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G3 - Lecomte Stakes

Lecomte Stakes (Grade III)
Race 9 @ Fair Grounds
Distance: 1 Mile
Purse: $100,000

1 - Friesan Fire
2 - Au Moon
3 - Citizen
4 - Patena
5 - Big Push
6 - Dynamic Force
7 - Professor Z
8 - Uno Mas
9 - Indygo Mountain

-Friesan Fire notched his maiden win back in late August at Delaware Park in six furlong Maiden Special Weight. He tried the G2-Futurity and the G3-Nashua in New York where he put up decent figs but finished a distant 3rd and 4th, respectively.

This will be his first start in three weeks ago when he was second to Uno Mas at the Fair Grounds in a N1X Allowance event. He looks to be in decent form and has the ability to sit right off the pace early on.

-Au Moon was visually impressive in breaking his maiden by 5 3/4 lengths at Churchill in late November. That race was run at a mile and a eighth and saw Au Moon break from the 10-hole. The figure from the race wasn't overly impressive, but you really got to like a two-year old that breaks his maiden going two-turns and does it from a wide post position.

-A son of City Zip, Citizen has been bouncing around several different tracks since making his debut in Louisville in late June. He scored his maiden victory at Eliis Park and then put in three weak effort at Ellis, Presque Isle and Keeneland before finally picking up his second win in the Meadowlake at Hawthorne on October 25th.

Citizen has never been tested beyond 7 furlongs and sports a trio of ho-hum works at the Fair Grounds. He looks like a notch or below in terms of class.

-Canadian invader, Patena, is coming off back-to-back victories in at Woodbine at 7 furlongs and a mile and a sixteenth. Those last two performances were a significant improvement from the colt's first two career starts, one of which was a try over the lawn and the other which was an event taken off the turf.

Robby Albarado will be in the irons of this Seeking the Gold colt that will be making his first start on conventional dirt. Contender.

-Big Push has been a remarkably steady performer in his last three efforts, all of them at six or seven furlongs. This colt has shown nice speed in four of his five lifetime starts but will be faced with a two-turn race for the first time. He also needs to prove he can win over a conventional dirt surface as his two career victories came over the polytracks at Arlington Park and Keeneland. The guy will definitely be part of the early pace, but he might not be there in the end.

-Dynamic Force has raced exclusively over polytrack and grass in his five career starts but is coming off a score in a turf allowance event at Fair Grounds in late November. Stamina wise, this colt should fit in well at the mile distance,. When you throw in his off-the-pace running style, he should have plenty in the tank to run down the leaders in the long stretch run at the Fair Grounds. The big question with this colt is class - it's questionable that he fits with this group.

-Professor Z is Steve Asmussen's invader from New York. He is expected to scratch prior to the race.

-Uno Mas, Asmussen's second entry, is stepping up to stakes company for the first time, but is tested over the surface and the distance. He's also a proven stalker/presser, which should allow Shaun Bridgmohan to keep enough in the tank for a stretch run. The class step up would be a greater issue if Uno Mas hadn't already raced against Friesan Fire and Indygo Mountain.

-Indygo Mountain draws the far outside and should get a nice, clear trip all the way around the Fair Grounds course. When last seen, this A.P. Indy colt was breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs by 6 1/4 lengths in a one mile Maiden Special Weight event. This colt might not be fully cranked up to go in this spot as that last race took place on November 19th and has been followed-up with only three published works. He's got the talent to win in this spot but you wonder if he needs a race.


While Patena has some questions regarding the surface, he seems to be in solid form, possesses a nice turn of foot, and will likely get an excellent ride from Robby Albarado. And while there's not a ton of early, need-to-lead speed, Patena should be able to sit just off the pace and make his move mid-stretch.

With Uno Mas, Asmussen brings in a colt on the upswing and tested at the distance and the surface. He should be able to keep close tabs on the early pace and will have every opportunity to grab the prize.

Big Push is the only need-to-lead type in this race and he'll have to take the first all the way around if he is to spring the upset. If he had shown a two-turn race in his performance lines he would make an interesting bet, but I'm just not sold that he's got enough to hold these off at a mile unless he get a very light pace...something along the lines of :24 and :49 for the open splits, and I doubt that will happen.

1. Patena
2. Uno Mas
3. Big Push