05/11/2010 11:00PM

Cohn revives an old connection


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When trainer Alice Cohn races Evacuation Route in Friday's eighth race at Churchill Downs, a $52,500 second-level allowance scheduled for five furlongs on the grass, it will mark the first time she has trained a horse for owners James and Sue Burns.

That is just officially. Cohn actually gave some early training to the best horse the Burnses have ever owned, 1997 Kentucky Oaks winner Blushing K.D., whom Cohn consigned on behalf of Carl Icahn's Foxfield Stable at the Fair Grounds horses-in-training sale in the spring of 1996.

The Burnses bought the filly for $25,000, and a little more than a year later, under the training of Sam David, had one of the best 3-year-old fillies in the land.

Now the Burnses and Cohn are on the same team, with Cohn training Evacuation Road on loan from regular trainer David to pursue richer allowance purses in Kentucky rather than at David's Louisiana Downs base.

Although not of the talent of Blushing K.D., who died in 2000 from colic after battling laminitis, Evacuation Route is a solid horse. He has a third, a win, and a second in three starts this year, with the runner-up finish coming April 14 in a second-level allowance at Keeneland going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Evacuation Route will have to catch front-runners Southern Region and Barge to win.

Southern Region has twice been second in turf sprints this year and comes off a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Barge is being wheeled back on short rest after chasing a fast pace before fading to seventh in the Grade 3 Aegon Turf Sprint on April 30.

If inclement weather were to force the race to the main track, it would benefit Barge, whose two victories came on dirt at Gulfstream this past winter.

* There are three other allowances on Friday's card, which has a first post of 2:45 p.m. Eastern.

Tiger Woodman heads the second race, a third-level allowance on the turf. Majesticperfection, fresh off a 10 3/4-length romp at Oaklawn that earned him a 106 Beyer, tops the fourth race, a second-level allowance on dirt. Our Douglas is the expected favorite in the 10th race, a first-level allowance on the grass that drew a field of 10, plus four also-eligibles.