(Edited press release)
Undefeated Hard Spun has been named the 2-1 morning line favorite for the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Fair Grounds Race Course Jan. 13.
Seven sophomores will compete in the one-mile race. Hard Spun enters as the favorite due to his 7 3/4 length victory in the Dec. 18 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes, a race won by Smarty Jones on his way to winning the 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms, Hard Spun also was a five-length winner in the Nov. 14 Port Penn Stakes at Delaware after breaking his maiden there with an 8 3/4-length win Oct. 22. Regular rider Mario Pino journeys to Fair Grounds from his mid-Atlantic base to ride the son of Danzig for trainer Larry Jones.
Jamie Sanders, Gary Logsdon, and Donnie Kelly’s Teuflesberg, who won Fair Grounds’ Sugar Bowl Stakes Christmas Eve, is the 5-2 second choice. The locally-based son of Johannesburg drew off by 2 3/4 lengths to win the Sugar Bowl. Robby Albarado gets the return call aboard Teuflesberg, who finished 10th in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) behind Street Sense.
Robert Beck’s Makeithapencaptain, 5-1 on the morning line, won his last start by more than 16 lengths in a first level allowance event at Hawthorne Nov. 29 when going 1 1/16 mile in the slop. The son of Aptitude broke his maiden by 8 3/4 lengths on Oct. 14. Corey Lanerie is named to ride the Bret Calhoun trainee.
Citi Smoke, Izzie's Halo, Beta Capo, and Tony Terrific round out the field.
The Lecomte serves as the finale of a five stakes-card on "Road to the Derby" kickoff day. Other races on the card include the Tiffany Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile; the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap for older horses on the grass at 1 1/16 mile; the Colonel Power Stakes for older horses at six furlongs; and the Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Stakes for older fillies and mares at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. The Colonel Power, Leggio, Tiffany Lass, and Lecomte will be offered in an all-stakes Pick 4.
$100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 4:22 p.m.), 3-year-olds, one mile:
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Makeithapencaptain, Corey Lanerie, 116
2. Citi Smoke, Ramsey Zimmerman, 116
3. Hard Spun, Mario Pino, 122
4. Izzie's Halo, Jesse Campbell, 116
5. Beta Capo, Donnie Meche, 120
6. Tony Terrific, Jesus Castanon, 118
7. Teuflesberg, Robby Albarado, 122