New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Vicar's in Trouble, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, ran away from the competition down the stretch to capture Saturday's 70th edition of the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Trained by Mike Maker for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Vicar's in Trouble pressed the pace from the outside in the mile, 70 yards stakes after racing wide around the first turn.
The 3-year-old colt, sent off as the 17-10 second pick in the nine-horse field, took the lead from Roman Unbridled on the far turn and drew away down the stretch. Vicar's in Trouble coasted to a 6 3/4-length win over 11-1 longshot Albano with 13-10 favorite Gold Hawk coming home third.
"He's got natural speed," said Napravnik. "Options (were) open. He could have gotten the lead, could have sat off (the pace). The horse has been improving. I think he's a little immature but I think he can move up a lot from this race."
Roman Unbridled was fourth followed by Got Shades, Plug Catcher, Silent Ruler, Rainbow Trip and Smarty's Echo.
The time for the Lecomte on a fast track was 1:42.57.
"He's never given us any reason he wouldn't go the distance. He's naturally quick but he is very pliable and has a good brain," said Maker's assistant trainer Joe Sharp, Napravnik's husband,
The Lecomte is the first of three stakes at Fair Grounds for 3-year-olds on the way to the Kentucky Derby. The $400,000 Risen Star will be Saturday, Feb. 22, and the $1 million Louisiana Derby on Saturday, March 29.
Vicar's in Trouble recorded his first stakes win in just his third career start. The colt adds $120,000 to his bankroll which now stands at $148,900. He finished third in his debut effort last October at Keeneland and broke his maiden at Fair Grounds in December.
Vicar's in Trouble paid $5.40, $4.00 and $2.80. Albano returned $8.00 and $3.80, and Gold Hawk paid $2.20 to show.