The Grade III, $200,000 LeComte Stakes, the first stepping stone in Louisiana toward the Kentucky Derby, is the Saturday feature at the Fair Grounds. A full field of 14 (and one also-eligible) will crowd the gate for this one mile and 70-yard test. Post time for the LeComte, the ninth of 13 races, is set for 6:03 p.m. EST. Plenty of high-profile jockeys will be there, so study this race carefully if playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#10 INSTILLED REGARD (4-1) ships in from California for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. He was last seen finishing a close third behind McKinzie, the next-out winner of last week’s Sham Stakes, and Solomini in the highly-rated Los Alamitos Futurity. If INSTILLED REGARD can reproduce that effort, he looks like a good bet in the LeComte, especially with the weight break he gets from some other key contenders. Look for him to work out a good stalking trip under Javier Castellano, who ships in for the assignment.
#12 PRINCIPE GUILHERME (5-2, morning-line favorite) will probably be favored at post time off his local allowance romp last month. He controlled a slow pace that day and will be tested for class, but he is dangerous here. PRINCIPE GUILHERME has produced solid speed figures in his first two starts and is very well-bred. Florent Geroux maintains the mount.
#1 LONE SAILOR (15-1) could be an underneath factor at a price. He’ll add blinkers in the hopes of being closer early on; he was much too far back in the Kentucky Jockey Club last time out. Prior to that he rallied for place in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill. The works are sharp, and prodigious local trainer Tom Amoss (30%) names Miguel Mena to ride.
#5 KOWBOY KARMA (6-1) has only missed the exacta once in five starts, when he was wide in the Champagne. His speed figures are in the ballpark and his latest work over this course was strong. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the call.
The play: $3 exacta box 10/12, $2 exacta 10/1,5 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Miguel Mena looks like a solid and affordable option. He has 10 mounts listed in the body of the field, including the day’s most likely winner, Yockey’s Warrior, in the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes. LONE SAILOR gives Mena a chance to at least hit the board in the LeComte.
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