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Jan 29, 2010

Ron the Greek grabs Lecomte Stakes



New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Ron the Greek, ridden by James Graham, rallied down the stretch to take Saturday's $100,000 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds. The Lecomte is the first of three stakes races in the Crescent City leading to the Kentucky Derby.

Conducted at a distance of one mile and 40 yards, the Lecomte had a final field of 10 after the scratch of Callide Valley. The 2-1 favorite was Maximus Ruler, while Ron the Greek was sent off at odds of 7-1.

Breaking from the inside, Maximus Ruler and jockey Francisco Torres set the pace from the start. Ron the Greek got off slowly and was unhurried through the early going.

With Maximus Ruler still on the lead Ron the Greek rallied coming off the final turn. Graham and his mount took the lead just before the wire and prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths over Maximus Ruler.

Coming in third was Letsgetitonmon followed by Cool Bullet, Worldly, Turf Melody, Citrus Kid, Depaul, B'wanagoldmine and Rock Hard.

The time for the Lecomte was 1:40.09 on a fast track.

Ron the Greek is owned by Jack Hammer and trained by Tom Amoss. The colt was making his fourth career start and notched his third victory. In his last start he was fourth to Turf Melody in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park.

Saturday's win was worth $60,000 to increase Ron the Greek's earnings to $104,400.

Ron The Greek paid $17.60, $8.20 and $5.60. Maximus Ruler returned $4.40 and $3.40, and Letsgetitonmon paid $5.00 to show.

The three race series for three-year-olds continues with the Risen Star Stakes on February 20 and the Louisiana Derby on March 27. Last year Friesian Fire swept the three races and was the post-time Kentucky Derby favorite.

Earlier on Saturday at the Fair Grounds, Friesan Fire went wire to wire to win the $75,000 Louisiana Handicap. He defeated 2009 Blue Grass Stakes champ General Quarters by 1 3/4 lengths.

Co-owned by Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm, Friesan Fire paid $5.80 to win and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.39.

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