Oxbow, ridden by Jon Court, ran away from the competition to capture Saturday's $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course. The 1-mile 70 yard stakes is the first of two stakes for 3-year- olds on the way to the $1 million Louisiana Derby.
Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Oxbow dueled with Heitai for most of the race. At the top of the stretch, the 4-1 third pick had a three-length lead and then opened up at the furlong pole.
Oxbow surged to an 11 1/2-length victory over 4-1 second choice Golden Soul. Finishing third in the nine-horse field as Fear the Kitten followed by Ive Struck a Nerve, Malibu High, Circle Unbroken, Heitai, 17-10 favorite Avie's Quality and Hawaakom.
The time for the Lecomte was 1:43.30 on a fast track.
Owned by Bluegrass Hall, Oxbow found the winner's circle for the second time in his sixth career start. The win was worth $120,000 to bring his bankroll to $217,500.
Oxbow won for the first time in November in his fourth start and closed his 2-year-old campaign with a fourth in the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.
Oxbow paid $11.20, $6.00 and $4.60. Golden Soul returned $5.60 and $3.80, and Fear the Kitten paid $4.20 to show.
Coming up at Fair Grounds for 3-year-olds is the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 23 and the Louisiana Derby on March 30.