02/27/2010 12:00AM

Backtalk wins comeback race

Coady Photography
Backtalk moves to the lead in Friday night's Sportsman's Paradise at Delta Downs. He will now be pointed to either the Louisnana Derby or the Arkansas Derby.

Backtalk, one of the more accomplished 2-year-olds of 2009, won at two turns for the first time Friday night when he made his season debut in the $75,000 Sportsman's Paradise at Delta Downs. The one-mile race shared a card with the $75,000 Green Oaks, won by Sheer Beauty.

Last year, Backtalk ($3) won the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga and Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs. Friday's race was his first start since finishing eighth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October.

Backtalk was freshened after the Breeders' Futurity and showed a strong series of works at Fair Grounds leading up to the Sportsman's Paradise. The horse's connections - owner Paul Bulmahn, racing manager Todd Quast, and trainer Tom Amoss - will now consider Backtalk for the Louisiana Derby on March 27 or the Arkansas Derby on April 10.

"We're looking at one of the bigger Derby preps, and we'd like to stay on a traditional surface," Amoss said.

Backtalk, making his second start at two turns, stalked sprint stakes winner Royal Express through six furlongs in the slop in 1:14.10, then was up for a half-length win over that rival. Backtalk covered the distance in 1:40.36.

Miguel Mena was aboard for Gold Mark Farm.

The track was muddy for the Green Oaks later on the card, when Sheer Beauty ($5.40) stalked the pace and won by a neck over Jill Marie. She covered the mile for 3-year-old fillies in 1:42.36. James Graham was aboard for trainer Bernie Flint. Sheer Beauty races for LTB Inc. and Miles Childers.