Lecomte Stakes 2019
A competitive group of 15 is set to head to post Sat, Jan. 19 at Fair Grounds (5:49 CT post) in the first of three major Lousiana prep races – the Grade 2 Risen Star and Grade 2 Louisiana follow suit - leading to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.
This year’s LeComte field features at least 5 major players:
- 9/2 ML favorite Plus Que Parfait (ran 2nd last out in Grade 2 Jockey Club Stake
- 10/1 Manny Wah (stretches out after earning field’s top Beyer Figure last-out)
- 12/1 Chasing the Ghost (showed affinity for two-turns breaking maiden)
- 6/1 War of Will (won in slop last-out/hasn’t yet raced on fast dirt)
- 12/1 Hog Creek Hustle (closer could like two turns after sprinting)
Analyzing the race
Plus Que Parfait is the deserving favorite after coming up just a neck shy of the well-regarded Signalman in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in late-November, but that race was over a sloppy track and he draws the 12-post in this contentious race. I certainly can’t blame those looking for a more appealing price.
A trio of 12/1 shots, Malpais (#2), Hog Creek Hustle (#6) and Chase the Ghost (#10) do not have any graded stakes credibility, but all three are intriguing at this price. It will be interesting to see how the public bets these colts, as at least one will surely be sent to post at even more generous odds. These colts need only slight improvement and the ability to class up with better runners to give good accounts of themselves.
As difficult as it is to toss anyone in this wide-open race, I’ll be playing against War of Will (6/1) at a relatively short price, and Tacket (6/1) for the same reason. Neither is a clear-cut above most of the other runners in this field sporting much healthier odds.
Making the bet
This race provides a great opportunity to catch a price in the Pick 3, Pick 4 or Pick 5. I’ll be spreading out in those types of wagers and covering a lot of numbers here. In the exacta and trifecta wagering, I’m attracted to the idea of using the favorite Plus Que Parfait in all slots with Manny Wah, Chasing the Ghost, Hog Creek Hustle and Malpais.
For the sake of being specific about my bet, I’ll roll with these trifecta plays:
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