How to bet the Lecomte day all-stakes Pick 4 at Fair Grounds
Six stakes races are on the agenda for Jan. 18 at Fair Grounds, including the $200,000 Lecomte (G3), a Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race with 14 entries.The Lecomte serves as the final leg of an all-stakes Pick 4 that features large, competitive fields. Any handicapper skilled enough to pick all four winners should expect to be rewarded with a hefty payoff.
Let’s tackle the sequence on a $36 budget.
Race 10: Louisiana (G3, 5:21 p.m. ET)Two-time graded stakes winner #2 Silver Dust has fired off triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings in three of his last four starts. He loves Fair Grounds, where he won the Mineshaft (G3) last winter, and looms as the horse to beat for hot trainer Bret Calhoun.
For the Pick 4 we’ll also use #3 Blended Citizen, winner of the 2018 Peter Pan (G3). This son of Proud Citizen has shown new life since he was transferred to the barn of Brad Cox and just missed in the Tenacious S. at Fair Grounds last month. Leading jockey Florent Geroux has the mount.
Race 11: Colonel E. R. Bradley H. (5:52 p.m. ET)Many of the potential starters in this 1 1/16-mile turf test are cross-entered in the Louisiana, which makes it difficult to plan multi-race wagers. We’ll definitely use #7 Sailing Solo, who will step up in class off three straight wins, and #14 Mr. Misunderstood, a four-time graded stakes winner with a big stretch kick.
As for the rest? We’ll have to see how scratches affect the field, but we’ll tentatively use #5 Space Mountain, #8 Temple, and #10 Parlor (all from the barn of Mike Maker), plus #12 Captivating Moon.
Race 12: Silverbulletday S. (6:23 p.m. ET)#6 Finite hasn’t missed the exacta in five starts and enters the Silverbulletday off three consecutive victories. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Finite was a six-length winner of the one-mile Rags to Riches S. at Churchill Downs and followed up with a gritty victory in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod (G2) over a sloppy track.
In terms of Brisnet Speed ratings, Finite’s only serious challenge figures to come from #4 His Glory, who is conditioned by hot trainer Tom Amoss. His Glory failed to fire in the Golden Rod and is winless in two starts on wet tracks, but over dry footing she hasn’t missed the trifecta. Two starts back she romped in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs to score by 4 1/2 lengths, with a competitive 96 Brisnet Speed rating. For the Pick 4 we’ll use Finite and His Glory in equal strength.
Race 13: Lecomte (G3, 6:55 p.m. ET)The Lecomte field is packed with maiden and allowance runners stepping up in class, but history suggests these types are poor plays in the Lecomte. Twelve of the last 15 Lecomte winners contested at least one stakes race prior to their signature success at Fair Grounds.
Part of me is tempted to single #4 Scabbard and call it a day. The runner-up in the Iroquois (G3) and fourth over a tiring track in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Scabbard is a class standout with an edge in Brisnet speed figures. But we’ll back him up with Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) runner-up #1 Finnick the Fierce and impressive Churchill Downs maiden winner #12 Shashashakemeup.