Scully: Handicapping Fair Grounds All-Stakes Pick 5 on Lecomte Day
Saturday’s “Road to the Derby” card at Fair Grounds features qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, the $200,000 Lecomte S. (G3) and $150,000 Silverbulletday S., and in all, six stakes are scheduled for the 14-race program.
A guaranteed $250,000 All-Stakes Pick 5 will be offered on Races 10-14, and I’ll take a swing at the sequence.
Marie Krantz Memorial S. – Race 10 (5:23 p.m. ET)
The turf will have some give to it, and the Krantz lacks a standout. I give a slight edge to #10 Pass the Plate, who captured the Pago Hop S. at Fair Grounds last winter over a good turf. She turned in three encouraging efforts last fall for Paul McGee.
#1 Abscond, #2 Catch a Bid, #8 Janelle Monae, #11 Princess Theorem, and #12 Dawn’s Dancer will be added to the ticket.
Silverbulletday – Race 11 (5:52 p.m. ET)
Three of the six entrants own stakes experience, but none have run fast. #5 La Crete will be singled in her stakes debut. Out of multiple Grade 1 winner Cavorting, and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Clairiere, La Crete broke her maiden at first asking in authoritative fashion, easily leading wire to wire over 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs, and Joel Rosario will be in to ride the Medaglia d’Oro filly for Steve Asmussen.
Colonel E.R. Bradley S. – Race 12 (6:20 p.m. ET)
Twelve are set for the Bradley, and I will try to beat favored Two Emmys, who appears vulnerable returning from a layoff at the 1 1/16-mile distance. The Grade 1 winner’s speed is more effective at longer distances, where he’s been able to establish measured paces in the last three starts, but he figures to face pressure on the front end Saturday and may need the race.
#3 Cavalry Charge has been given plenty of time to develop, defeating allowance rivals in three of his last four starts, and the five-year-old appears ready for a strong showing in his stakes debut. He showed an affinity for soft turf when capturing a deep event at Keeneland last out, and Cavalry Charge can make his own trip from a favorable inside post with his tactical foot.
#4 Own Agenda and #8 Monarchs Glen will also be included.
Louisiana S. (G3) – Race 13 (6:49 p.m. ET)
A compelling matchup is set between #2 Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon, and I will side with the former.
Winner of the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds last season, Mandaloun went on to post big efforts in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Haskell (G1) before being sidelined in July. The Into Mischief colt appears to be training forwardly for Brad Cox, and the stalker appears likely to receive a favorable trip from just off the pace, with other speed signed on to keep Midnight Bourbon company on the front end. I expect Mandaloun to come back with a strong showing.
Lecomte (G3) – Race 14 (7:20 p.m. ET)
The 1 1/16-mile Lecomte wraps up the sequence, and #4 Trafalgar receives top billing in his initial stakes attempt. A rallying maiden winner two back, the Al Stall-trained colt was taken out of his best run style on a slow pace last time, but gamely persevered on the front end over a stakes-bound rival in his first two-turn attempt. He receives a better setup today, and Trafalgar will look to strike from off the pace.
Along with the top choice, I will include #3 Pappacap, who merits serious respect following runner-up finishes in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and American Pharoah (G1); #5 Epicenter, a convincing winner of the Dec. 26 Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds; and #8 Call Me Midnight, who will be running late in his second stakes outing for Keith Desormeaux.
- 50-cent Pick 5 ticket: 1,2,8,10,11,12 with 5 with 3,4,8 with 2 with 3,4,5,8 = $36