10/29/2009 12:00AM

Conditions just right for Precursor


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In more ways than one, Wednesday was a precursor of what lay ahead for the next several months for fans of New York racing.

Sideways rain, that when viewed on television at times looked like snow, pelted the Big A on a raw, windy, and just overall dreary opening day. The weather resulted in a sloppy main track, three races being washed off the turf, and 40 scratches.

The conditions, however, were simply ideal for Precursor, to this point an underachieving 3-year-old, who splashed his way to a 1 1/4-length victory in Wednesday's $66,240 Proud Truth Stakes for 3-year-olds. The win was the third from 14 starts for Precursor, a son of A.P. Indy who was bought for $500,000 by Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley Stable at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old in training sales in February 2008.

Under Rajiv Maragh, Precursor cleared the field entering the clubhouse turn and was allowed to set fractions of 25.26 seconds, 50.60, and 1:15.02 for six furlongs. Precursor repelled a challenge from 2-1 favorite Bunker Hill at the quarter pole and then held off the stubborn Bad Action for the victory. Precursor, trained by Tom Albertrani, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.28 and returned $9.40 to win. All three of Precursor's victories have come over wet tracks.

"I've always felt this horse had more to offer, and there were times it didn't seem like he was getting it done," Albertrani said. "I think a combination of he really relishes the sloppy track and he got things his own way suited him."

The Proud Truth was designed to be a prep for the Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery Stakes here Nov. 21.

"We might consider something like that," Albertrani said. "I'm just happy to see him win a little stakes, because he always showed us he had more talent than what he was showing us in the afternoons."

The victory was one of three on the card for Maragh. Jockeys Jose Lezcano and Javier Castellano each won two. Trainer Billy Badgett won two races.

Citrus Kid sold, now with Terranova

Citrus Kid, who won the Dover Stakes at Delaware Park by five lengths on Oct. 10, has been sold and turned over to trainer John Terranova.

A group that includes Gary Tolchin, James Cavello, and bloodstock agent Nick Sallusto purchased Citrus Kid from Jeffrey Massaro's Team Stallion Racing, John Moirano, Harold Lerner, and David Cassidy. Citrus Kid, a son of Lemon Drop Kid trained by Gary Contessa, has won 2 of 3 starts, both wins coming around two turns at Delaware Park.

Terranova said he is considering running Citrus Kid in either the Remsen here Nov. 28 or the Kentucky Jockey Club the same day at Churchill Downs.

Of more immediate concern for Terranova is the upcoming Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, where he will run Negligee. Terranova wanted to work the filly on Thursday at Belmont before shipping to California on Friday. But with the likelihood of an off track Thursday, Terranova said he may wait until Monday to work Negligee over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface.

"She's had all major works," Terranova said. "It's just something to put the finishing touches on her going into the race."

* Drew Mollica has taken over the book of jockey Mike Luzzi. Jose Henriquez is the new agent for apprentice Jackie Davis.