09/04/2004 12:00AM

Blackdoun to get stretch challenge


DEL MAR, Calif. - Since arriving from France in early summer, has dominated the 3-year-old turf division at Del Mar this summer with flashy wins in two stakes. That streak will be threatened in Monday's $400,000 Del Mar Derby by Fast and Furious, another French import.

Blackdoun and Fast and Furious, both of whom were stakes winners in France, figure to dominate the betting in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, run over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

With similar styles, they could produce a memorable stretch run. Typical of French-based runners, Blackdoun and Fast and Furious are accustomed to following the pace until the final three-eighths and then unleashing a rally.

Blackdoun rallied from seventh in the second division of the Oceanside Stakes over a mile July 21 to win by a widening 2 1/2 lengths. The race marked his American debut and first victory since a minor stakes in France in February.

In the La Jolla Handicap over 1 1/16 miles Aug. 14, Blackdoun closed from sixth on the final turn and rallied through traffic to deny Semi Lost.

"The other day I didn't think he would win, but he overcame the trouble," trainer Julio Canani said of the La Jolla. "You can't change his style, that's the horse."

Canani said the presence of Fast and Furious will not change Blackdoun's tactics.

"If I worry about those things I'll be in trouble," Canani said. "He's doing good. He's eating. He looks good. He's super."

Fast and Furious, who raced over distances ranging from 1 5/16 to 1 1/2 miles this year in France, won his first stakes in a minor derby in Toulouse, France, in June, his most recent start.

"He has a big turn of foot and runs the last part," said trainer Ron McAnally. "In his last work, we only asked him in the last quarter."

The Del Mar Derby has drawn an outstanding supporting cast. Bedmar and Semi Lost, second and third in the La Jolla Handicap, and Laura's Lucky Boy, the winner of the Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park in May, can play important roles.

Toasted, who won the La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita in April and the Grade 2 Arlington Classic at Arlington Park in July, will attract support. Trained by Laura de Seroux, Toasted will be ridden by Rene Douglas, who makes a rare Southern California appearance.

Terroplane and Lucky Pulpit, second and third behind Blackdoun in the Oceanside Stakes, are also part of the 10-horse field.

Lucky Pulpit finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Blackdoun in a division of the Oceanside, his first start since a seventh in the Santa Anita Derby last April. Lucky Pulpit has yet to win a stakes, but has placed in four stakes, including a second in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes on dirt at Santa Anita last January.

Lucky Pulpit's trainer, Clifford Sise, was not discouraged by the loss to Blackdoun.

"He needed the race," Sise said. "He hadn't run in four months and we came out of the tougher half."

Sise predicts that Lucky Pulpit will be near the front.

"Even though he's going 1 1/8 miles, he'll be close, maybe on the pace," Sise said.

But even if the pace is slow, it may be difficult for Lucky Pulpit to hold off Blackdoun and Fast and Furious. The last half-mile will provide anxious moments for the backers of the two colts, and their connections.

"We'll be as curious as anyone else," McAnally said. "I like him a lot."