03/27/2008 12:00AM

Gold Coyote has top Fort Bend figures


Gold Coyote, who was one of the quickest 2-year-olds of 2007, appears to be sitting on a strong effort heading into Saturday night's $50,000 Fort Bend County Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. Gold Coyote will start as the favorite in the seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds bred in Texas.

Others in the nine-horse field include stakes winners Crook's Bodgit, Namesake, and Ferdinand's Flyer.

Gold Coyote is a two-time stakes winner, and for one of those victories, the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. The number was one of the highest assigned to a 2-year-old in 2007. For the Fort Bend, he owns the field's best last-race Beyer Figure, an 89 for finishing second by a half-length in the $125,000 Jim's Orbit at Sam Houston on Feb. 16.

"He's doing great, as good or better as he ever has," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Gold Coyote for Clarence Scharbauer Jr.

Gold Coyote finished second last out to Ablaze With Spirit, a horse who in his next start ran third in the $600,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park and who is listed as one of the early probables for the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. For the Fort Bend, Gold Coyote will break from post 3 under Bobby Walker Jr.

"He's a fast horse, he's going to be in the race," said Calhoun. "He'll be right with the leaders."

Crook's Bodgit is returning to the statebred ranks after winning the $75,000 Sportsman's Paradise at Delta on March 1.