03/15/2007 12:00AM

Barn hustles in Sidcup or Tejano run


In 20 races not on Polytrack, Sidcup has one win.

In his two races on Polytrack, Sidcup is unbeaten, having circled his rivals with sensational rallies.

No wonder trainer Walt Bindner Jr. shipped out Sidcup from New Orleans early to race Saturday in the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes over Polytrack at Turfway Park.

"He's run two monster races on Polytrack, and obviously I'd like to get him back on that surface," said Bindner. "I'd like to see if those two races were an aberration, or if they were really true."

Sidcup, a 5-year-old gelding by Running Stag, is one of 11 older horses entered in a competitive renewal of the Tejano Run, a 1 1/8-mile race that anchors the Saturday card at Turfway in Florence, Ky. The first victory on Polytrack for Sidcup came last fall in an entry-level allowance route at Keeneland, and after a failed effort in the mud at Churchill Downs, the gelding won the Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway on Dec. 16.

Bindner, who will reconsolidate his entire stable next week to his primary base at Churchill after spending the last several months at Fair Grounds, said Sidcup "beat a fairly decent group" in the Prairie Bayou. "It would be nice to think he's a legitimate stakes horse whenever we run him on Polytrack."

Because of the common ownership of Mrs. S.K. Johnston Jr., Sidcup will be coupled for wagering purposes on Saturday with Ascertain, a Niall O'Callaghan-trained turf specialist making his first start since early July.

Other main contenders in the Tejano Run include Bond Street, a recent allowance winner for trainer Patrick Biancone and jockey Julien Leparoux; Starspangled Gator, a speedy colt seeking his third straight victory; and Esprit du Roi, a resilient 8-year-old who has thrived this winter over the Turfway Polytrack.

A sleeper in the race is Jade's Revenge, who ships in from Maryland for trainer Graham Motion off several solid efforts, including a two-back allowance score at Philadelphia Park that earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

This is the 34th running of the Tejano Run, which formerly was known as the Pioneer Stakes. Tejano Run, the 1995 Kentucky Derby runner-up, won the 1996 Pioneer.

Two allowances (races 9 and 10) directly precede the Tejano Run on a 12-race card that starts at 1:10op.m. Eastern.

The biggest day of the year at Turfway comes next Saturday when the Grade 2, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes, headed by Hard Spun, highlights a program with five stakes races.