09/24/2007 11:00PM

Changes give Cherokee Triangle a boost

EmailBOSSIER CITY, La. - With the help of a couple of equipment changes, Cherokee Triangle appears to be blossoming heading into the new $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26. That race is the next stop for Cherokee Triangle, who last Saturday won the $200,000 Sunday Silence at Louisiana Downs by 10 3/4 lengths, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 85.

"He was very impressive," said trainer Mike Maker.

Maker said that Robby Albarado, who was aboard Cherokee Triangle for the first time Saturday, will retain the mount in the Breeders' Cup. Cherokee Triangle, who has never finished worse than third in four career starts, came into the Sunday Silence off a runner-up finish in the $200,000 Cradle at River Downs.

Cherokee Triangle added blinkers for the Cradle. And for the Sunday Silence he was fitted with a burr, a piece of equipment designed to give his rider more control. Maker said Cherokee Triangle, who is based in Kentucky, would train up to the Breeders' Cup.

Cherokee Triangle is by Cherokee Run and out of the mare Brief Bliss, who in 2001 ran second in the Gradeo3 Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Gangbuster, who was second in the Sunday Silence, will head next to the $150,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta Downs on Nov. 9, said his trainer, Keith Desormeaux. With a good performance, he said Gangbuster would advance to the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta on Dec. 7.

Gangbuster won both of his starts leading up to the Sunday Silence. He closed from 13th to win his debut at six furlongs at Evangeline, then used a last-to-first move for a seven-furlong allowance score here one start before the Sunday Silence.

Tensas Yucatan may go to Churchill

Tensas Yucatan, who picked up her second straight stakes win in the $200,000 Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks on turf here last Saturday, will be considered for a start in the Grade 2, $150,000 Mrs. Revere at Churchill on Nov. 10, said her trainer, Morris Nicks. If she does not go there, he said another option is the $75,000 Magnolia at Delta on Nov. 17.

Nicks was just starting to look at races for Tensas Yucatan on Sunday morning. In the DeBartolo, she set a relaxed pace and was full of run through the stretch for a three-length win over Ahead of Her Time.

"The way she did it was nice," Nicks said of Tensas Yucatan. "It looked like she had fun."

Tensas Yucatan races for James Spence. Nicks said another of his clients, Roger Smith, bought a half-sister to Tensas Yucatan on Friday during the yearling auction at Keeneland. Smith races Smitty's Sunshine, a multiple stakes winner trained by Nicks.

As for Ahead of Her Time, she is to be freshened, said her trainer, Jerry Hardin. He said the year-end goal is the Louisiana Champions Day program at Fair Grounds on Dec. 8. Ahead of Her Time is a candidate for the $100,000 Ladies. She would be moving back to dirt, where she is a multiple stakes winner, following consecutive stakes-placings on turf at Louisiana Downs.

"I think she handles the grass about as well as she does the dirt," said Hardin.

Blue Angel, third in the DeBartolo, will make her next start in the $75,000 Remington Park Oaks, said her trainer, Bret Calhoun. The one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies will be run Oct. 20.

Whisper to Me, fourth in the DeBartolo, is also headed next to the Remington Oaks, said trainer Donnie Von Hemel. Earlier this meet, Whisper to Me won the $75,000 Lyrique.

Steamy Ridge meets colts

Steamy Ridge, an impressive debut winner here last month, will take on colts Thursday in the third race, a first-level allowance for 2-year-olds. She could go favored in the 6 1/2-furlong race, with the chief threat being two-time winner Cowboy Shoes.

Steamy Ridge won her debut by four lengths in a field that included Bess Abner, who one start later won a maiden special weight by 14 lengths. Steamy Ridge, meanwhile, has gone on to drill four furlongs in a bullet 45.60 seconds in preparation for Thursday.

"She's doing great," said Wes Hawley, who trains Steamy Ridge. "She's come back and worked fast and did it nice."

The allowance could serve as Steamy Ridge's springboard to the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs at Remington on Oct. 20.

"If she wins and comes back good, we'll go in the race at Remington," said Hawley.

* Past the Point, third in the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby on Saturday, has shipped to Keeneland, said his trainer, Eoin Harty. His next start is to be determined. "We're going to give him a few days to recover, and then start pulling out the condition books," said Harty.