A large and competitive field is set for the first step on the Fair Grounds Road to the Kentucky Derby, Saturday's GIII Lecomte S. 'TDN Rising Star' Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice) graduated at second asking sprinting at Churchill Downs Nov. 16 and missed by just a head last time in the slop over this oval Dec. 21. His champion half-sister Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) took her first step towards the GI Kentucky Oaks at this venue when winning the GII Rachel Alexandra S. in 2018.
A debut winner at Churchill in June, Scabbard (More Than Ready) was second next out in the GII Saratoga Special S. in August and filles the same spot in the GIII Iroquois S. back in Louisville Sept. 14. The chestnut was last seen finishing fourth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile S. at Santa Anita Nov. 1.
Steve Asmussen saddles a live one in Silver State (Hard Spun). The $450,000 KEESEP dead-heated in his Churchill debut Sept. 27, finishing 9 3/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field, and missed by a nose in an optional claimer beneath the Twin Spires Nov. 30.
Lynn's Map (Liam's Map) earned his diploma at second asking at Churchill Nov. 8 and followed suit with an optional claimer score in NOLA Dec. 21. Sycamore Run (Street Sense) went wire-to-wire to graduate at first asking in the slop here Dec. 21, earning an 85 Beyer Speed Figure for that effort.