by JOHN MUCCIOLO
A six-pack of stakes action will take place at Fair Grounds on Saturday. The $200,000 Lecomte (G3) for three-year-olds leads the way and attracted an overflow field of 15 for the main-track feature.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby event boasts an interesting but unproven field as each in the cast is looking for a first black-type tally. Plus Que Parfait missed by just a neck in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in his 2018 finale and could be the one to beat off of that performance. The Brendan Walsh trainee will retain the services of Julien Leparoux.
Tight Ten is one of two from the barn of Steve Asmussen. The Tapit colt came within a half-length in both the Iroquois (G3) and Saratoga Special (G2) as a juvenile. The Winchell homebred will have Ricardo Santana Jr. in the controls.
Mr. Money finished a useful fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his stakes bow for conditioner Bret Calhoun. Son of Goldencents has trained swiftly in advance of his seasonal debut.
Grade-1 placed War of Will, local allowance winners Tackett and Mo Speed, as well as Manny Wah and Hog Creek Hustle, who finished second and third in the Sugar Bowl, add to the depth of the field.
A fine field of seven sophomore fillies will go two turns in the $125,000 Silverbulletday, a Road to the Kentucky Oaks series prep. Golden Rod (G2) heroine Liora will hope to kick off her three-year-old campaign on a winning note for conditioner Wayne Catalano. The Candy Ride filly led at every call at 27-1 odds at Churchill Downs last time but she is among the ones to beat on Saturday.
Bret Calhoun’s Cowgirls Like Us rides in on a three-stakes win streak in advance of her local debut. The daughter of My Golden Song will get a bit of a class test in the well-matched field with Miguel Mena inheriting the mount.
Local allowance starlets Grandaria and Mandy Blue, as well as Churchill Downs allowance romper Needs Supervision, are also logical with a top showing.
The $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley H. attracted nine led by the red-hot Great Wide Open. A seven-year-old son of Starspangledbanner, he’s never been better and comes in off of a pair of dominating wins at Fair Grounds. The Grade-1 placed Conor Murphy pupil was tons the best in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial most recently.
First Premio will make his initial appearance since finishing fifth in the King Edward (G2) at Woodbine in June. The talented son of Pure Prize was a stakes second in his lone previous attempt over the Fair Grounds turf course.
Big Changes, Sir Dudley Digges and Team Colors, who finished second, third, and fourth, respectively, in the Diliberto, will give the favorite another try in the turf test.
The $75,000 Duncan F. Kenner at six furlongs on the dirt will go through odds-on choice Wynn Time and trainer Hugh Robertson. The son of Three Hour Nap draws outside of the eight-horse field and comes in with a pair of stakes wins in succession.
The talented gelding bagged the Thanksgiving H. two prior, and he showed his versatility in taking the Bonapaw on the turf here most recently. Marcelino Pedroza will be in the stirrups once again.
Larry Jones’ Kowboy Karma and the James Baker-trained Balandeen, look to be the main rivals to the favorite.
In the $75,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial, a well-matched field of 10 will go postward in one of the more competitive races on the card. Kabella is a stakes winner on this course, where the four-year-old dons a perfect mark from a trio of tries. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy is winless since March but could rebound on her favored oval.
Dubara was a close third in the Blushing K. D. here last time out with blinkers added. The Brendan Walsh-trained daughter of Dubawi aims for her first win on U.S. soil. Tiffany Lass heroine America’s Tale will attempt to make it two stakes wins in succession while making the dirt-to-turf move for Bernie Flint.
Grade 2 victor Honorable Duty draws outside as the one to beat in the $75,000 Louisiana. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the seven-year-old was eased in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G2) in his latest venture, though he is three-for-three at Fair Grounds and training well in the interim. The Distorted Humor gelding proved his class when second in the 2018 Stephen Foster H. (G1).
Snapper Sinclair, who was a nose second in the 2018 Risen Star (G2), aims to get back on track in the Louisiana. The bay son of City Zip draws the rail with Ricardo Santana Jr. Grade-3 star Harlan Punch, Tenacious runner-up Phat Man and 2018 Razorback H. (G3) victor Hawaakom add to the strength of the field.