New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) – International Star used his season debut
to explode onto the Kentucky Derby trail with a victory in Saturday’s 71st
running of the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.
The Lecomte is the first of the major 3-year-old stakes at Fair Grounds
leading to the $750,000 Louisiana Derby on Mar. 28. Coming up on Feb. 21 is
the Risen Star Stakes.
International Star, ridden by Miguel Mena from the rail post, was 9-1 in the
11-horse field going a mile, 70 yards. Trained by Mike Maker, the colt settled
along the inside until moving outside entering the stretch.
Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, International Star moved to the lead inside the
furlong pole and drove through the stretch for a 2 1/2-length victory over War
Tiznow R J was third followed by Another Lemon Drop, Savoy Stomp, Hero of
Humor, 3-1 favorite Eagle, Dekabrist, Runhappy, Killingit and Four Leaf Chief.
The time for the Lecomte was 1:43.62 on a fast track.
International Star, a son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus,
claimed $120,000 with the win. The colt has won three of seven starts for
$320,979. The Ramseys and Maker combined to win last year’s Lecomte with
Vicar’s in Trouble.
The 3-year-old won the Grey Stakes at Woodbine last October and earlier
recorded seconds in Belmont’s Rockville Center Stakes and Saratoga’s With
Anticipation on the turf. International Star was ninth, just 3 1/4 lengths off
the winner, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 31.
International Star returned $20.40, $8.80 and $5.20. War Story paid $7.20 and
$4.60, and Tiznow R J paid $4.20 to show.