Pace makes the race, baby. Pace makes the race. Breaking well from the gate and setting solid but moderate fractions, Oxbow pulled away from his rivals at the top of the stretch and steamrolled his way to a gate-to-wire victory in the Grade 3 Lecomte at the Fair Grounds.
Golden Soul raced at the back of the field for the majority of the race but closed well to finish second at the wire. He never threatened Oxbow at any point in the stretch. Fear the Kitten finished third while Ive Struck a Nerve rounded out the superfecta.
The win by Oxbow is important for several reasons. First, his improvement running back on dirt helps us to discount his so-so performance over the Hollywood Park synthetic main track in his most recent start. Second, it also flatters Violence, the winner of the CashCall Futurity in that last race. We'll see where Oxbow goes from here (most likely the Risen Star on Feb. 23) but he's a colt to watch as we make our way through the spring racing season.
Morning line and post time favorite Avie's Quality, making his first start on dirt, didn't run a lick through much of the mile and 70 yard trip around the Fair Grounds main track. And the same can be written of Circle Unbroken, the second choice on the morning line. Making his first start in five months and racing further than six furlongs for the first time, Circle Unbroken didn't show any interest after leaving the starting gate, creating a taylor made pace for the winner.
Avie's Quality finished eighth of nine, while Circle Unbroken finished sixth.
Oxbow is a three-year-old colt by Awesome Again out of a Cee's Tizzy mare (Tizamazing), trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Jon Court. This is the first graded stakes victory for Oxbow; he finished fourth in his only other graded race, the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15.
Below is the video replay, along with the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Lecomte Stakes.
|3-Fear the Kitten||$4.20|
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|