03/18/2009 12:00AM

Dr. Large sharp off his last


As the trainer of top Kentucky Derby candidates Friesan Fire and Old Fashioned, Larry Jones is rich in 3-year-olds. His wealth will spill over to Delta Downs on Friday night, when Jones sends out Dr. Large in the $75,000 Sportsman's Paradise and Lake Lugano in the $75,000 Green Oaks.

Both stakes are for 3-year-olds at a mile, with the Green Oaks restricted to fillies. Dr. Large should go favored over a field of nine in the Sportsman's Paradise that also includes stakes winner Bertsgoldenmissile and Fair Grounds allowance winner Professor Z.

Dr. Large wired a $50,000 optional claiming field at Oaklawn in his last start Jan. 31. He is being sent to the Sportsman's Paradise, which will be run on six-furlong oval, for a couple of reasons, said Jones.

"Hopefully we're in a spot where we'll fit," he said. "He's doing well, and he's a small enough horse I think he'll manage those tight turns very well. That's one reason we thought about him when we were looking to go down there."

Dr. Large is also sharp. He won by 5 3/4 lengths at Oaklawn and the career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 81 he earned is the best last-race number in the Sportsman's Paradise. Also, the horse that was second to him in that race, Flying Private, returned to finish second in a stakes and is a candidate for the Grade 2 Lane's End at Turfway Park on Saturday.

Dr. Large, who races for Fox Hill Farm, figures to be prominent early from post 7. He will be ridden by Gabriel Saez.

"He kind of likes to run along pretty free," Jones said. "We'll let him fall out of there and see where he fits."

The Jorge Lara-trained Bertsgoldenmissile was fifth in the $50,000 Mountain Valley at six furlongs at Oaklawn in his last start on Feb. 28. His biggest win came at seven furlongs in the $50,000 Gate Dancer at Louisiana Downs last October.

Green Oaks: Lake Lugano vs. five

Lake Lugano had the misfortune of hooking Kentucky Oaks candidate Rachel Alexandra in last month's $50,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn and finished sixth. She will face easier competition in the Green Oaks.

Lake Lugano is one of six fillies in the race, among them stakes winners Southern Yankee and Smokin Again.

Smokin Again owns the field's best last-race Beyer, a 78, for her third-place finish in the $50,000 Genesis at Delta on Jan. 16. Kirk LeBlanc has the mount on the filly for trainer Charles Hukill.