A field of 11 three-year-olds, including Will Farish's promising homebred Eagle, will take part in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte on Saturday as part of Fair Grounds' Road to the Kentucky Derby Kickoff Day.
A son of Candy Ride, Eagle will have to overcome the widest post in the Lecomte, which is contested at one mile and 70 yards and serves as a prep for the $300,000 Risen Star over 1 1/16 miles on February 21 and the $600,000 Louisiana Derby over 1 1/8 miles on March 28.
A winner in two of his first three outings, including an allowance at Keeneland, Eagle was most recently a solid third in the November 29 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, three-quarters of a length behind El Kabeir, recent winner of the Jerome at Aqueduct. Splitting the pair was Imperia, a Grade 3 winner on turf last fall.
Another Lemon Drop, who will break to Eagle's immediate left, takes on stakes company for the first time after scoring by five lengths in an off-the-turf allowance at Fair Grounds last month. The colt was a distant third to subsequent Los Alamitos Futurity winner Dortmund in a Churchill Downs allowance in his previous start.
Also coming off a local allowance win is War Story, the Tom Amoss-trained gelding who improved his record to two-for-two when taking a mile event by 2 3/4 lengths on December 28. The son of Northern Afleet won at first asking by the same margin at Churchill in early November.
Other notables in the Lecomte lineup are International Star, a Grade 3 winner on Polytrack at Woodbine in October and fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club last time; Savoy Stump, who invades from Florida for trainer Todd Pletcher; and impressive last-out maiden winners Tiznow R J and Runhappy.