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Terrain Drills Friday Bullet for Louisiana Derby March 14

Headlines for Friday, March 06, 2009

  • Terrain Drills Friday Bullet for Louisiana Derby March 14
  • Flying Pegasus Breezes Five-Eighths Thursday for La. Derby
  • Theriot Returns to Top After Thursday Double
  • Honest Man Assigned 121 Pounds for New Orleans Handicap March 14


Terrain Drills Friday Bullet for Louisiana Derby March 14

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Terrain breezed a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.60 Friday morning at Fair Grounds in advance of his 3-year-old debut in the $600,000 Grade II Louisiana Derby March 14.

"Curt Bourque was aboard Terrain for the move," trainer Al Stall Jr. said.  "We worked him in company with an unstarted maiden.  The two horses started off together but Terrain drew off during the last part of it.

"I'm going to give him an ‘A' for today's work.  That's the most important thing - he got the letter ‘A' in my book."

Terrain, an Adele Dilschneider homebred, was the adjudged winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity last September and a competitive fourth in the Grade III Breeders' Cup Juvenile last October before closing out his juvenile campaign with a fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Delta Jackpot.

"We never did really figure out why he didn't run well in the race at Delta," Stall said, "but we went back to basics and took the blinkers off in the mornings.  He seems to have worked much better since we did that.  He works much better as a 3-year-old than he did as a 2-year-old."

Stall has saddled the second-place finishers in each of the last two runnings of the Louisiana Derby, with My Pal Charlie in 2008 and Ketchikan in 2007. Dilschneider was co-owner, with Claiborne Farm, of 2000 Louisiana Derby winner Mighty.


Flying Pegasus Breezes Five-Eighths Thursday for La. Derby

James Spence's Flying Pegasus, second to Friesan Fire in the Grade III Risen Star Stakes here Feb. 7, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.20 Thursday morning under exercise rider E. J. Bowler in preparation for the Louisiana Derby.

 In the $200,000 Risen Star, the final local prep for the Louisiana Derby, Flying Pegasus was making his first start of the year and was handicapped by the No. 12 post in a 13-horse field.

"He ran well enough (in the Risen Star)," said trainer Ralph Nicks Friday morning. "That outside post might have cost us a little bit.

 "As hard as he ran in that race as his first time out, we didn't ask him to do too much (Thursday)," Nicks said.  "We don't want to squeeze out every drop just yet with this horse.  We wanted to leave a little bit left for the race.

 "How he runs in the Louisiana Derby will dictate where we go from there," said Nicks.  "We'd love to go to the Kentucky Derby with him, but we'd only go there if we felt like we belonged.

"Mr. Spence deserves everything that will happen to him if this horse turns out to be a good one," Nicks said.  "He raced this horse's dam (Lilly Capote) and he bred this colt.  He's been in this game a long time, and he's always been a player."



Theriot Returns to Top After Thursday Double

Jamie Theriot, seeking a second consecutive Fair Grounds riding title, wasted little time Thursday regaining the lead in the tight race for leading rider honors this season.

The Louisiana native began the day one win behind six-time Fair Grounds leading rider Robby Albarado, but won both halves of the early double, while Albarado went winless for the afternoon.

Theriot took the opener aboard Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein's Credit Only for conditioner Steve Margolis and came right back to pose in the winner's circle following the second race astride Cajole for owner-trainer Cody Autrey.

Entering Friday's racing program, Theriot boasted 68 wins while Albarado had 67.  Easily within striking distance behind those two was James Graham with 63 trips to the winner's circle through Thursday.

Albarado will be out of town this weekend riding at Santa Anita on Saturday and Oaklawn on Sunday.  He has mounts in all three Grade I races on Santa Anita Handicap day: Blue Exit in the "Big Cap," Hooh Why in the Santa Anita Oaks and Wise River in the Kilroe Mile.


Honest Man Assigned 121 Pounds for New Orleans Handicap March 14

Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man, a 4 1/4-length winner of the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap here Feb. 7, has been assigned the top impost of 121 pounds for the 84th running of the Grade II New Orleans Handicap March 14.

The New Orleans Handicap, contested at nine furlongs, is Fair Grounds premier event for older horse on the main track and one of four Grade II races among six stakes that that highlight Louisiana Derby Day presented by Budweiser.

Last year, Honest Man won Monmouth's Grade III Philip Iselin Handicap and ran fourth in Turfway's Grade II Kentucky Club Classic.  The 5-year-old son of Unbridled's Song finished third in the $75,000 Louisiana Handicap Jan. 10 in his seasonal bow.

Trained by Larry Jones, Honest Man is expected to be ridden by Gabriel Saez in the New Orleans Handicap.

In other New Orleans Handicap news, Fair Grounds stakes coordinator Scott Jones reported Friday that IEAH Stables, Pegasus Holding Groups Stables and Winter Park Partners Wishful Tomcat is now expected for the New Orleans Handicap.

Wishful Tomcat, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, won the Grade III Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct in November. In his last start, he made the pace in the Grade II Strub Stakes Feb. 7 but weakened late to finish eighth while beaten less than two lengths.

The Brooklyn-born Frankel saddled back-to-back winners of the New Orleans Handicap in Peace Rules (2004) and Badge of Silver (2005).