02/17/2012 5:19PM

Fair Grounds: Sir Bond impresses with maiden win

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Sir Bond looked like one of the best 3-year-olds on the grounds with a breakthrough maiden route victory Thursday.

Second in his career debut at Churchill last fall, Sir Bond had finished a close second and a close third in two maiden route races at Fair Grounds, but in Thursday’s seventh race he took a serious step forward, rallying to a 7 1/4-length victory while facing 11 rivals. Sir Bond’s good 1 1/16-mile time of 1:45.12 produced a Beyer Speed Figure of 91, the highest such number for a 3-year-old route horse this winter in New Orleans.

“We were thrilled that he kind of made a real steady nice move and went on about his business,” said Neil Howard, who trains the Street Sense colt for Jerry Durant.

Howard said he’d prefer to run Sir Bond back in a first-level allowance race while acknowledging that if such a race failed to fill, he might have to jump into a stakes.

“In a perfect world, we’d like to let him go from junior high to high school, so hopefully [an allowance] race will go,” Howard said.

Howard also has 2011 Lecomte Stakes winner Wilkinson on the comeback trail. Unraced since November, Wilkinson has posted three recent workouts, and Howard hopes to start him before the end of the Fair Grounds meet on April 1.