The New Orleans’ route to the Kentucky Derby kicks off with the GIII Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds Saturday and a competitive field of 14, plus one also-eligible, has been entered for the one-mile-and-70-yard race. Imperial Racing’s Plus Que Parfait (Point of Entry), who will break from post 12, is the tepid 9-2 morning-line favorite. The Brendan Walsh trainee graduated going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland Oct. 7 and was closing late when he came up a neck short of Signalman (General Quarters) in the Nov. 24 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. over a sloppy track last time out.
“It looks like he’s good enough,” Walsh said of Plus Que Parfait. “He seems to like this track. He’s worked well on it and I believe that the long stretch will suit him. Just like any of them this time of year, he still has a lot of questions to answer, but I think he’s a pretty nice horse. There’s plenty of stamina in his pedigree.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle a pair of Winchell Thoroughbreds homebreds in the Lecomte. Wicked Indeed (Tapit), a 12-1 shot, won on debut at Fair Grounds Nov. 30 and was third behind the reopposing Tackett (Limehouse) over a track-and-trip optional claimer Dec. 22. Tight Ten (Tapit), 8-1 on the morning line, was a debut winner at Churchill June 28. Second in the Aug. 12 GII Saratoga Special and again in the Sept. 15 GIII Iroquois S., the bay colt is coming off a troubled ninth-place effort in the Nov. 2 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.