02/27/2007 12:00AM

Corrupt's closing flourish earns high praise


It wasn't just the fact that Corrupt won the Mardi Gras Stakes on Monday at Fair Grounds by two lengths, running his career record to 3-3. It was the fact that about 300 yards from the finish, second-last in an eight-horse field and apparently running in place, Corrupt appeared to have little chance to win.

"I thought he was a beat horse," said trainer Jeff Trosclair.

In the course of, say, 10 strides, Corrupt completely changed that picture. Once jockey Robby Albarado wheeled him to the outside on the Fair Grounds turf course, once Corrupt uncoiled his tremendous stride, he caught up to the leaders, then blew past them.

"His move was awesome, I thought," Trosclair said.

Corrupt, an Illinois-bred 3-year-old bred and owned by Team Block Stable, debuted last Oct. 25 with a 7o3/4-length turf maiden win, and captured the Grand Canyon Stakes at Churchill a month later by a length. The Blocks have had a long line of successful grass horses - two of them, Fort Prado and Mystery Giver, also are at Fair Grounds this winter - but perhaps none with the raw promise of Corrupt. And while this is the season for 3-year-old dirt stakes, Corrupt is sticking to turf. His next start, Trosclair said, will come in the $100,000 Grindstone on March 24 at Fair Grounds.

"I thought he was a pretty good horse, but he may be better than I thought he was," said Trosclair, who took over Corrupt's training from Chris Block in early January. "I get on that horse every day and I've never had an easier horse to train. Nothing flashy - he just goes out and does everything right."

Trosclair, meanwhile, was pleased to get a win out of Hyte Regency, who had run decently while losing the first two starts of his comeback from a year-plus layoff. Hyte Regency won a second-level turf allowance race on Sunday by a half-length, holding clear the longshot Westmoreland with a strong finish.

"He got the job done, and I was very, very happy," said Trosclair, who trains Hyte Regency for owner Jesse Mack Robinson. "That horse kind of leaves you some options, since he runs the same on both surfaces."

Trosclair said he was considering stakes races at Delta Downs and Oaklawn Park for Hyte Regency's next start.

Baghdaria begins year at Delta

Baghdaria's last race of 2006 came in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Her first race of 2007 will come in Vinton, La. Trainer Tom Amoss said Tuesday morning that he was entering Baghdaria in the $75,000 Sweetheart Stakes, a one-mile race scheduled for Friday night at Delta Downs. The race will mark the first start for Baghdaria since she finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup.

"She's doing great, and we're ready to go," said Amoss, who had entered Baghdaria in last weekend's Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap in case that turf race was moved to dirt from turf.

Baghdaria, who won a pair of Grade 3's last year at age 3, has six workouts at Fair Grounds, including four breezes of six or seven furlongs.

Appealing Zophie, Zanjero work

Trainer Steve Asmussen put several horses through Tuesday works at Fair Grounds, among them Appealing Zophie, who is bound for the Fair Grounds Oaks, and Zanjero, who might start in the Louisiana Derby. The pair worked as a team - as they have for much of the winter - and both were timed in 1:01.87.

"It looks like they enjoy each other's company, so why change it now?" Asmussen said. "Both are extremely manageable work horses."

Asmussen also worked the stakes sprinter Gaff (five furlongs in 1:01.60), and the 3-year-old Curlin (five furlongs 1:00.80). Curlin has yet to start since being privately purchased and turned over to Asmussen after a powerhouse Gulfstream maiden win.

Also working Tuesday was Louisiana Derby probable Ketchikan, who was timed in 49.60 seconds for a half-mile.

Brother Bean tries open company

Brother Bean has emerged as one of the top sprinters in Louisiana, but since all four of his career wins have come in Louisiana-bred competition, he's eligible to start in Thursday's first race, an open second-level allowance. Brother Bean's most recent start produced a 5 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Louisiana Premier Sprint on Feb. 3 at Delta Downs.

Thursday's race is a prep for the March 25 Louisiana Lagniappe Sprint, according to trainer Victor Arceneaux.

"He's training like Brother Bean," Arceneaux said. "He feels good seven days a week."