02/10/2010 12:00AM

Blame returns to work as Stall plots campaign


Blame has returned to the work tab for the first time since he captured the Clark Handicap last Nov. 27 at Churchill Downs, but do not expect Blame to return to the races until trainer Al Stall's stable heads north for the spring.

Four-year-old Blame worked an easy three furlongs in 38.20 seconds on Saturday at Fair Grounds, and he may breeze again as soon as Thursday, Stall said.

"He'll work five days into six days," said Stall.

Blame should benefit from the more vigorous routine, since Stall said the colt is laid-back during morning exercise. "He doesn't gallop too strong," said Stall. "He's easy to deal with."

A homebred owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Blame got a slow start to his 3-year-old season, racing for the first time last year on June 12 at Churchill Downs. Blame finished third in that comeback race, but won 4 of his next 5 starts, his lone loss during that span a second-place finish to loose-on-the-lead Regal Ransom in the Super Derby. Before capturing the Clark by a neck, Blame won the Fayette at Keeneland, his second win in three synthetic-surface races. Stall said Blame could make his 2010 debut either at Keeneland or Churchill.

Even though Blame won't be ready for the New Orleans Handicap, Stall still has a horse for the race in standout Louisiana-bred Star Guitar, who last Saturday night at Delta Downs won for the sixth time in a row and 12th time in 15 starts. Star Guitar finished seventh in the 2009 New Orleans Handicap, but broke from a wide post, and might not have cared for a sloppy racetrack that afternoon.

War Echo to prep in Pelleteri

War Echo, the "other" Steve Asmussen-trained 4-year-old filly based at Fair Grounds, was one of eight horses entered in Saturday's $60,000 Pelleteri Stakes, a dirt route race for older fillies and mares.

War Echo, winner of the Silverbulletday Stakes last spring at Fair Grounds before suffering an injury, seeks her third straight victory Saturday in a prep race for the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn next month.

Backtalk tops on tab

Backtalk, winner of the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes, posted a bullet five-furlong drill in 1:00.40 on Saturday at Fair Grounds, but will not make the Risen Star, trainer Tom Amoss said.

"Expect him to come back sometime around the first of March," said Amoss.

There were several other works of note this week, as well:

* Amoss-trained Risen Star probable Ron the Greek went a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.80 on Wednesday.

* Euroears, who faded to sixth as the favorite in the Gaudin, drilled a flashy half-mile in a bullet 47.20 seconds, also on Wednesday.

* Top-level turf sprinter Chamberlain Bridge went three-quarters in 1:14.80 on Saturday, gearing up for his 2010 debut.

* Grade 1-placed Tizaqueena breezed a half-mile in 49.80 Monday, her fourth work of 2010.

* Lecomte stakes runner-up Maximus Ruler, another Risen Star probable, went a half in 48.20 last Saturday.