06/20/2006 11:00PM

Jackson, Trial by Jury find happy days

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Lone Star Park
Infrequent winner Trial by Jury (center) pops in the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup at 12-1.

The trainer Bruce Jackson has won two races all year, and one of the dozen horses he has stabled right now at Lone Star Park, Trial by Jury, has won two races since the fall of 2003. Put it this way - the two are picking their spots.

Jackson teamed with Trial by Jury to win the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup on Saturday, an unlikely victory for a 7-year-old who had spent much of the last two years toiling in claiming races. Trial by Jury had broken a 2 1/2-year losing streak in a Lone Star allowance earlier this meet, but still was a 12-1 outsider in the six-horse Turf Cup, which he won by a neck over New Export, the heavily favored Bobby Frankel-trained shipper. Trial by Jury ran big and was helped along, Jackson said, by turf that had taken rain and was labeled yielding.

"It didn't surprise me that much, because he likes that kind of turf course," Jackson said.

Trial by Jury once seemed full of promise. At 4, owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and in the care of trainer Bob Baffert, he quickly ran through his first three allowance conditions after switching to turf racing. The hot streak came to a peak in early November 2003, when Trial by Jury won a third-level allowance race at Santa Anita, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. But that was it. Trial by Jury's form went south, and the horse wound up in a Barretts auction in Southern California, where Jackson's owner Luciano Martinez acquired him.

Trial by Jury "got good awhile after we bought him," Jackson said, and made the trip to Lone Star last season with some hopes attached. But, Jackson said, the horse was injured while traveling by van, and needed several more months before he was ready to run again. But his California form through last fall and winter was poor, and Trial by Jury dropped all the way down to a $40,000 claiming tag in March - and lost. Four races later, he was getting his picture taken after a Grade 3 stakes.

Since Trial by Jury has crammed four starts into less than two months, Jackson said he would get a break from racing. Well-earned, at that.

Our Love skipping Miller Lite

Our Love would have been the favorite in Saturday's $40,000 Miller Lite Stakes, a five-furlong turf sprint in which she finished second last year, but trainer Jeff Trosclair said she would not make the trip from Louisiana Downs. For Trosclair, the reward doesn't match up well with the risks.

"The three times I've shipped that mare, she hasn't run well," Trosclair said. "This is her last year of racing, and we've got a laid-back attitude about where we're running her."

Trosclair said the $100,000 Matchmaker at his Louisiana Downs base - a race Our Love won last season - is a major summer goal. The Miller Lite could end up with a field of about 10, though with Our Love out, a couple more could jump in.

Trosclair, meanwhile, will have his TV tuned to Arlington on Saturday, when Fort Prado, a horse he trained much of this past winter, winning two Grade 3's with him, starts in an Illinois-bred stakes race. Fort Prado is back in the care of his regular trainer, Chris Block, whose family owns Fort Prado.

Trosclair had trained Fort Prado for the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day, and shipped to Louisville for the race, but had to scratch Fort Prado because the horse bruised his foot.

"Chris has stayed in touch with me to let me know how things are going," Trosclair said. "I appreciated the time I got to have him in my barn."

* A high-end turf-sprint allowance failed to make it onto the Lone Star's Friday card, and in its stead, there's really no feature. Race 8, the typical feature slot, is occupied by an entry-level Texas-bred allowance race.