09/17/2007 11:00PM

Invaders start arriving for Super Derby Day

EmailCorey County on Tuesday morning became the first of the air arrivals for Saturday's program of $1.3 million in stakes at Louisiana Downs. He has traveled from the Southern California stable of trainer Neil Drysdale to run in the $200,000 Unbridled Breeders' Cup.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up is one of five stakes on a card that features the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby. A second flight bringing horses to town for the races was due in Wednesday. It was to originate in New York and stop in Louisville, Ky., before arriving in Louisiana.

There were at least 10 horses scheduled to be on that flight, Louisiana Downs racing secretary Doug Bredar said Tuesday. For the Super Derby, the arrivals were expected to be Grasshopper, Leonnatus Anteas, and Past the Point.

Bredar said three runners were expected to fly in Wednesday for the Happy Ticket, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies. The three are Cato Major, a debut winner on turf at Saratoga for trainer John Kimmel; Sammy Van Ammy, the runner-up in the $63,000 Junior Champion on turf at Monmouth who will be making her first start for trainer Richard Dutrow; and Zee Zee, second in the $83,000 With Anticipation on turf at Saratoga last out for trainer Bill Mott.

Cherokee Triangle is scheduled to join the fillies on their flight. He could go favored in the $200,000 Sunday Silence for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf following his runner-up finish last out in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes at River Downs. He is trained by Mike Maker. Casino Gambler, who is stakes-placed for trainer Stanley Gold, is scheduled to van in for the race from Calder, Bredar said.

Those scheduled on the Wednesday flight for the $200,000 Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks were Lady Attack, third last out in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga for trainer Neil Howard, and Lerici, a Patrick Biancone-trainee who is a half-sister to Grass Skirt, the dam of Super Derby favorite Grasshopper.

The other horse scheduled on the Wednesday flight is Gigawatt, who is pointing for the Unbridled for trainer Michael Lerman.

Corey County, who arrived at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, comes into the Unbridled off a second-place finish in a $100,000 optional claiming race at Del Mar.

The probable Unbridled favorite is Costa Rising. He is moving back to turf after earning Beyer Speed Figures of 117 and 114 in his last two starts at Evangeline Downs. Trainer Glenn Delahoussaye said the horse will van up from southern Louisiana on Friday. He will be ridden by Kerwin Clark. Costa Rising, who is not Breeders' Cup eligible, will be running for a purse of $150,000 on Saturday.

Turf to dirt for Going Ballistic

Besides Grasshopper, the only starter in the Super Derby that will be coming out of a Grade 1 race is Going Ballistic. But there is a twist. Going Ballistic raced last on turf, finishing third in the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington Park on Aug. 11.

In the past, the turf to dirt move has been a productive one for the horse. Last year, Going Ballistic won the $100,000 MEC Mile on dirt at Remington Park one race after finishing second by a half-length in the $100,000 Harrah's Juvenile on turf on the Super Derby undercard at Louisiana Downs.

More recently, Going Ballistic put up the best Beyer of his career on a turf-to-dirt switch, going from a win in the $100,000 USA on turf at Lone Star Park on May 28 into the $250,000 Iowa Derby on dirt at Prairie Meadows on June 29. Going Ballistic rallied from 19 lengths back in the race to finish third, earning a Beyer of 95.

The surface switches have been done for a couple of reasons, said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Going Ballistic for Kindred Thoroughbreds.

"Part of it is, he's just a talented enough horse he can run either way," he said.

He added that the large number of 3-year-old stakes in this part of the country offer the trainer of a horse who can run on both surfaces many options. Von Hemel also has tried to keep Going Ballistic at longer distances.

"He's run a mile and three-sixteenths, and a mile and a quarter the last couple of times, and he sure didn't mind that added distance," Von Hemel said. "I think he likes to run a mile and an eighth or better."