OXO Equine LLC’s Instilled Regard (Arch) emerged from his victory in the GIII LeComte S. at Fair Grounds Saturday in fine condition, according to Christina Jelm, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Acquired by owner Larry Best for $1.05 million at the OBS March 2-year-old sale, the colt continued to return on the investment with a convincing 3 3/4-length score.
“I would say he came out better than he did going in,” Jelm said. “He was not tired at all and it was as if he went out for a regular morning gallop. He wouldn’t have blown out a candle after the race. He wasn’t breathing hard and he kind of wanted to go around there again. He took to the track very well.”
Instilled Regard’s win gave Best his first ever graded stakes victory.
“[Best] educates himself to the extreme and he really does his research,” Jelm said. “After this the I think he’ll come up with some ideas and then Jerry will have some ideas since he has done this for a while, but they will come up with a plan for the next step moving forward. It’s apparent that the horse gets over this surface well and it didn’t take anything out of him. If anything, it put a lot more into him. It put a lot more confidence into him and took his fitness level to a higher level. He’s a very professional horse and very classy.”
Following his LeComte score, Instilled Regard currently sits sixth on the Kentucky Derby qualifying points leaderboard with 14 points. Trainer Steve Asmussen ran second, third and fourth in the LeComte with favored Principe Guilherme (Tapit), Snapper Sinclair (City Zip) and Zing Zang (Tapit), respectively, and said the trio would all be considered for the Feb. 17 GII Risen Star S., among other spots.