01/05/2007 1:00AM

Brother Bean's speed stands out


NEW ORLEANS - They'll have to catch Brother Bean in Sunday's feature race at Fair Grounds, a $50,000 third-level optional claimer on the main track at six furlongs. The fleet Louisiana-bred 4-year-old led at every call in his first three career starts leading up to the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint. He battled on the lead that day and gave way grudgingly to Meteor Impact, finishing second by a length.

"I was really amazed at the time he ran, getting the five-eighths in 56 and four-fifths," said trainer Victor Arceneaux. "I was surprised he held on as well as he did after running that fast."

Even though Sunday's race is against open company, Brother Bean looks formidable, particularly since he may be able to set his own pace.

"I looked at the past performances and it did look like he had the controlling speed," said Arceneaux. "But I think we're going to try to rate him a little bit this time and see what happens."

Brother Bean has been headstrong in his workouts, making it difficult for Arceneaux to teach him to rate in the morning drills.

"I can't work him in company because he gets a little rank," said Arceneaux. "I find he relaxes more when he works by himself. He really just gallops in the morning, he doesn't put out unless you put him in the starting gate."

Parker B. and Island Warrior are each coming off a victory in a second-level optional claimer.

Parker B. has two stretch-running victories this meet under apprentice jockey Joe Talamo, who leads the rider standings. Island Warrior helped trainer Dallas Stewart get off to a hot start at this meet with a handy score in an optional claimer. He was actually dropping in class that day after running second in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway Park and a second-level allowance at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Tom Amoss has an uncoupled pair of runners in the race. One is Rungius, who gave his best effort at this condition level last time out, finishing third to Smoke Mountain.

The other is Wrzeszcz, a tiger on the Fair Grounds turf back in 2005 when he won the $100,000 Taylor's Special Handicap. He has been running in dirt sprints recently. A 6-year-old Langfuhr gelding, Wrzeszcz is one of two horses in the race offered for the $50,000 claiming price. The other is Sterling Gold, an 8-year-old veteran claimer.