02/18/2010 1:00AM

Coyote Legend liking two turns


Coyote Legend may be a full brother to multiple-stakes-winning sprinter Gold Coyote, but his career is going down a different path. Coyote Legend will be a strong favorite to win his second straight two-turn stakes Saturday night in the $125,000 Jim's Orbit division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.

The one-mile race is one of two restricted stakes for 3-year-olds on the card. Its counterpart for fillies is the $125,000 Two Altazano.

Coyote Legend is shooting for his third straight stakes win. He took the $50,000 Groovy at seven furlongs at Sam Houston on Texas Champions Day on Dec. 5. One start later, he traveled to Delta Downs and won the $60,000 Triple Sec, a seven-furlong race run around two turns Jan. 15. Coyote Legend won by more than six lengths to earn a career-best Beyer Figure of 94.

"He was real impressive," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Coyote Legend for Clarence Scharbauer Jr. "It was a dominating performance against some decent open horses."

It was also the first two-turn start for Coyote Legend.

"We didn't know what to expect, but we thought it was what he wanted," Calhoun said. "We went over there, got lucky, and won it, and it set us up perfect for this race."

Calhoun said there is a key difference between Coyote Legend and Gold Coyote, with whom Calhoun won eight sprint stakes.

"I think both of them physically are very capable of the two turns, but I think, mentally, this horse is more capable of going the two turns," Calhoun said. "He prefers two turns to one."

Coyote Legend was content to sit some seven lengths off the pace in the Triple Sec. Bobby Walker Jr. has the mount in the Stallion Stakes.

Calhoun and Walker will also be in action in the Two Altazano division, with Tin Top Cat. She, too, comes into the race off a two-turn stakes win at Delta. Tin Top Cat was a neck winner of the $60,000 Genesis at seven furlongs Jan. 15.

"She's very, very consistent," Calhoun said. "She's won three stakes now.

"We've been able to get her back off the pace some, and when we're able to get her off the pace she seems to handle the distance just fine."

Tin Top Cat races for her breeders, Jerry Durant and Bill Jordan.

* The Texas Thoroughbred Association will hold its annual awards banquet Saturday night at Sam Houston.