GMB Racing were the big winners at the 2016 LeComte over the weekend. Still in its first year of operation, the group founded by Gayle and Tom Benson saw two of their products top the podium in the first leg of the Fair Grounds Triple Crown. Mo Tom finished first ahead of Tom’s Ready, beating out the listed favourite Uncle Walter.
“Man I’m so excited, I can’t talk. I didn’t expect 1-2. I expected one, but I didn’t expect two to come in there.” Benson said, elated about the results from Saturday’s race. “He ran a great race. Both of them did. It was a great day for us. Hey we want both of them in the Kentucky Derby.”
Mo Tom continued to build towards the Triple Crown season with a strong victory at the 2016 LeComte. He paid out $6.40, $3.60 and $2.40 as a 2/1 favourite and earned his first trip to the winner’s circle. He’d previously finished third at both the Kentucky Derby Jockey Club (GR2) and an allowance at Keeneland last October. Mo Tom displayed power and poise down the stretch of the 1 mile 70 yard race, and is certain to catch the eyes of those looking farther down the derby road.
Tom’s Ready was the bigger shock of the two. Paying out $5.60 and $3.40 in second place, there were very few expectations on the lesser known GMB Racing colt as you could tell by his 5/1 odds. There’d be no real indication that Tom’s Ready was prepared for a breakout performance, but he responded to the spirit of Mo Tom admirably. Tom’s Ready finished 5th at the Hopeful last September before dropping to 8th at the Kentucky Derby Jockey Club a couple months later.
Rounding out in third at the 2016 LeComte was Uncle Walter, who began the day at 5/2. Like Mo Tom, he was sired by Uncle Mo, and had massive expectations heading in to this race. Owned by the Ramsey’s and trained by Michael J. Maker, Uncle Walter may have just been caught on an off day. It remains to be seen where his connections intend to point him.
It’s a different story for the top two finishers at the 2016 LeComte, who have already been nominated for the Risen Star Stakes (GR2), which will be held at Fair Grounds on February 20th. If all goes well for Mo Tom at that race, there’s no doubt that he will race in the Louisiana Derby on March 26th in an attempt to bag a preseason Triple Crown before challenging for the real one.