02/08/2013 1:08PM

Fair Grounds: Desormeaux benefits from infusion of new talent

Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Hero Of Order, longshot winner of the 2012 Louisiana Derby, may get a shot at the Feb. 23 Mineshaft after recording a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure in a sprint.

NEW ORLEANS – Running mainly blue-collar horses, trainer Keith Desormeaux is putting together a strong Fair Grounds meet.

Having won with five of his last 10 starters and with 12 wins from 62 starts overall through Thursday, Desormeaux was tied for seventh in the trainer standings.

Sharp claims helped boost his record. He has won with three of four horses in their first starts after being claimed.

“A lot of that is luck,” Desormeaux said. “I’ve claimed a lot of horses like that over the years, and you struggle to win at the price you claimed them for.”

Birdie Beats Par, claimed by Desormeaux for $5,000, was 2 for 2 for him before being claimed for $15,000.

A new client, owner Matt Bryan, has given the barn a boost, Desormeaux said.

“We had a few more horses than normal, and we had better quality,” he said.

Desormeaux said he could spend more money at sales for 2-year-olds and had a larger budget for claiming. But Bryan’s influence is more than financial.

“The main thing is, he has 100 percent confidence in our team and ability,” Desormeaux said.

Said Bryan: “With people, you either believe in them, or you don’t believe in them – the power of positive thinking.”

Bryan, who is in the oil-distribution business in Dallas, was introduced to Desormeaux through a mutual friend, Kirk Godby. He had formed a syndicate – Don’t Tell My Wife Stables – and asked Bryan to participate. Bryan said he met Desormeaux at a sale at Lone Star Park and was impressed immediately.

“I told Kirk, ‘If we can give Keith some real money to buy horses, he’s the real deal.’ ”

Bryan said he’s sole owner of nine horses trained by Desormeaux. Bryan’s first horse, Royal Production, was claimed by Desormeaux for $25,000 in May at Evangeline Downs. The gelding finished second in a stakes race there in his next start.

Last summer, Desormeaux split his stable in a seldom-seen way – between Evangeline Downs and Del Mar.

Ive Struck a Nerve, owned by Bryant, is a colt whom Desormeaux is testing for Louisiana Derby potential.

A son of Yankee Gentleman and the Cryptoclearance mare Ranaway, Ive Struck a Nerve won a maiden race at this meet, finished second in the Sugar Bowl Stakes, and was fourth in the Lecomte. He’s heading to the Risen Star on Feb. 23.

Hero of Order may get shot at Mineshaft

Hero of Order, who on Feb. 2 ran his best race since his victory at 109-1 odds in the Louisiana Derby last year, might race next in the Mineshaft on Feb. 23, trainer Gennadi Dorochenko said Thursday.

Hero of Order finished second, a half-length behind the talented Bind, in a six-furlong, second-level optional $40,000 claiming race run in 1:09.86. He earned a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure.

After the Louisiana Derby, Hero of Order finished 13th in the Blue Grass Stakes on Polytrack at Keeneland, finished fifth in an allowance race on Polytrack at Arlington, and finished eighth in the Arlington Classic on turf. In his next three races, all on dirt, he finished finish second, 10 lengths behind Hansen, in the Iowa Derby; fifth in the West Virginia Derby; and sixth in the Super Derby. On Nov. 23, Hero of Order finished 10th in the Woodchopper on turf in his only other start at this meet.

“He didn’t like Polytrack,” Dorocheko said. “I tried to give him [a] chance. Right now, he came back feeling better.”

Macho Bull, who has won 3 of 7 starts at this meet, might join Hero of Order in the Mineshaft, Dorochenko said.

“Macho Bill is doing very good, too,” he said.

Macho Bull won a first-level optional $17,000 claiming race at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 27.

Cool Street streaking

Cool Street, who has moved steadily up the class ladder since winning his maiden in his eighth start, is another Mineshaft possibility.

Cool Street is on a four-race winning streak. After the victory against maidens Dec. 20, he won a first-level allowance race Dec. 30, a second-level optional $40,000 claiming race Jan. 17, and an optional $62,500 claiming race Feb. 2 in a solid field of older horses. He made a strong stretch run in that race before holding off Majestic Harbor by a neck.

“Very unusual to go straight up like that – bing, bing, bing, bing,” trainer Bernie Flint said. “I’ve never had one do that.”

Cool Street is a 4-year-old son of Street Cry and the Giant’s Causeway mare Oonagh Maccool, who was a multiple graded winner.

“He’s bred as good as a horse can be,” Flint said.

Flint also said he’s planning to run the 3-year-old filly Seaneen Girl in the Rachel Alexandra on Feb. 23. She was entered last month in the Silverbulletday, the first two-turn stakes prep for the Fair Grounds Oaks, but was scratched on the morning of the race.

“I gave her a couple of weeks off,” Flint said.

Same Cross perfect after two starts

Same Cross, a 4-year-old Proud Citizen filly trained by Larry Jones, improved record to 2 for 2 with a 2 1/4-length allowance victory Thursday. She ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.72 and got her second straight 85 Beyer.

The filly, bred and owned by Brereton Jones, was named for having similar bloodlines to Proud Spell, who was the Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly in 2008. Same Cross and Proud Spell are out of Langfuhr mares.