12/21/2012 5:26PM

Fair Grounds: Lecomte prospects could emerge from allowance feature


The Triple Crown trail doesn’t really start winding its way toward the Kentucky Derby until the calendar flips over to the New Year. Whichever horse wins the featured seventh race Wednesday at Fair Grounds will earn a map, a compass, and a chance to venture at least a little ways down that trail in a race like the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 19 at Fair Grounds.

The Wednesday feature, for first-level allowance horses or $50,000 claimers, is carded around two turns at a mile and 70 yards on the main track. It drew a field of six 2-year-olds, four of whom already have raced over a route of ground.

Mylute is the near-certain favorite. In terms of wins, Mylute has only an Arlington Polytrack sprint score, but he rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the Arlington-Washington Futurity to finish second to Bern Identity in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta Downs, and then third behind Goldencents and Bern Identity in the $1 million Delta Jackpot.

Mylute is by Midnight Lute, who did his best work sprinting, and is from a family without overwhelmingly apparent stamina tendencies. His pace from the stretch call to the finish in the Delta races looked more even than dynamic, and Wednesday’s performance should help Tom Amoss decide whether to forge forward to further route stakes or aim Mylute at shorter spots.

Trainer Kellyn Gorder entered two in the feature. Bourbon Pride won a two-turn Churchill maiden race in his fourth start, but needed a drop to $40,000 maiden-claiming competition to do so, and Gorder’s more interesting prospect is the WinStar Farm-owned colt General Election.

General Election impressively won his seven-furlong career debut last month at Churchill, showing strong acceleration while making a winning inside move that produced a three-length victory. He is by Harlan’s Holiday and out of a mare who produced Ready’s Echo, a horse with enough staying power to have finished third in the Belmont Stakes.

Corey Lanerie, who is based this winter in Florida, rode General Election in his debut win and has a return call Wednesday.