Tips and Analysis for the Lecomte at the Fair Grounds

Tips and Analysis for the Lecomte at the Fair Grounds
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The Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds is a key winter points race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. It is being held this Saturday at the historic horse track and racino in New Orleans.

This year, an impressive field of nine 3-year-olds, including Rustlewood Farms’ Pappacap, awaits bettors at the dirt track just north of the French Quarter, adjacent to City Park.

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The Road to the Kentucky Derby

This race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Forty-eight races comprise the series, and points are awarded to the top four finishers. More points are available in the most important graded stakes races leading up to the Kentucky Derby on May 7.

This series began on Sept. 18 with the Iroquois for 2-year-old thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs. It will conclude with the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 16, three weeks before the Run for the Roses.

The winner of this week's race is awarded 10 points, the runner-up gets four, the third horse earns two points and the fourth-place finisher gets a single point.

The field is limited to 20 horses, and we will be covering the series race by race. We will update the 2022 Kentucky Derby qualifier leaderboard on an ongoing basis, so you should bookmark this page.

Current 2022 Kentucky Derby Qualifier Standings

Rank HorsePoints Earnings
1 Pappacap 12 $538,000
2 Rattle N Roll10 $300,000
3 Jack Christopher 10 $275,000
4 Make It Big 10 $240,000
5 Smile Happy 10 $234,410
6 Slow Down Andy 10 $180,000
7 Major General 10 $177,525
8 Dash Attack 10 $150,000
9 Mo Donegal 10 $137,500
10 Courvoisier 10 $82,500
11 Epicenter 10 $60,000
12 Commandperformance 6 $200,000
13 Classic Causeway 6 $126,100
14 Double Thunder 4 $320,350
15 Giant Game 4 $180,000
16 Tejano Twist 4 $177,070
17 Oviatt Class 4 $98,000
18 Barber Road 4 $89,700
19 Osbourne 4 $80,000
20 Tough To Tame 4 $57,550

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Lecomte Stakes Distance, Purse, Date

Track: Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, New Orleans

Inaugural Race: 1944

Distance: One mile, 70 yards

Surface: Dirt

Status: Grade 3

2022 Race Date: Saturday, Jan. 22

Lecomte Field with Opening Lines and Odds

With 12 points so far, Pappacap is the leader in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series of races.

The $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) is run over 1 1/16 miles, and awards 10 Kentucky Derby points to the winner. The next three finishers earn 4-2-1 points.

When all the points from these prep races are tallied, the 20 horses with the highest totals earn a place in the starting gate at the annual Run for the Roses in Louisville. This year’s 148th Kentucky Derby is set for May 7 at Churchill Downs.

In New Orleans, the Fair Grounds has staged horse races since 1872, making it the third-oldest track in the nation. The Fair Grounds also is the site of the Louisiana Derby (G2), a Road to the Kentucky Derby event. The Louisiana Derby dates to 1894. This year, it’s being held on March 26.

This Saturday, though, all eyes will be on the Lecomte (G3), with its interesting history, dating to the World War II years and, in the 2010s alone, producing 13 Kentucky Derby starters.

The race on Saturday is named for a legendary New Orleans horse, Lecomte, that ran four miles in 1854 in a record-breaking time of 7:26, according to the Kentucky Derby website.

The Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Inc., a publicly-traded company that owns the legendary track in Louisville and the TwinSpires betting app, among other properties.

As for the weather, forecasts indicate racing conditions in South Louisiana should be favorable on Saturday. The weather in New Orleans, tucked between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, is expected to be chilly but sunny, with a high of 49 degrees and only a 4% chance of rain.

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Field for the Lecomte Stakes

Position HorseTrainer RiderOdds
1 Surfer Dude Dallas Stewart ManReylu Gutierrez15-1
2 Unified Report Dallas Stewart Corey Lanerie12-1
3 Pappacap Mark Casse Joe Bravo9-5
4 Trafalgar Al Stall Jr.Colby Hernandez6-1
5 Epicenter Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario2-1
6 Cyberknife Brad CoxFlorent Geroux6-1
7 Blue Kentucky Wayne CatalanoJareth Loveberry20-1
8 Call Me Midnight Keith DesormeauxJames Graham20-1
9 Presidential Steve AsmussenBrian Hernandez, Jr.15-1

Picks and Analysis for 2022 Lecomte Stakes

Trained by Mark E. Casse, Pappacap is the 9-5 favorite in Saturday’s Lecomte Stakes. The Florida-bred colt compiled $576,000 in earnings in the Derby Series. In five starts, Pappacap recorded two first- and two second-place finishes. Pappacap looks to be difficult to beat on Saturday.

However, Pappacap could be seriously challenged by Epicenter, a Westward Farms Thoroughbred trained by Steve Asmussen. Coming in at 2-1 odds, Epicenter has won two of his three starts, earning $130,639.

Among other contenders expected to press the favorites are Trafalgar and Cyberknife (both 6-1) and a couple of Dallas Stewart-trained horses, Surfer Dude (15-1) and Unified Report (12-1).

Final Recap

The Lecomte Stakes in New Orleans is another pivotal race in what already is an exciting 2022 sprint to the Triple Crown.

Since you are interested in the sport of kings, you should check out our horse race betting page. It contains a lot of great information, and we will be tightly focused on the Road Kentucky Derby every step of the way, so you should come back to visit us.

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