01/05/2008 1:00AM

John's Road steps up, tries to go longer

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NEW ORLEANS - John's Road is a horse on the improve, and if he does much more improving it will be lights out for his opponents in Monday's ninth race at Fair Grounds.

John's Road figures to close in the $35,000 optional claiming race, scheduled for 7 1/2 furlongs on turf. The race, open to second-level allowance horses, looks to be his to lose.

In his last start, on Dec. 13, John's Road won a first-level allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf here. That was his first start for trainer Tom Amoss, and he won convincingly, closing in the stretch and pulling away by 3 1/2 lengths.

"He was very impressive going 5o1/2 furlongs," said Amoss. "If he's able to take that race to two turns on the grass, it opens up a lot of possibilities for him. He trains relaxed and he acts like he can do it."

There is reason to believe that John's Road can get the distance. His only other victory came at a mile, three races ago, against maiden claimers over Polytrack at Turfway Park. Two races ago, he ran out of room as he made his move in a six-furlong, $30,000 claiming race at Churchill.

Master Mizzen will also be looking to close. His last three have been good efforts, but he has only one win to show for it.

Three races back, he came home first in a first-level allowance going a mile on the turf, but was disqualified and placed second. Two races ago, Master Mizzen won at the same level.

In his last race, Master Mizzen broke from post 12 and raced wide the whole way. He finished fifth but was beaten only 2 1/2 lengths.

Master Mizzen drew post 7 for Monday's race, and may be able to work out a better trip.

"I was hoping to get a little better draw," said trainer David Carroll. "He had a wide trip in his last race. If he saves some ground, he could have a better finish."

The speed in the race looks to be Mogul Man, part of an uncoupled entry, with Yankee Thunder, for trainer Bobby Frankel.

"Both horses have been ready to run for about a month," said assistant Scott Hansen. "Mogul Man is a front-type runner, and Yankee Thunder is a closer, so they shouldn't get in each other's way."