Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Dan and Sheila and Z Dager, a pair of recent impressive maiden winners for Zayat Stables, will step onto the Derby trail this weekend when they lineup as an entry in Saturday's $175,000 Lecomte S. (G3) – the first of a three-stakes series of Derby preps to be run at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.
Based in South Florida, Dan and Sheila has continued to impress trainer Todd Pletcher with his training at Palm Meadows, most recently breezing a half-mile in :48.76 on Monday. Pletcher recommended Saturday's Lecomte for the 3-year-old's next start, and he will give the mount to top stable rider John Velazquez.
A son of More Than Ready, Dan and Sheila broke his maiden at first asking going a mile on the Gulfstream main track on Dec. 17.
Z Dager will represent the local part of the Zayat entry.
The 3-year-old son of Mizzen Mast has been pointed for the Lecomte since breaking his maiden on Dec. 15 at Fair Grounds, earning a 77 Beyer in his first start around two turns. The win came at the same mile-and-seventy-yards trip as Saturday's Lecomte.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Z Dager will be ridden by jockey Shane Sellers.
The Lecomte is the first test for 3-year-old colts on the Derby trail at Fair Grounds, which also hosts the $300,000 Risen Star S. (G2) on Feb. 25, and the featured $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on April 1.
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