As part of the "Prep Season" in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the race will award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.
Although 15 three-year-old colts and geldings were entered in the Lecomte, it looks like a baker's dozen will line up. Noble Thought has been withdrawn from consideration after reportedly suffering an injury earlier in the week, while Battle Tap will be re-entered in an allowance on Monday.
The likely favorite in the Lecomte is Mo Tom, who captured the $81,000 Street Sense at Churchill Downs in early November and then rallied strongly to be third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) over the same track in the slop later that month. A son of juvenile champion Uncle Mo, Mo Tom has worked well over the Fair Grounds strip, including a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 on January 4.
Tom's Ready, second to Mo Tom in the Street Sense and eighth in the Kentucky Jockey Club, prepped for the Lecomte in a December 18 allowance, where he finished a neck behind Pinnacle Peak.
Uncle Walter, a debut winner at Keeneland and narrowly second in his lone allowance attempt at Churchill last fall, sports the colors of Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who captured the Lecomte last season with International Star, who went on to capture the Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2).
Dolphus, who won on debut at Fair Grounds in November prior to running third to Pinnacle Peak and Tom's Ready in the aforementioned allowance, is a half-brother to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who captured the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) during that historic campaign.
Others who might attract some play are Tiznoble, an off-the-turf allowance winner last month; Destin, who adds blinkers following a second against allowance company at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher; and the stakes-placed New York-bred Fish Trappe Road.
Fair Grounds' series of classic preps continues February 20 with the $400,000 Risen Star at 1 1/16 miles and March 26 with the $1 million Louisiana Derby at 1 1/8 miles. Like the Lecomte, both are sponsored by TwinSpires.com.
(Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)