10/01/2007 11:00PM

Forty Acres adds speed to Oklahoma Derby

EmailForty Acres is set to bring his front-running style to the Oklahoma Derby. The $300,000 race at Remington Park on Oct. 21 is the next scheduled start for Forty Acres, who pulled off a wire job in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs in August, then set the pace and finished seventh in last month's Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

Going Ballistic, who closed from last to win the Super Derby, is also headed to the Oklahoma Derby. His target in the stretch figures to be Forty Acres, who led the Super Derby field through six furlongs in 1:12.80 while being pushed along by Past the Point and Grasshopper.

Forty Acres finished 7 1/4 lengths behind Going Ballistic to earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 83, just a few points shy of the 87 he earned in the Prelude.

"He came out of the race good," said Jorge Lara, who trains Forty Acres for Bill and Denise Morrison. "He was under a lot of pressure, and the track, I don't think it was fast that day. I don't think the track was fast for him."

Forty Acres is one of two horses Lara plans to start in stakes at Remington on Oct. 21. He will also run Wheaton Home in the $75,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship. Both horses will be ridden by Carlos Gonzalez, who left Louisiana Downs last weekend to begin riding in Southern California.

"We told him we wanted him back to ride both horses, and he said that was okay," said Lara.

Lara has a 19-win lead in the trainer standings at Louisiana Downs with eight days left in the meet. He said following the close of the meet on Oct. 20 he plans to race at Fair Grounds and Delta Downs. His stable, which numbers 55 horses, will be based at a training center right next to Louisiana Downs.

"I'm going to ship and run a few, and some horses will get a little break," Lara said. "Then, hopefully, we'll have everybody ready for Oaklawn."

Lara thinks Wheaton Home can develop into a candidate for the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds. He also has horses under consideration for that track's Louisiana Champions Day, among them Tiger Monarch and Doyline Bubba, who won a maiden claiming race for 2-year-olds by 12 1/2 lengths Sunday at Louisiana Downs.

Bamboo Gap heads Thursday feature

Bamboo Gap might be tough to run down on Thursday if he shakes loose from his rail post in the featured eighth race, a $35,000 optional claimer at about 1 1/16 miles on turf. The biggest threat to the front-runner could be the horse who breaks to his immediate outside, Zarb's Music Man.

Zarb's Music Man will be stretching out around two turns after rallying for third in a $35,000 optional claimer at seven furlongs in his last start Sept. 12. Donnie Meche has the mount for trainer Richard Jackson.

As for Bamboo Gap, he is returning to the overnight ranks after finishing eighth last out in the $75,000 Concern at Louisiana Downs. Before that race, Bamboo Gap won an allowance wire to wire over the stakes winner Northern Scene. Bamboo Gap improved his local turf record to 4 for 6. Lonnie Meche has the mount for trainer Sam David.