The first of three qualifying races at Fair Grounds, Saturday’s $200,000 Lecomte (G3) features a contentious field of 12 competing for a total of 17 points (10-4-2-1 scale) toward a berth in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Untrapped, a runaway last-out maiden winner at Churchill Downs, is the early 9-2 favorite but little separates the top contenders on the morning line, with five 3-year-olds listed at 6-1 or less in the one-mile and 70-yard Lecomte.
After opening his racing career at Keeneland with a runner-up to Uncontested, a convincing winner of Monday’s Smarty Jones at Oaklawn, Untrapped came back a month later to crush maiden special weight foes under the Twin Spires, scoring by 5 ¼ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs. Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount as the dark bay colt will stretch out to two turns for his third start.
The son of Trappe Shot sold for $150,000 as a yearling and Untrapped is one of three runners for trainer Steve Asmussen, who will also send out stakes winner Tip Tap Tapizar and Springboard Mile runner-up Totality, both 12-1 on the morning line.
Guest Suite finished third to unbeaten McCraken in the Street Sense two starts back and exits a 6 ¼-length allowance tally at Churchill Downs on November 26. The Neil Howard-trained gelding is listed at 5-1 with regular rider Robby Albarado. Saint’s Fan, who is unbeaten from two starts, is also 5-1. Owned, trained and bred by Dallas Stewart, the Louisiana-bred colt takes on open rivals with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. following an easy win in the December 10 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds.
Shareholder Value, a last-out allowance winner at the New Orleans track, and recent maiden scorer Takeoff come next on the morning line at 6-1.
Running Mate will try to rebound after finishing second (placed third via disqualification) as an odds-on favorite in the December 17 Sugar Bowl and multiple New York-bred stakes winner Pat on the Back is also seeking an improved effort following a sixth in the Delta Jackpot (G3). Marco Mischief and Phat Man exit maiden victories and winless Arklow completes the field.