July 18, 2024

Track Phantom sprints clear early, rolls in Lecomte

Track Phantom wins the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds
Track Phantom wins the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography)

Track Phantom showed speed from the gate and was never threatened leading all the way in Saturday’s $194,000 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds, notching his second consecutive win in a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier. Joel Rosario was up on the son of Quality Road for Steve Asmussen, and Track Phantom recorded his third consecutive victory.

A 1 1/4-length scorer in the Dec. 23 Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds, Track Phantom beat Nash to the fore at the break and established spits in :24.01, :48.36, and 1:13.15 on about a one-length lead. He drew off entering the stretch and cruised to a 2 3/4-length decision, finishing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.73.

“The horse (Track Phantom) has a lot of speed and going into the first turn I wanted to get my position and see what he (Florent Geroux) was going to do (aboard Nash),” Rosario said. “I just kept going forward and we were able to get into a nice rhythm.”

Qualifying points for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) this spring were elevated in the Lecomte, offering points on a 20-10-6-4-2 scale to the top five finishers. After earning 10 points for the Gun Runner, Track Phantom is now tied with presumptive two-year-old champion male and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Fierceness for the lead on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 30 points.

Campaigned by L & N Racing, Clark Brewster, Jerry Caroom, and Breeze Easy, Track Phantom left the starting gate as the 7-5 second choice. Nash, who was bet down to even-money favoritism late, tried to make a run at the leader on the far turn but Track Phantom had another gear.

Nash held second by about two lengths over Lat Long, who stalked in third most of the way, and it was another 8 1/2 lengths back to 7-2 third choice Ethan Energy in fourth. Tizzy Indy and Can Group completed the order.

Bred in Kentucky by Breeze Easy, Track Phantom sold for $500,000 as a yearling at the 2022 Keeneland September sale. He’s the first stakes winner from the Grade 2-winning Into Mischief mare Miss Sunset, a nine-time stakes winner who earned nearly $900,000, and this is the immediate female family of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Prayer for Relief.

Track Phantom broke his maiden the third time out at Churchill Downs in late November, scoring by nearly five lengths in frontrunning fashion in his first two-turn attempt, and the bay colt has now bankrolled $285,000 from a 5-3-1-1 record.

“He (Track Phantom) is a very nice horse and we’re fortunate to have him for such a great ownership group,” Asmussen said. “I love how he’s running here. I love the three-year-old series at Fair Grounds and we plan on continuing in it. We couldn’t be any more proud of the horse. He’s won all three of his two-turn races, he’s got a beautiful way of going and I think he’s just going to get better. He’s getting stronger all the time and we’re just excited to be in this position.”