12/30/2009 12:00AM

Either Bourgeois runner can win


Trainer Keith Bourgeois is coming off the best year of his career and on Friday night will try to start the new one with a win in the $75,000 Cocodrie at Delta Downs. Bourgeois will send out the coupled Brendyn Jo and Ide Ball in the one-mile race for Louisiana-breds who have never won a stakes. The Cocodrie, which is for 4-year-olds and up, is the co-feature with the $75,000 Gardenia.

Bourgeois, who leads the trainer standings at Delta, had won 192 races and $3.5 million in purses through Tuesday.

Brendyn Jo and Ide Ball both look capable. Brendyn Jo has registered 3 of his 5 wins on turf, and will be moving back to dirt Friday following a runner-up finish in a $20,000 optional claimer for statebreds at a mile on turf at Fair Grounds on Dec. 20.

"He ran a big race on the dirt at Delta before we went to turf with him," Bourgeois said of an optional claiming race in October. "He just got beat, and the horse that won went to the Fair Grounds and won a $62,500 optional claimer. Angelonmyshoulder is his name.

"I'm glad I had a race at Delta for him already. The track won't be an issue because he handled the track good."

Bourgeois added that he looks for Brendyn Jo to be closer to the pace than he was in the Delta start, when he closed from last. Colby Hernandez has the mount on Brendyn Jo, who along with Ide Ball races for Hardy Farms.

Ide Ball won a $20,000 optional claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs at Delta in his last start, defeating open-company on Dec. 18. He will be seeking his first win at a mile Friday.

"It may be a little far, I'm not sure," said Bourgeois, who has given the mount to leading rider Diego Saenz.

The well-matched field of 10 also includes Bide, who has a chance to control the pace for trainer Chad Hassenpflug.

* In the Gardenia, which is restricted to Louisiana-bred fillies and mares who have never won a stakes, Vickies in Town has the best credentials. She finished second to Superior Storm in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies last month at Fair Grounds. Don Simington has the mount for trainer Ray Spencer.