08/16/2007 12:00AM

Greeley's Conquest on rebound

Email

After a hard trip in the Iowa Derby that snapped a four-race win streak, Greeley's Conquest can start a new streak on Saturday in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs. The 1 1/16-mile race is both a prep for the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby, and the richest offering on a program of five stakes worth a cumulative $400,000.

The supporting races should all produce starters for stakes on the Super Derby undercard Sept. 22. They will also help form an all-stakes pick four Saturday that begins with the eighth, the $75,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial.

The Prelude, which offers its winner a berth into the Super Derby, drew 12 runners, half of whom are stakes winners, including leading contenders Beta Capo and Slew by Slew

Greeley's Conquest comes into the race off an 11th-place finish in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows on June 29. He was knocked around more than once in the large field, throwing off his rhythm.

"He got his rear end knocked out from under him three times," said Gary Thomas, who trains Greeley's Conquest for the Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust. "He never could get his stuff together. Everything was rough, mentally, physically. It had him shook up."

Since the race, Greeley's Conquest has rebounded with a bullet five-furlong work in 59.40 seconds at his Remington Park base Aug. 11.

"He really worked good the other day," said Thomas. "He did it pretty easy. He seems to be getting back to himself."

Greeley's Conquest had won all of his starts this year leading up to the Iowa Derby. His streak began with maiden and optional claiming wins at Oaklawn in March. Greeley's Conquest proceeded to win an optional claimer at Churchill Downs in May, then captured the $50,000 Prairie Mile in June.

Thomas looks for him to be close to the pace under regular rider Larry Sterling Jr. He could get a tracking trip off of Vegas Storm and Forty Acres.

Forty Acres was a front-running allowance winner in his last start July 26, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

"Hopefully, he can repeat that performance," said trainer Jorge Lara, who leads the standings at Louisiana Downs. "This race is a tougher race, but if he can run the same race he ran last time, I think he'll be tough. We've had three weeks between races, so that will be hitting him just right. Hopefully, we can get a win."

Carlos Gonzalez has the mount on Forty Acres.