Morning line set for LeComte// Flashback fires bullet, pointing to Robert Lewis// Tentative plan set for Verrazano

The favorite for this Saturday’s LeComte (G3) was not obvious when looking at the PPs. Today we learned it’s Avie’s Quality at 5-2, at least on the morning line. By Saturday, the favorite could very well be graded stakes winner Circle Unbroken (7-2) or even sharp allowance winner Malibu High (5-1).  The LeComte will be Avie’s Quality’s first attempt on dirt, much less his first race away from Woodbine. Ever since the addition of blinkers, he has reeled off authoritative wins in a maiden contest and a listed stakes.  Avie’s Quality’s trainer Josie Carroll says the colt has been training well on dirt, but they all say that, so the jury is still out// Dallas Stewart is pleased with Golden Soul’s progression in morning workouts and thinks the dominating maiden winner deserves a chance to make the Kentucky Derby// Finally some news on Todd Pletcher’s Verrazano.  The eye-popping maiden breaker has been training well and Pletcher is looking for an allowance in February and hoping to “gradually stretch out”.  Whether or not that means a possible start in one of the 100-point Derby preps in late March or April later down the road remains to be seen// Flashback, another popular debut winner from a Derby winning barn, blitzed 4-furlongs at Santa Anita this morning in 46:60. Bob Baffert announced the Robert Lewis (G2) on February 2 is the current target race// Keeneland announced their Spring stakes schedule, with no surprises in purses or dates for the two Derby preps: Bluegrass S. (G1) and Coolmore Lexington S. (G3)// more…

LeComte Stakes (G3)- Fair Grounds- 1M 70 yards- 5:55 ET
Derby Points 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th: 10, 4, 2, 1


Flashback- SA- 4F- 46:60- H- 1/34
Hear the Ghost- HOL- 6F- 1.15:40- H- 9/10

Quotes and Tweets:
“3YO Flashback pointed to Bob Lewis Stakes @santaanitapark on Feb. 2, per [Bob Baffert]”- Dick Downey via Twitter

“[Verrazano] had a good breeze on Sunday (four furlongs in :49 2/5), and he’ll have another one this Sunday. Then, we’ll look for a spot for him maybe next month,” Pletcher said. “Most likely we’ll go the allowance route. We’ll look to gradually stretch out.”- Todd Pletcher via Gulfstream Park Notes