The Lecomte Stakes takes place in New Orleans at the Fair Grounds Race Course. This competition is run on the dirt track, tends to take place in January and was established in 1970. In 2001, the Lecomte Handicap turned into the Lecomte Stakes, earning designation as a Grade 3 race two years later. The length of the race has increased from 1 mile, to 1 mile 40 yards in 2010 before another 30 yards were added in 2012. The purse has doubled from $100,000 in 2011 to the current prize money of $200,000.
As a prep race for both the Kentucky Derby series and the Louisiana Derby, the Lecomte Stakes results in 10 points for the first place winner, which can make a significant difference in the final standings in the Road to the Kentucky Derby. This along with the recently doubled purse draws a competitive field each year. In 2014, Vicar’s in Trouble beat Albano at the Lecomte, won the Louisiana Derby, and placed third in the Risen Star Stakes to boost into second in the Kentucky Derby series standings, behind California Chrome. Vicar’s in Trouble powered to a 6 3/4 length win while setting the fastest time at the new distance by almost a second.
The only year that the Lecomte Stakes hasn’t taken place since its inauguration was in 2006, when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Jockey Robby Albarado has ridden to first place four times, including 2001, when he won while riding Sam Lord’s Castle. The owner of the horse was Eugene Melnyk, who also owns and runs an NHL team. Lecomte was one of the top racers of the 1800’s and was sired by hall of fame thoroughbred Boston and the outstanding mare Reel. Lecomte’s rivalry with his half-brother, Lexington, made for some of the greatest horse racing events in the 19th century.
Lecomte Stakes Betting Odds
With a lukeward 7-2 favorite, the 2015 Lecomte was looking like a solid betting race before the gates opened, and that’s exactly how things turned out, with a 10-1 winner in International Star producing a $20.40 Win payout and topping a $2 trifecta worth $491.60. Betting stakes races like the Lecomte through an online racebook like Bovada is the most convenient way to get a piece of the racing action from tracks all over North America, Australia and the UK.
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2017 Lecomte Stakes Contenders
Despite several scratches, the 2016 edition of the LeComte Stakes (G3) drew a competitive field with several very talented colts. Mo Tom, trained by popular on-air host Tom Amoss, went to post as the slight favorite.
Ridden by Corey Lanerie, the colt is another top three-year-old from the first crop of champion Uncle Mo. Despite hitting the gate and getting bumped at the start, he relaxed off of the pace and began to make his move as they approached the far turn. He navigated through traffic and rallied to win by 2 ¼ lengths going away. Since that race, he has had two unlucky trips and has finished third and fourth in the Risen Star (G2) and the Louisiana Derby (G2).
Another noteworthy horse to come out of the race was fourth-place finisher Destin. He has since gone on to win the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
2016 Order of Finish: Win Place Show
1st: Mo Tom $6.40 $3.60 $2.40
2nd: Tom’s Ready $5.60 $3.40
3rd: Uncle Walter $3.00
(Also Ran: Destin, Z Royal, Pinnacle Peak, Fish Trappe Road, Mending Fences, Tarpon Bay Road Scratched: Battle Tap, Dolphus, Indygo Breeze, Noble Thought, Riding in the Wind, Tiznoble)
Check back closer to race time for the 2017 LeComte Stakes!