07/10/2006 11:00PM

Bamboo Gap may go to Ellis


Trainer Sam David Jr. was going over stakes schedules on Tuesday morning, looking for a spot for Bamboo Gap, who won his third straight race over the Louisiana Downs turf course last Saturday when he wired a field of 3-year-olds in the $50,000 Excalibur.

David has already targeted the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial on the Super Derby undercard here Sept. 23 as an objective for Bamboo Gap, but is searching for a race before then and has an eye on Ellis Park in Kentucky.

"Right now, we're just kind of looking for a place to go with straight 3-year-olds on the grass," said David. "We're trying to take advantage of his 3-year-old year and just keep him with 3-year-olds if we can for a while."

There do not appear to be any options in the immediate region right now, so David said the $50,000 Regaey Island Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Ellis on Aug. 5 is a strong next-race possibility for Bamboo Gap.

"Timing-wise it would work out pretty good," said David.

Bamboo Gap has won his last three starts - all over the Louisiana Downs turf - by a combined 12 3/4 lengths. Richard and Susan Piper own Bamboo Gap, who was claimed for $20,000 out of his winning career debut at Evangeline Downs on March 3.

"We wanted to try him on turf," David said. "We thought he might like the turf being out of a Rahy mare, and it seemed to work. He ran good on the dirt, but it seems he runs better on the turf, so we're going to try to keep him on the turf if we can."

Bamboo Gap is by Archers Bay and out of Quick Question. He set a solid pace in the Excalibur, and covered the mile over firm going in 1:35.37. Bamboo Gap won by four lengths and earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 88.

Follow the Storm to Prelude

Follow the Storm, a winner of his last four starts, is being pointed for the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 1. The 1 1/16-mile dirt race is a prep for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby, which is a goal for Follow the Storm.

"That's our plan," said Brandon Marks, who trains Follow the Storm for Carrol Castille.

Follow the Storm was to make his stakes debut in the Excalibur, but was scratched in the paddock for being incorrectly shod for turf. He worked at Evangeline Downs on Monday, breezing a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.80 under regular rider Kerwin Clark.

"He's tearing the barn down, so we gave him a little workout," said Marks. "We're pointing him to the Prelude on the first of September, but he definitely needs to run before that."

Marks said Follow the Storm could turn up next at Evangeline. He is one of the region's most exciting 3-year-olds, having won his last four starts by a combined 14 3/4 lengths. Follow the Storm is a son of Stormin Fever.

Secure Line seeks fourth straight

Secure Line will go for his fourth straight win in the fourth race Thursday, a first-level allowance at six furlongs. Secure Line began his win streak in January, and has won his races by a combined 16 1/4 lengths. Jose Riquelme has the mount for trainer Al Stall Jr.

In the sixth race, a second-level allowance for fillies and mares at about at mile on turf, Space Cruise will make her turf debut. In her last start, she was third in the $50,000 Suthern Accent at Louisiana Downs. E.J. Perrodin has the mount for trainer Patrick Mouton.

* Mr. Pursuit, who was second in the $100,000 Alysheba at Lone Star Park on July 1, could make his next start in the $75,000 Ark-La-Tex Handicap at Louisiana Downs on July 22, said his trainer, Joe Petalino.

* Hulon Curtis, a longtime placing judge at Oaklawn Park, died last week.