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Updated: January 22, 2022 at 7:59 pm
Let go at 28-1 and apparently overmatched on paper, the well-tried CALL ME MIDNIGHT (c, 3, Midnight Lute–Overseen, by First Defence) stormed down the center of the long Fair Grounds stretch to just nose out favored Epicenter (Not This Time) in Saturday’s GIII Lecomte S., the first of three local preps on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. A maiden winner at fifth asking going Churchill’s one-turn mile last Nov. 13, the $80,000 OBS March grad raced well back in the field as Surfer Dude (Curlin) and last-out Gun Runner S. hero Epicenter ding-dogged it up front through taxing opening fractions of :23.40 and :47.01. Pappacap (Gun Runner), a latest runner-up to Corniche (Quality Road) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, sat a good inside trip and was there at the fence to challenge Epicenter in the stretch as Surfer Dude decided to call it a day and hang ten elsewhere. Trafalgar (Lord Nelson) loomed a brief threat inside, but Call Me Midnight, third last to make the straight, motored down the crown of the track and dropped his nose down on the line in the nick of time. Trainer Keith Desormeaux knows how to cause an upset in New Orleans, as he sent out I’ve Struck A Nerve (Yankee Gentlemen) to a 135-1 upset of the 2013 GII Risen Star S., having finished a distant fourth in the Lecomte one start prior. Sales history: $25,000 Wlg ’19 KEENOV; $37,000 RNA Ylg ’20 KEESEP; $17,000 Ylg ’20 OBSOCT; $80,000 2yo ’21 OBSMAR. O-Cantrell L Peter; B-Hartwell Farm Inc (KY); T-Keith Desormeaux.