02/25/2010 12:00AM

A freshened Backtalk attempts two turns


Trainer Tom Amoss has always felt Backtalk would run a route of ground, but he knows it has to be proven on the track. Friday night, the horse can answer the two-turn question when he returns to action in the $75,000 Sportsman's Paradise at Delta Downs.

The one-mile race for 3-year-olds will share a card with the $75,000 Green Oaks.

Backtalk, who last year won both the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga and the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill, has not raced since finishing eighth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 10. The race was his first two-turn start and his first on a synthetic surface, but it might not be best to judge his abilities on that performance. Following the race, Backtalk was given some time off.

"It was nothing physical," Amoss said. "His form tailed off. He was telling us he'd had enough."

Backtalk was freshened, and after a series of strong works at Fair Grounds returns in a race Amoss and Todd Quast, the racing manager for the horse's owner, Gold Mark Farm, thought would best suit him now.

"This race was chosen for its timing," Amoss said. "Being able to run in late February leaves a lot of opportunities open for us after this race. And, it's when he's ready to run."

There are a number of reasons to believe Backtalk will handle the two turns, chief among them the fact that he is a son of Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones. In addition, Backtalk's dam, Apasionata Sonata, is by Affirmed and has produced a two-turn stakes winner in Bsharpsonata. Backtalk is also physically imposing, said Amoss.

"We know we've got a quality horse," Amoss said. "He's proven that. We don't know what his distance limitations are. The next couple of races will determine what direction we go in."

Backtalk will break from post 3, under Miguel Mena.

"Backtalk has a great quality of tactical speed," Amoss said. "He can position himself how the race sets up."

Others making up the field include sprint stakes winners Royal Express and Vito Filitto, and Perfect Lou, who has won a pair of two-turn allowances at Delta.

* Sheer Beauty, winner of the $60,000 Caressing at Churchill, takes on Full Storm, a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Acting Zippy, in the Green Oaks.