By Emily Shields
A big field of 14 will go to the post in the $200,000 LeComte Stakes (G3) at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana on Saturday. The race goes as the 13th on an action-packed card that includes six stakes races; all will be viewable on TVG and TVG2.
Mr. Monomoy, the three-year-old half-brother to Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine Monomoy Girl, will step up into stakes company for the first time. He broke his maiden by more than five lengths at Churchill Downs in November, then ran second here as the favorite by a head last out. The Brad Cox-trainee had a rough trip that day, but he and rider Florent Geroux will be back and primed for this.
Finnick the Fierce, who breaks alongside on the rail, will be a popular choice after running second by less than a length last out in the grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. Rey Hernandez trains the son of Dialed In, who broke his maiden sprinting at Indiana Grand in July. He worked a bullet at a training center on January 9 before shipping in here.
The Scott Gelner-trained Perfect Star is a son of Into Mischief who has won two of four starts. Both of those wins came on the grass, first at Keeneland and then here over a mile December 8. Robby Albarado will ride the $20,000 purchase, who definitely gits if he makes the switch the dirt.
Scabbard was last seen running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) after finishing second in a pair of graded stakes over the summer. Eddie Kenneally trains the son of More Than Ready, who will be ridden by Corey Lanerie. He had a local work here January 12 going five furlongs in 1:01.3.
Ontario-bred Halo Again is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Steve Asmussen. The son of Speightstown cost $600,000 and promptly broke his maiden on the dirt at Churchill Downs before winning the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine over 1 1/18 miles. This is only 1 1/16 miles, and Joe Talamo gets up for the first time. This is a leading 2020 Queen’s Plate contender.
Jack the Umpire is a classy local type with three wins in four starts. He broke his maiden at Delaware Park in July, then added a romping allowance at Delta Downs in October and the Jean Lafitte there in November. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride for Brett Brinkman.
Lynn’s Map is by Liam’s Map and out of the top race mare Puxa Saco. Mark Casse trains the $285,000 purchase, who will have Miguel Mena up. Lynn’s Map has won two straight races, including a two-turn even here on December 21.
Maiden winners Excession, New Eagle, Silver State, Enforceable, Bango, Shashashakemeup, and Sycamore Run complete the field.
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