08/07/2012 1:38PM

Louisiana Downs: Prelude winner Key Donation under consideration for Super Derby

Email
Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Super Derby Prelude winner Key Donation (right) isn't a definite to run in the Super Derby, according to trainer Tom Amoss.

Key Donation’s participation in next month’s Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs will be determined as the Sept. 8 race gets closer, his trainer, Tom Amoss, said on Tuesday. The horse earned a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby by virtue of his win in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs last Saturday.

Key Donation shipped in from Churchill Downs for the Prelude, which he won by two lengths with a Beyer Speed Figure of 86. He vanned back to his Louisville, Ky., base on Sunday, and his status for the Super Derby, the richest race of the meet at Louisiana Downs, was debated Monday by Amoss and owner Maggi Moss.

“Maggi and I had a discussion yesterday concerning the Super Derby,” Amoss said. “Her concerns are the long trip down, and another long trip down, and the heat. That’s a valid concern. We’re going to let this thing play out a little bit, see how he trains and make a final decision. If we do go to the Super Derby, and that is our goal, Richard Eramia would be back on the horse.”

Amoss said the final decision will be made by he and Moss a week or two out from the Super Derby.

“We’ll see how he responds to that trip,” Amoss said of last weekend’s ship. “We’ve got until Sept. 8.”

Key Donation, a May foal by Lawyer Ron, was making just the fifth start of his career in the Prelude. He rallied from off the pace under Eramia, who is the leading rider at Louisiana Downs. Eramia had a five-win day last Friday at Louisiana Downs.

Promising juvenile for Ice

Tim Ice, who trained 2009 champion 3-year-old Summer Bird, has a promising young runner in Brown Almighty, who remained undefeated in two starts last Saturday when he won the $50,000 Sunny’s Halo at Louisiana Downs. The 7 1/2-furlong turf race for 2-year-olds was one of four stakes on the Prelude card. All of the races were designed as preps for Super Derby Day stakes Sept. 8.

Brown Almighty rolled to a 2 3/4-length win in the Sunnys’s Halo and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 73. The score came one start after he won his debut in a maiden special weight at a mile on turf at Arlington on July 14. Ice said Brown Almighty, who shipped back to his Arlington base on Sunday, could return to Louisiana Downs for the $150,000 Sunday Silence, a one-mile turf race Sept. 8 that in the past has produced starters for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

“We really like this horse,” said Ice, who trains Brown Almighty for Tri-Star Racing and Joe B. Denson. “He’s got a tremendous amount of heart, and he’s a very intelligent colt that has matured very quickly.

“I do think he has an affinity for the grass and we’re going to try and keep him on the grass as a 2-year-old. He’ll probably come back down Sept. 8 for the Sunday Silence. Our plans would be, if he would be good enough for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf that’s where we want to be in November.”

Ice said the ideal schedule for Brown Almighty would be the Sunday Silence, the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon at Keeneland on Oct. 7, then the $1 million BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

“He has to earn his way there,” Ice said of the Breeders’ Cup. “The Bourbon would be a big tell-all if he goes to California or not. Obviously he needs to reproduce these first two races in the next two, then we’ll see where we’re at.”

Ice plans to race at Oaklawn next winter, which means Brown Almighty would have to change surfaces since that track doesn’t have a turf course.

“Obviously, once we get to Oaklawn, we’ll change over to dirt,” Ice said. “His daddy didn’t have a problem with dirt.” Brown Almighty is the first stakes winner for champion Big Brown, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2008.

◗ Bellamy’s Fire is moving back to dirt for the first race Thursday at Louisiana Downs. The first-level allowance is for fillies and mares bred in Louisiana. It will be run over a mile and 70 yards, the same distance over which Bellamy’s Fire won her maiden at Fair Grounds in February. John Jacinto has the mount for trainer Edward Johnston, who is 13 for 35 this meet at Louisiana Downs.