11/20/2009 12:00AM

Lambeau Legend yet to fire


NEW ORLEANS - While the ninth race, a first-level allowance for Louisiana-breds is technically the Sunday feature, most eyes will be on the seventh, watching 10 colts try to win their first race.

Two-year-olds, some well thought-of, will be going six furlongs in a maiden special weight, and should gain a little seasoning and maybe flash an indication of their ability. Perhaps one or two of the entrants will end up on the road to this meet's big 3-year-old stakes.

The most obvious question mark is Lambeau Legend, purchased as yearling at Keeneland for $1.2 million. Out of a Turkoman mare, Lambeau Legend is by Storm Cat, from his second-to-last year of stud.

"The horse has the pedigree to be a classic horse, and we are going to give him every opportunity to fulfill that expectation," said Sebastian Nicholl, D. Wayne Lukas's Fair Grounds-based assistant.

In his first race, a maiden special weight at Belmont, he was third early going six furlongs but flattened out in the stretch, finishing seventh, more than 12 lengths back of the winner.

Lambeau Legend then tried a mile, on Oct. 8 at Belmont, with the same results. He raced in third in the early going, then tired to seventh.

Lambeau Legend has been training at Churchill Downs, and his connections are expecting him to be ready to fire.

"He arrived here a few days ago after his last work at Churchill, and he has settled in very nicely," said Nicholl. "I am expecting a big race out of him."

The field includes two first-time starters out of the Steve Asmussen barn, the uncoupled Big Bopper and Poncirus, and a coupled entry comprising two Pin Oak homebreds.

The coupled entry, Auditorium and Take Turns, have both been training steadily for their first start. Malcolm Pierce trains Auditorium and has worked him twice over the main track here. But Pierce isn't 100 percent committed to running him on Sunday.

"I feel like he'll need a race before the light goes off for him," said Pierce, "and he looks as though he'll want to go longer and on the grass."

Take Turns is trained by Morris Nicks, who has given him four works over the Fair Grounds surface.

"He moves good, and he works good in the morning," said Nicks. "He looks like he is going to be a useful horse. Let's hope he runs to his works."