs (grass)

Just Might (8-5) is looking for a third straight Fair Grounds stake score after winning the Thanksgiving Classic and, on December 26, the Richard R. Scherer Memorial. Michelle Lovell trains the 6-year-old Justin Phillip gelding, who will have jockey Colby Hernandez on Saturday. Manny Wah (3-1) came second in the Richard R. Scherer Memorial to trainer Wayne Catalano and won this event in 2021. Norman Cash trains Sir Alfred James (5-1), who returns to the lawn after winning the Holiday Cheer Stakes on New Years Day on the synthetic track in Turfway Park.

5:23 PM – $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes, 4-and-up fillies and mares, 1 1/16 miles (grass)

Abscond (3-1) is a Class 1 winner but has not had a win since scoring at that level in Woodbine’s Natalma Stakes in September 2019. Eddie Kenneally trains and Adam Beschizza rides the 5-year-old Blame mare, 4th November . at Del Mar in the Goldikova Stakes (G2) on the Breeders’ Cup Classic undercard. Grade 3 winner Summer at Saratoga (7-2) takes consecutive wins, including the local Blushing KD Stakes on Dec. 26 for trainer Joe Sharp. Paul McGee trains Pass the Plate (6-1), a Fair Grounds stakes winner who placed fourth at Churchill Downs in the Chilukki Stakes (G3) on Nov. 20.

5:52 PM – $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 mile and 70 yards

La Crete (2-1) is favorite for trainer Steve Asmussen in this race that will pay Road to the Kentucky Oaks points on a 10-4-2-1 basis. Jockey Joel Rosario will be on the Medaglia d’Oro filly, a debut winner on November 20 at Churchill. AlStall Jr. intern Fannie and Freddie (5-2) was runner-up December 26 in the Untapable Stakes, the first of Fair Grounds’ four Oaks preps. Todd Pletcher trains Sweet as Pie (5-2), making her first start since Nov. 5 at Belmont Park in the Tempted Stakes.

6:20 PM – $100,000 Colonel ER Bradley Stakes, 4-and-up, 1 1/16 miles (grass)

Two Emmys (3-1) make the first start of its 6-year season after a 5-year campaign marked by an August 14 disruption at Arlington’s Mr. D. Stakes (G1), the former Arlington Million. Hugh Robertson trains the English Channel gelding, who gets jockey James Graham on Saturday. Halo Again (6-1), who finished eighth in the 2020 Lecomte, won the Fair Grounds Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes for Asmussen on December 26. Jeremiah Englehart trains Bodecream (8-1), a Sam Houston stakes winner who heads to Fair Grounds on December 5 from an Aqueduct surcharge score.

6:49 PM – $150,000 Louisiana Stakes (G3), 4 and up, 1 1/16 miles

Mandaloun (1-1) returns on Saturday for his first start since being elevated to victory at Monmouth Park on July 17 in the Haskell Stakes (G1). Jockey Florent Geroux will stay aboard the 4-year-old Into Mischief foal – last year’s Risen Star winner – for trainer Brad Cox. Asmussen’s 2021 Lecomte winner Midnight Bourbon (6-5) 2021 faced older runners for the first time in Churchill in the Clark Stakes (G1) on November 26, finishing third. Tom Drury Jr. trains Sprawl (10-1), a Class 3 winner who placed sixth behind Knicks Go and others on October 2 in Churchill’s Lukas Classic Stakes (G3).

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