NEW ORLEANS, LA – John Oxley’s Enforceable returned to the track with a bang on Saturday, making his 3-year-old debut a successful one as he circled the field to take the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds.
Breaking from post 10 under Julien Leparoux at 6/1 odds in the field of 13, Enforceable took back and watched from 11th as the field headed into the clubhouse turn. Ahead of him, Bango and Shashashakemeup dueled through opening fractions of :23.46, :47.41, and 1:12.20.
“He broke like he usually does, not as fast as others,” Leparoux said. “We traveled well the whole race and down the backside he was just dragging me. When we got around the second turn I got out in the clear and he had a big run. He’s a horse that I am very excited about.”
Leparoux let Enforceable loose from the rear as the field entered the far turn, and by the top of the stretch, he had passed nearly everyone and set his sights on Shashashakemeup. Rattling past him at the 3/16 pole, Enforceable stayed on steadily before crossing 1 1/2 lengths clear at the wire. The Mark Casse trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:43.72.
Silver State, bet down to 3/1 co-favoritism by post time, overcame bobbling at the break, getting bumped around, and running as wide as Enforceable to get up for second by a neck over Mr. Monomoy. It was over 5 lengths back to the late-running Finnick the Fierce, who nosed out Scabbard – the other 3/1 co-favorite – for fourth.
Shashashakemeup faded to sixth, a head in front of Excession. Behind them came Halo Again, Bango, Perfect Star, Jack the Umpire, Sycamore Run, and New Eagle to complete the order of finish.
Lynn’s Map was scratched after his connections opted to run in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park on January 24.
The Lecomte is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Enforceable earned 10 points for the win, with Silver State receiving 4 for second, Mr. Monomoy 2 for third, and Finnick the Fierce 1 for fourth.
Enforceable’s win was first since breaking his maiden at Saratoga on August 22, 2019, and improved his record to 7-2-1-2 with $267,150 earned. Absent since finishing third in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) last fall, the 3-year-old son of Tapit is out of the Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie. That makes him a full brother to Mohaymen, a four-time Grade 2 winner who was fourth in the 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1).
“Mark (trainer Casse) likes to put a good foundation into his two-year-olds,” said assistant trainer David Carroll. “We are so happy for Mr. and Mrs. (John) Oxley, they are terrific owners and we wish they were here today. I am sure they were watching at home, cheering him on. He trained beautifully down here and he is starting to mature. He’s a very kind horse to be around.”
Enforceable returned $15.60 to win, $6.20 to place, and $5 to show. Silver State brought back $5 to place and $3.80 to show, while Mr. Monomoy paid $5.40 to show.