It is always fun to watch the better three-year olds develop and start to sort themselves out. The Grade 3 Lecomte at the Fair Grounds on Saturday will give us a look at some nice three-year olds going a route of ground and might just be a good starting point in judging their progression and how the crop is going to shake out.
Midnight Bourbon makes his first start back since October. He is a versatile colt breaking from the rail with some stakes experience at two. Santana will have some options breaking from the rail, and I expect Asmussen to have him ready to fire. He is a legit contender in my book, but I don’t think he is the winner.
Arabian Prince looks like a true distance horse. Dallas Stewart ran him a mile first time out, and he won. That is not easy to do. He has made up ground in two stakes without winning after that winning debut and with that long Fair Grounds stretch, I think he will be coming. I don’t think he will get all the way there, but I think he will get into the exotics.
Beep Beep ran a nice debut after taking money. He steps up big time here, and I’m not wild about how the pace sets up for him. He has some talent, but he is not for me in this spot.
Proxy has two route wins at the Fair Grounds and is really well-bred by Godolphin. These look better than what he has been facing, and I will ask him to prove it to me here. He had two soft pace setups, and I don’t think that happens for him here.
Miguel Mena picks up Regular Guy for Cat Man Wayne Catalano after Florent Geroux sticks with Brad Cox’s horse. I think Geroux made the right call. Regular Guy steps up off a maiden win and right into the deep end of the pool. I don’t believe he is this good.
Game Day Plan comes in after racing decently at lesser circuits. He stretches out here and might want distance, but this looks like a tall order for him to me.
Santa Cruise is a steadily progressing sort who looks like he can go forward again and also gets a nice pace scenario to work with. I think he is another who will be running late but not quite get there.
Red N Wild tries hard every time, albeit against lesser. He can run on the front or from off the pace. I think he will get into this at a big price at some point, but I don’t think he will be able to sustain the move he makes when it really counts.
Manor House ran an impressive debut at Laurel going a mile. He is also being thrown into the deep waters. He got a nice easy lead in that win, and I don’t think that will happen here. I’ll pass.
Mandaloun impressed me enough in his debut I out him on my early Kentucky Derby radar. His second race was less impressive as he had to work for it, but he ran good enough, and his debut showed me talent and grit. I think he is fast enough to give Geroux options, and I think he will handle the stretch-out. He might be over-bet, but I will try and create some value without betting against my opinion of the most likely winner.
Dyn O Mite is drawn wide and likes to gun early. I don’t think he is fast enough to clear and maybe not even to work out a good trip.
When you like the favorite, and one who might be shorter than he deserves, the options are limited. Pass, go another way, or try and create some fair value. I’ll go with option three.
I will single Mandaloun in any multi-race wagers. That is a given for me. As for the Lecomte, I will play Mandaloun over Arabian Prince in the exacta. That’s it, just the one exacta, no reverse, no other exactas. I will play the triple Mandaloun over Arabian Prince with Midnight Bourbon and Santa Cruise. I will add all in the fourth slot for the super.