04/24/2009 11:00PM

Leparoux covers bases on turf, dirt


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It can't be Derby Day every day. The quality and depth of a 10-race Tuesday card at Churchill Downs suffers noticeably in comparison to what will be staged here later this week, but racing fans, being who they are, will turn out with their wallets and pocketbooks nonetheless.

The lone allowance race of the day is a $52,700 second-level turf mile for older horses on a card that starts at 12:45 p.m. Eastern. Several horses could vie for favoritism, with Julien Leparoux figuring prominently regardless of what happens with the weather.

Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday, giving rise to the possibility that the race might have to be moved to the main track, where it would be run around one turn from the Longfield Avenue chute. Either way, Leparoux, who dominated the recently ended spring meet at Keeneland, should be covered. He is named to ride Broad River for trainer Mike Maker on the turf, or he can switch to Izanagi for Bobby Frankel if the race is transferred.

Broad River was claimed from a winning effort in a $35,000 conditioned-claiming turf race at Gulfstream Park in early January by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the perennial leading owners on the Kentucky circuit. In two subsequent starts, Broad River has held respectable form, and his high-80s Beyer Speed Figure norm clearly would put him in the thick of this.

Izanagi is a trickier gauge. Sent to Frankel from France last fall, the

4-year-old A.P. Indy colt has run into fairly tough company at this level in his two North American starts, but with this being the third start in his form cycle, he is liable to come alive if he gets the opportunity to run.

One of the unknown dangers in the field is Crowned General, a Dale Romans-trained colt whose 11 previous races all have come at seven furlongs or shorter. Crowned General surged late to win two starts back in an entry-level turf sprint at Gulfstream. Robby Albarado has the call Tuesday.

"This doesn't look like a bad spot to try to stretch him out," Romans said.

Other logical considerations in a field of eight include Valtrus and Veiled Prophet.

Tuesdays are normally dark at Churchill, but this program replaces the Sunday after the Derby, when there is no racing.