02/22/2013 4:40PM

Fair Grounds: Calhoun doubles up in feature race


No trainer wants to run against himself, particularly placing horses for different owners in the same race. Sometimes, especially when dealing with a large stable not located within easy shipping distance of various racetracks, the practice can’t be avoided, as is the case with trainer Bret Calhoun in the featured seventh race Sunday at Fair Grounds. Calhoun has two sprinters, Triumph and Song and Make a Fortune, eligible for their second allowance condition. Into the same race they go.

“I don’t like to do it, but sometimes, if you try to run one of them, the race doesn’t go, and then you don’t get to run at all,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun said he has trouble comparing the ability of his two entrants in Sunday’s six-furlong dash, which also is open to $40,000 claimers, and both do seem to have a chance. Make a Fortune won a first-level off-turf allowance here Jan. 13, then finished third behind Bind and Hero of Order in a fast race at Sunday’s class level. The 95 Beyer Speed Figure he earned is good enough to win most Fair Grounds races like the Sunday feature, but it was a career-best number that Calhoun isn’t necessarily buying.

“I don’t know whether you believe that or not yet,” he said.

Triumph and Song also ran into Bind earlier in the meet, finishing third to him and crack Louisiana-bred sprinter Yonaguska’s Storm. On Jan. 19, he came back to win a first-level allowance race and was flattered when the runner-up, Silver Wings, returned with a romping victory Thursday.

Perregaux might be worth a wager at a price. Perregaux is unraced since November 2011 and has never started on dirt, but the 5-year-old horse, making his first start for trainer David Carroll, has been working vigorously for his comeback.

“If he runs on dirt like he’s trained on it, he should be all right,” said Carroll. “Watching replays of his route races, he just was flattening out a little bit in the end, and we thought trying him shorter might be a good idea.”