06/07/2012 10:05AM

Louisiana Downs: King Coral gives turf a try


King Coral, who spent his spring lining up against such 3-year-olds as Secret Circle and Drill, will try turf Saturday in the featured seventh race at Louisiana Downs. He is one of 10 horses in a competitive second-level optional $17,500 claimer.

The race will be run at about 1 1/16 miles and the probable favorite is Blackntansatlarrys, based on his three-length win at this level May 10.
In all, a field of 10 will go, including stakes winners Man of Strife and Dreamsrunwild.

King Coral, who has placed in two stakes, will be making his turf debut after wintering at Oaklawn. He hooked Secret Circle in the faster division of the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20 and finished eighth. King Coral was then was fourth in the $100,00 Northern Spur, the April 14 race in which Grade 1 winner Drill finished second as the favorite. King Coral has since worked well, with the surface switch being made for a couple of different reasons, said his trainer, Allen Milligan.

“He hates the dirt being kicked in his face,” Milligan said. “Every time he gets pelted in the face he takes himself too far out of it. He does come running every time, he just gives himself too much to do.”

Milligan hopes to see King Coral racing closer to the pace Saturday.

King Coral who will be ridden by Don Simington, also gets pedigree support for turf as his sire, Limehouse, shows 14 percent winners from his first-time turfers. In addition, King Coral’s dam, Pink Coral, was multiple stakes-placed on turf in Ireland.