Terrain breezed a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.60 March 6 at Fair Grounds in advance of his 3-year-old debut in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) 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 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) last September and a competitive fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) last October before closing out his juvenile campaign with a fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Delta Jackpot (gr. III).
“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.
Also working for the Louisiana Derby was James Spence’s Flying Pegasus, second to Friesan Fire in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 7. He was clocked in 1:02.20 for five furlongs March 5 under exercise rider E. J. Bowler in preparation for the race.
In the 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,” said trainer Ralph Nicks. “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 (in his work). 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. We’d love to go to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with him, but we’d only go there if we felt like we belonged.”