05/03/2005 11:00PM

Aegon Turf: Mighty Beau back again


Jeff Mullins has a much bigger prize in his sights this weekend. But before he saddles Buzzards Bay in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, he looks very live in Friday's $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint with Mighty Beau.

, a 6-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding, will try to improve upon his second-place finish as the favorite in this race last year when he was outfinished by Lydgate. Steve Asmussen trained him back then.

Mighty Beau enters the Aegon off a tough neck loss to Soaring Free in the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland. He broke in the air and was much farther off the pace than usual. Still, he rallied strongly for second.

"I think it cost him the race,'' Mullins said of the poor start. "He's a front-runner and he had to come from behind. The horse is really game.''

Patrick Valenzuela has the call on Mighty Beau from post 8.

Trainer Tom Amoss sends out a pair of runners in the Aegon. Wrzeszcz won the Taylor's Special Handicap at Fair Grounds on Feb. 12, before finishing sixth in the Shakertown. Amoss said Wrzeszcz was the victim of a wide trip in the Shakertown. Amoss shortens him up to five furlongs, a sixteenth of a mile shorter than he's accustomed.

"We're hoping that he can have a clean trip,'' said Amoss, who also sends out Elegant Fame, who finished two lengths behind Wrzeszcz in a Jan. 21 allowance race at Fair Grounds.

, an 8-year-old gelding, makes his fifth consecutive appearance in this race. He won it in 2002. Though he has not won in a year, he did blow out three furlongs in 35.80 seconds over the Churchill turf course on Tuesday.

makes his 8-year-old debut for trainer Ruben Cardenas. He has not been out since November, but he has run well fresh and shows two bullet works over the Hollywood Park turf course.