Colonial Downs racing fans will see some familiar horses Saturday (January 22) at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans where their graded Derby prep — the Lecomte Stakes (Gr. 3) — headlines a 6-pack of stakes on a massive 14-race card. Wagering on Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will also be available from Friday – Sunday.
In the $100,000 Duncan F. Fenner Stakes, Just Might, winner of the Chesapeake and Da Hoss Stakes last summer in New Kent, will square off against another Colonial champ — grey gelding Strike Me Down — who won an allowance August 3 then was edged by Virginia Derby winner English Bee in an August 24 showdown. Both are trained by Michelle Lovell who brought a stable to Colonial for the first time last summer.
Just Might has 10 career wins and a bankroll of $830,414. The 6-year-old Justin Phillip gelding has won 6 of his last 7 starts, all of which have been stakes. Strike Me Down has earned $316,841 from 23 starts. The 7-year-old Tapit gelding has a combined 13 second and third place finishes to go with a trio of wins. The Fenner has been carded as Race 8 at 4:25 PM.
Virginia-bred Chess Chief competes in the ultra-competitive Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes, scheduled as Race 13 at 6:49 PM. The 6-year-old Into Mischief horse will face million-dollar earners Midnight Bourbon and Mandaloun. Chess Chief can be considered a “Horse for the Course” of sorts — he is 5-for-10 at Fair Grounds including wins in the Tenacious Stakes December 26 and in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic Stakes last March. The Dallas Stewart trainee has amassed $810,338 in earnings and was bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm.
2021 Van Clief stakes winner Princess Theorem faces 11 other fillies and mares in the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes, carded as Race 10 at 5:23 PM. The 4-year-old Nyquist filly collected her second career triumph in the Van Clief, which she won by 1 3/4 lengths with Joe Rocco Jr. in the irons. The Brendan Walsh trainee has bankrolled $171,482 from ten outings.
Also in the field are the 6th and 7th place finishers from last summer’s Virginia Oaks — Adelaide Miss and Out of Sorts.
The headlining Lecomte Stakes, Race 14 (7:20 PM), closes out the day’s festivities and features a colt who finished second in his career debut August 3 at Colonial Downs. Surfer Dude is a 3-year-old son of Curlin, is a Dallas Stewart trainee, and has made five starts since his initial runner-up. To date, he has earnings of $113,460.