12/16/2008 1:00AM

Friesan Fire gets tune-up for Lecomte

Email

NEW ORLEANS - Friesan Fire was ready a week ago, but didn't get to run when racing was canceled at Fair Grounds because of snow. In Thursday's sixth race, a first-level allowance for 2-year-olds going a mile on the main track, he will be past ready and needs to run.

"We were all dressed up and had nowhere to go," said trainer Larry Jones. "He's still dressed up and he's handled the week off well, but he needs to do something this week."

Friesan Fire is one of the most promising 2-year-olds stabled here, and Thursday's race is intended as a prep for the Grade 3 Lecomte on Jan. 10.

Friesan Fire will get blinkers after two disappointing trips in graded stakes. He finished third two races back, in the seven-furlong, Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont, then raced three wide while finishing fourth on Nov. 2 in the one-mile, Grade 3 Nashua at Aqueduct.

Jones said he thought Friesan Fire was unfocused in those races, and believes the blinkers will help him focus. In addition, this race marks the return of jockey T.J. Thompson, who piloted him to his first win, and his third-place finish in the Futurity.

Friesan Fire meets several real contenders in this race, including Indygo Mountain, who won his maiden convincingly in his last race, Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs. In that race, at a mile on the dirt, he sat just off the pace before taking over around the turn, winning by 6 1/4 lengths.

Indygo Mountain's trainer, Bret Calhoun, is also pointing him toward the one-mile Lecomte, but might prefer for him to go a little longer.

"I'd like him to go farther," said Calhoun. "I'd like him to use this race to learn to settle and sit off the pace so he can close in the longer, better races in the spring."

The other well-bred horse in here is Uno Mas, a son of Macho Uno who took a big step forward on opening weekend when he broke through and won on his fourth try, a six-furlong maiden special weight.

In that race, Uno Mas settled and rated before moving forward in the stretch and winning by 4 1/2 lengths. This will be his first time trying two turns.

With trainers focusing on teaching their horses to rate, pacesetting duties may fall to Code of Honour, who was out fast in his first race before fading to third. He rated his last time out, though, and won, so he may try to rate again.