Trusting in one of the leading riders at Fair Grounds was the key to unlocking the biggest winner of the six stakes races that made up Lecomte Stakes (G3) day on Saturday.
Riding 33-to-1 Stronger Than Ever in the Silverbulletday to kick off the all-stakes Pick 4, Florent Geroux closed from last to pass and then fight off determined foe Wonder Gadot. Her $68.40 payoff was by far the highest of the six stakes races that featured no other win prices more than $9.20.
Funnily enough, Geroux also piloted that winner: Tower of Texas in the Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap. The all-Geroux double, which came on dirt then turf, paid $559.80 for $2.
The other four stakes were won by 2 favorites and 2 second choices. The all-stakes Pick 4 paid $2,411.80 for $0.50, which is incredible considering the Pick 3 paid only $32.95.
While Geroux is undoubtedly happy with his stakes double worth $165,000 in winners’ purses, a Lecomte second aboard 6-to-5 favorite Principe Guilherme is likely to haunt. Geroux said after the 3 3/4-length defeat to Instilled Regard that the 10 post likely hurt his chances to maintain the Tapit colt’s undefeated record.
Yockey’s Warrior and Cedartown bookended the stakes action by continuing their stakes winning ways. Yockey’s Warrior won the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes as the shortest-priced favorite of the day while Cedartown backed up his Zia Park Derby win with an impressive two-length Louisiana Stakes score.
The Lecomte Stakes program was the first stop on the Road to the Louisiana Derby, which continues with the Risen Star Stakes (G2) on February 17. The Louisiana Derby (G2) is March 24.