The unbeaten stakes winner Saint’s Fan was expected to be among the favorites in the $200,000 LeComte Stakes (gr. III) on Saturday at Fair Grounds, but according to the Fair Grounds Barn Notes for January 19th, the colt will be scratched to await a race in February.
Trained by Dallas Stewart, Saint’s Fan had drawn post position twelve in the LeComte Stakes, a tough post that could have compromised his chances. The news was made official after Saint’s Fan breezed a half-mile in :50 flat on the morning of January 19th, his first timed workout since December 29th.
“The post position for his first time going long is the main reason to come out,” Stewart was quoted as saying. “I didn’t think it was in his favor and was a lot going against him, especially going against horses with two-turn experience. I’m going to take a different plan. There’s a stakes race for Louisiana-breds at Delta Downs [the February 11th Louisiana Premier Night Prince Stakes] and if not we have the Risen Star. He’s a really nice horse and our first main goal with him is the Louisiana Derby. He worked this morning and worked very well.”
In his most recent start, Saint’s Fan overcame a slow start to win the six-furlong Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes at Fair Grounds on December 10th. Although Stewart has not won the Louisiana Derby since 1999, he has used the race as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby with horses like Golden Soul (2013) and Commanding Curve (2014), both of which finished second in the “Run for the Roses.”
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