Breeding has since changed. Racing in general has altered its course with updated factors that now play into training a champion as well. Even as the majority of exceptional horses that were gifted 3-yr-olds, as well as sires, are not so common, the chances of it occurring again are here.
This weekend the Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby takes us to the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana for the G3 LeComte Stakes. Here you’ll find Smarty’s Echo, by 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones, racing for the chance to qualify for the Kentucky Derby and a shot at becoming the next Father, Son team to accomplish the rare but thrilling achievement.
Since the inaugural Kentucky Derby in 1875 a total of 13 winners reached the pinnacle of racing just like their sire had done before. The last time the son of Kentucky Derby winner also wore the roses was in 1996. It wasGrindstone, by Unbridled, that stuck his nose in front of a hard charging Cavonnier and rode off into the sunset. The Kentucky Derby would be Grindstone’s final race as he was retired shortly thereafter. However, the champion owned and bred by Overbrook Farm will always be remembered for joining this elusive club.
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It was Jockey Robby Albarado’s intent to give his colt a clear shot down the stretch and let him work for home. And that’s exactly what Mr. Bowling did. Never trailing far back from the pace set by Alexander TheGreat who clocked early fractions 23.21 and 47.22, Mr. Bowling was in a great position to make a move. At the top of lane is where Robby Albarado made that move and cleared Mr. Bowling for home.
At the final sixteenth mark Mr. Bowling had established the lead by a half-length over Z Dager to his near outside. His gutsy hold on the lead and Z Dager’s failed attempt to pass is what led to Mr. Bowling scoring the win by a head. Shared Property, who overcame the hardest post (13) was storming down the stretch on the far outside but flamed out in the final yards. It left him a half-length behind Z Dager for a 3rd place finish.
G3 LeComte Stakes | Purse $175,000 | 1 Mile, 70 yards | Dirt | 143.49 – Track: Fast
- Mr. Bowling $9.20 $4.80 $4.00
- Z Dager $4.80 $3.60
- Shared Property $3.80
$2 Exacta $43.20 $2 Trifecta 242.40 $2 Superfecta $4,552.20
- Also ran (in order of finish) Dan and Sheila, Hero of Order, Hammers Terror, Capetown Devil, Alexander TheGreat, Ted’s Folly, Adena’s Chance, Exfactor, Seven Lively Sins, Chalybeate Springs – EQUIBASE CHART (more…)
The Derby Trail shifts to the Fair Grounds
- Shared Property winning the Arlington-Washington Futurity
And so the trail from the Big Easy to the Kentucky Derby begins. Kicking things off from its customary starter position is the G3 Lecomte Stakes. Raced at a distance of 1 Mile, 70 yards this stop on the trail has all the fixin’s for a new derby contender to emerge from the field of 13. It is only January but the journey has to start somewhere
For those that have never made it, New Orleans is a city that you have to visit – trust us there are plenty of good times, good food and great places to see. But while the city has been good to most of its visitors, the Big Easy hasn’t been so satisfying for 3-yr-old winners of the Lecomte Stakes. In over 40 years, we have still yet to see a winner move on to capture the Kentucky Derby. The closest attempt at becoming the first was in 2007 when Hard Spun fought gamely before finishing 2nd to Street Sense.
Inaugurated in 1970 at the Fair Grounds, it is a very early and opportune time for trainers to test their young colts. Like many of years past, this field is sure to include quite a few that will flame out on the road to the Derby but will it also include even fewer that make a solid run at qualifying.
Based on the Morning Line odds let’s begin breaking down the field with our top three. (more…)