03/25/2012 12:50PM

Fair Grounds: Bourbon Courage considered for Derby Trial


Bourbon Courage could be headed for the Derby Trial after scoring a second-straight flashy six-furlong win at Fair Grounds on Saturday, trainer Kellyn Gorder said Sunday.

In his career debut on Feb. 3, Bourbon Courage won a maiden race by 4 ¼ lengths, running six furlongs in 1:09.28 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 103. Saturday, facing other winners for the first time, he scored by 6 ½ lengths, running six furlongs in 1:09.42 and earning an initial Beyer of 101.

On the lead throughout his debut win, Bourbon Courage broke a touch slowly under C.J. McMahon and trailed three frontrunners into the turn by about six lengths. But when mildly encouraged by McMahon to go after the leaders before straightening for home, Bourbon Courage quickly made up ground and sailed to a geared-down win, galloping out strongly.

“I was pretty impressed,” Gorder said. “The race didn’t quite unfold like I thought it might, but I think it really worked out in our favor. It really impressed me how he relaxed behind horses. CJ just dropped his hands a little bit and he showed a great turn of foot.”

Gorder said Bourbon Courage would be shipped to Kentucky – possibly straight to Churchill Downs -- during the first week in April.