11/27/2009 1:00AM

Euroears back at top of his game

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Louis Hodges Jr.
Euroears, who missed substantial time recovering from a leg fracture, looked as good as ever on Thursday winning the Thanksgiving Handicap.

NEW ORLEANS - With his 1 1/2-length victory Thursday in the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds, Euroears gave his connections enough confidence to begin planning a winter and spring campaign.

"We didn't have any plans past yesterday," said trainer Bret Calhoun on Friday. "But he was great and he came out of the race in good shape."

Although Euroears has now won four stakes at Fair Grounds in his career, Calhoun is tempted to eye bigger prizes out of town.

"I'd like to try to get him graded races, but there is nothing on the horizon," said Calhoun.

He said he will probably point Euroears to the Bonapaw on Dec. 19.

Euroears has had a long road back from a leg injury after dominating the sprint stakes at the Fair Grounds two seasons ago. He went 4 for 4 at that meet, including an impressive performance in the Duncan Kenner in March 2008.

After that race, it was 18 months before Euroears found the winner's circle again.

"He had a non-displaced condylar fracture, and he had screws put in it," said Calhoun. "Then the fracture opened up again, so we took those screws out and put in other ones, and it healed well this time."

Euroears lost the first three races of his comeback this year, the first blemishes on his record. Then, on Oct. 15, he won an allowance race at Hoosier Park, and followed it with the victory in the Thanksgiving Handicap while running the fastest six furlongs of the meet, 1:09.35.

Margolis winning with everything

Trainer Steve Margolis, looking to improve upon a solid first season here last year, is off to a white-hot start.

Through Friday, he had 5 wins and 1 second from 6 starts, and had yet to run many of his stable's stars.

"We're pretty excited," said Margolis. "We have 30 stalls, and a pretty good group of horses."

Margolis had 13 wins from 71 starts last year, with many of them coming toward the end of the meet. With two victories on Thanksgiving Day, he was almost halfway to last year's win total.

"We were very happy to do well in a very competitive meet last year," said Margolis. "And we are happy with how we have started out this year. "

In addition to Lady Chace, who finished second in last year's Bienville Stakes, and Garifine, who finished second in the Duncan Kenner Stakes, Margolis has Cash Refund.

Cash Refund has been off since finishing second to Capt. Candyman Can in the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill on May 16. In that race, he helped set the early pace and then dueled in the stretch with Capt. Candyman Can before giving way, losing by three-quarters of a length.

Cash Refund worked over the Fair Grounds main track on Monday, going three furlongs in 37.80 seconds.

"He's doing well," said Margolis. "He'll keep training and be ready for a race at the end of December or early January."

Personal Velocity tries to fire fresh

Sunday's feature, race 9, is a six-furlong first-level allowance for statebreds, and has drawn a field of 10, including Personal Velocity, who returns after seven months on the sidelines.

After winning his maiden in his fifth attempt, Personal Velocity was non-competitive when he stepped up into the Crescent City Derby at the end of the Fair Grounds season in March.

His trainer, Steve Asmussen, sent Personal Velocity to the shelf to freshen him for this fall's Fair Grounds meet, and intends to give the horse ample opportunities to race.

"With talented Louisiana-breds, it makes sense to let them have a good, long chance at the Fair Grounds," said Asmussen. "With Personal Velocity, he's better intended to go further, but this is a good starting point."