08/05/2004 11:00PM

Distance perfect for Walk This Way


Walk This Way has won on dirt and turf, around one turn and two, but the seven furlongs he will travel Sunday in the $70,000 A.L. Erwin at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., might be a perfect fit for him.

"I think it will hit him dead in the head," said Patrick Mouton, who trains Walk This Way.

Walk This Way should be favored in the Erwin, which is restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Louisiana. Horses who graduated from certain Louisiana sales, as Walk This Way did, run for a purse of $70,000, while statebreds who do not meet the criteria will be racing for a purse of $50,000.

Walk This Way, who sold at auction for $4,600, has developed into a two-time stakes winner of $184,220 for Stanley Seelig. He won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile over six furlongs last December at Fair Grounds, then advanced to two turns and turf to capture the track's $100,000 Gentilly Handicap in March.

He comes into the Erwin on the heels of a strong second-place finish to the older Zarb's Dahar in a six-furlong optional claimer that went in a quick 1:09.80.

"If it was six and a half, I think he would have won the race last time," said Mouton. "The extra distance [Sunday] will help."

Mouton is also hopeful there will be enough pace in the Erwin to fuel the late run of Walk This Way. Corey Lanerie has the mount on Sunday.

Others in the eight-horse field include Louisiana-bred stakes winners Brandon's Marfa and Nitro Chip.

Dyson suffers neck injury in fall

Larry Dyson, a longtime owner and breeder based in Bonham, Texas, fractured his neck when he fell from a hay trailer on Tuesday. He underwent surgery on Tuesday night, and has been recuperating at St. Mary's Hospital in Enid, Okla.

"It was a freak accident. He was loading hay, and he stepped or fell off the trailer," said Judy Dyson, wife of Larry Dyson. "He can't remember, but he knew he landed on his neck."

Larry Dyson was making good progress on Friday.

"He's started physical therapy," said Judy Dyson. "He has feeling in his legs. He's able to move his arms. He's wiggled all of the toes on both feet, and he's very alert."

Joe Petalino trains for Dyson, and was with him when the accident happened. Petalino said he and Dyson had traveled together to the Kansas-Oklahoma border to pick up alfalfa. Among the stakes winners Dyson has bred and raced are Rare Cure, who captured the $75,000 Bob Johnson Memorial at Lone Star Park in July, and Trickey Crew.

Dyson operates a car dealership in Durant, Okla. He is 59.