Malik Tz | Fri 20/01/2017 - 15:35 EST

Lecomte Stakes Picks 2017

Lecomte Stakes Picks 2017
The 73rd running of the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes Saturday, January 21 at Fair Grounds features a field of eleven in one of the key early preps on the road to the Kentucky Derby. The LeComte is scheduled to run at 6:00 PM EST.

Untrapped is a tepid favorite on the morning line at odds of 9/2. Like many runners in this wide-open field, the Steve Asmussen trainee will be making his first start around two turns. Unraced since a maiden-breaking score November 20 going six furlongs at Churchill Downs, Untrapped is big on potential, but light on accomplishments with just a pair of career starts under his belt. While his breeding does indicate he’ll handle a route of ground just fine, it’s difficult for any runner to jump from maiden to stakes competition while also being asked to negotiate a significant hurdle such as added distance. Bettors may take a cautious approach on this runner while finding better value elsewhere in this bulky field.

Finding betting value in Lecomte

With the scratch of Saint’s Fan (5/1), a runner who would have merited consideration, there are several other contenders with outside post positions who look ready to fire. Running Mate (10/1), trained by Larry Jones, is working up a storm at Fair Grounds and will look to avenge his lone career loss – a second-place effort last out in the Sugar Bowl Stakes – after starting with a pair of impressive wins sprinting. Running Mate will be making his first start beyond six furlongs, but is another horse bred to run longer.

Takeoff (6/1) will break from post ten after handling his two-turn debut with aplomb December 26 en route to an easy win over maiden special weight foes over the local strip. Since that win, the Mark Casse trainee has recorded two eye-popping works, completing four furlongs in 47.04 seconds (fastest of 39 at the distance) January 6, and spinning another four furlongs in the same time (fastest of 135 works at the distance) January 14. This runner may only need to repeat his last effort to find the winner’s circle with ace jockey Florent Geroux in the irons. 

Guest Suite (5/1) won 2 of 4 starts in a fine juvenile campaign for trainer Neil Howard. This runner beat a quality maiden special weight field October 8 at Keenland going a mile and one sixteenth, not only proving his ability to handle two turns, but also demonstrating his ability to sit well off the pace and pass runners in the stretch. His natural closing style should fare well against a less-experienced field of sprinters likely to set quick early fractions. This guy may only need a clean trip in order to run huge. 

2017 Lecomte Stakes Picks

Post #/Horse

Morning Line Odds

Jockey/Trainer 

1st: #10 Takeoff 

2nd: #8 Guest Suite

3rd: #9 Running Mate

 6/1

 5/1

 10/1

 Geroux/Casse

  Howard/Albarado

 Saez/Jones

Category : Picks and Parlays

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