03/20/2008 12:00AM

Brother Bean vs. Myoldmansam

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Brother Bean was among the fastest Louisiana-breds to race in 2007, but as for his appearance on Saturday at Fair Grounds, it's a classic case of what have you done for me lately.

Brother Bean hasn't started since May 19, when he finished a well-beaten fourth as the 4-5 favorite in the Big Earl Stakes at Louisiana Downs. When he makes his first start after a long break on Saturday at Fair Grounds in the $60,000 Lagniappe Sprint, Brother Bean must prove that he has not lost his spark.

Six-time winner Brother Bean finished second in the Lagniappe Sprint race last year, beaten in a sharp performance by Cort's P.B. Pat Mouton trained Cort's P.B., and this time around he has Myoldmansam for the Lagniappe Sprint. And while Brother Bean turned in a couple of the sharper sprints last season at Fair Grounds, Myoldmansam ran one of this season's best sprints.

That race came Dec. 21, when Myoldmansam won a second-level Louisiana-bred allowance race by three lengths, running six furlongs in 1:09 and change, and earning a graded-stakes-class Beyer Speed Figure of 106. Defeated going five furlongs at Delta on Feb. 2, Myoldmansam has been geared up for his Fair Grounds return by Mouton with a strong-looking string of workouts.

Brother Bean, on the other hand, shows only two breezes at the Evangeline training center, and may be at least a race away from his best. If nothing else, however, he should show speed from the fence, and hook up with Ceasers March on what could be a suicidal early pace. That could set things up for Myoldmansam as well as Fass Feat, who won the Champions Day Sprint in December, but was not at his best finishing third in an open third-level allowance race Feb. 10 at Fair Grounds.

Fortin: New Edition must fire fresh

For some reason, Fair Grounds has become a hotbed for turf fillies that showed talent racing on the East Coast last year at age 3. Tears I Cry, a close fifth to Rutherienne and Bit of Whimsy in the June 2 Sands Point at Belmont, returned from a long layoff with a sharp entry-level grass allowance win on Feb. 24 at Fair Grounds. On Saturday, in the $60,000 Fortin, she runs squarely into a former Easterner who had even better form in 2007.

That would be New Edition, who came within a half-length of catching Dreaming of Anna in the Colonial Oaks last summer. Anyone who saw Dreaming of Anna slice through the Tampa Bay Downs turf stakes schedule this winter can attest to the significance of that accomplishment.

New Edition came back from the Colonial Oaks with a second at Saratoga in the Lake Placid, but appeared to tail off in two subsequent starts. In the Fortin, at 1 1/16 miles on turf, she races for the first time since October, and makes her first start for trainer Steve Asmussen. New Edition has worked steadily at Sam Houston for her comeback run, and can win the Fortin if she fires fresh.

The 11-horse field also includes Elliecat, who won the Chou Croute on Feb. 16 at 78-1, and Unforgotten, the beaten 9-5 favorite in that race. Elliecat has run well in three turf starts, but Unforgotten has never tried grass.

Derby: Tensas Why Gin sharp

Tensas Why Gin might not have beaten much winning a Louisiana-bred entry-level allowance race on Feb. 28, but it was the manner of his victory that suggests he can win the $75,000 Crescent City Derby on Saturday.

Making his first start at two turns, and coming off a sharp maiden sprint win, Tensas Why Gin set a pace that should have melted him down in the stretch run of that February allowance race. The funny thing was, Tensas Why Gin went his opening half-mile in 47.40 second with his ears up, looking like he was strolling through the park. Indeed, when asked to pick up the pace at the top of the long Fair Grounds stretch, Tensas Why Gin showed no sign of fatigue, and cruised to a 13o3/4-quarter length victory.

While Tensas Why Gin raced in front last time, he looks relaxed enough to sit off the pace if rating tactics are required Saturday. That may be the case, and working out a good trip is paramount if Tensas Why Gin is to post a minor upset over Peteadoris.

Peteadoris finished second on turf March 1 in the Gentilly Stakes, but remains the horse to beat in the Crescent City Derby, a 1 1/16-mile dirt race.

* The Asmussen-trained filly Hisse will be an odds-on favorite to win the Crescent City Oaks - and for good reason. If she comes anywhere near her winning form in the Marcho1 Sarah Lane's Oates, the other six horses are running for second money.