Avie's Quality switches
to dirt in LeComte
USA: Preview, Saturday (10.55pm GMT)
Fair Grounds: LeComte Stakes (Grade 3) 1m70y, 3yo colts
AVIE'S QUALITY gets his first taste of dirt in a quality renewal of the LeComte Stakes, historically an early opportunity for would-be Kentucky Derby contenders to put down a marker.
Having raced on synthetics during his juvenile campaign at Woodbine in Canada, it is a step into the unknown for the Josie Carroll-trained three-year-old, who has been drawn in stall six and will be partnered by Rosie Napravnik for the first time.
The Grade 3 is the first of a trio of graded stakes races for three-year-old colts at Fair Grounds - with the Grade 2 Risen Star and $1 million Louisiana Derby to follow - and has drawn a field of nine including course victor Malibu High, two-time scorer Fear the Kitten and Grade 3 winner Circle Unbroken, who returns after incurring a minor ankle injury last summer.
At Gulfstream Park, Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up Mucho Macho Man is likely to be sent off favorite in his clash with Ron The Greek, the only horse to defeat Wise Dan last year, in the$400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic over 1m1f.