02/28/2013 4:50PM

Delta Downs: Hit the Road Lee's big Beyer Speed Figure stands out in Fremont


The Beyer Speed Figure of 99 that Hit the Road Lee earned in his last start will make him a strong favorite in Saturday night’s $50,000 Fremont at Delta Downs. The one-mile race for 4-year-olds and up is restricted to horses who have raced for a claiming price at Delta since Oct. 18, 2012.

Hit the Road Lee was a $10,000 claim from a 6 1/2-furlong race that he won by more than five lengths Nov. 3 at Delta. He put up a Beyer Figure of 85 that night, but the best was yet to come for new connections Christine G. Hardy and trainer Keith Bourgeois.

Hit the Road Lee finished third in an optional $25,000 claimer in his first start for his new barn, and came back to take a $15,000 starter allowance in January. From there, Hit the Road Lee romped by more than eight lengths in another starter allowance, worth $70,000, on the Premier Night card of stakes for Lousiana-breds at Delta on Feb. 2. Hit the Road Lee led throughout in the 1 1/16-mile race and earned the career-high Beyer of 99.

Gerard Melancon has the mount on Hit the Road Lee, who has won races from both on and off the pace. The horse could show the way from post 6, or track the horse to his immediate inside, Redhotrush, who was a wire-to-wire winner over 6 1/2  furlongs last out at Delta.

Others set to start in the Fremont include Smack Ridge, who has won two of his last three starts including an optional $30,000 claimer at Delta Downs in December. Kirk LeBlanc has the mount for trainer Karl Broberg.