01/03/2010 12:00AM

New Orleans path to Oaks, Derby begins


NEW ORLEANS - The 3-year-old season begins in earnest Sunday at Fair Grounds, with two-turn allowance races scheduled for races 4 (fillies) and 10 (colts and geldings).

Both races have drawn 3-year-olds who are highly regarded by their connections.

Quiet Temper, who won her maiden by demolishing the field in the Grade 3 Delta Princess on Dec. 4, will begin her 3-year-old campaign in the fourth race, a first-level allowance going a mile and 40 yards.

A first-level allowance seems like an unlikely place to run coming off a graded stakes win, especially with the Tiffany Lass looming Jan. 23, but trainer Dale Romans said the decision was based on Quiet Temper's desire to race.

"She's just ready to run," Romans said. "She's doing good and she needs to run."

For Romans, the goal is the Kentucky Oaks, and he is leaving the road toward that goal undecided as he watches his filly progress.

"Her path, it's not etched in stone," Romans said. "I want to get her to the Kentucky Oaks some way. I think she's that kind of horse."

Romans will watch his filly in the allowance and use that information to plot her course.

"The Fair Grounds Oaks would be our main goal down there," Romans said. "What we do between the allowance race and that race is still up in the air. It depends on how things unfold in the allowance race."

The Fair Grounds Oaks will be run March 26.

The 10th race, a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds going a mile and 40 yards, features two colts who have shown promise.

Worldly finished third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Nov. 28 at Churchill and hasn't raced since then, but has two works over the Fair Grounds main track.

Worldly will face Walking the Beach, who was impressive as he won his maiden at first asking at Churchill Downs, closing from well back and coming home 1 1/2 lengths in front.

"To sit and wait and then inhale the other horses, it was extremely impressive," trainer Bret Calhoun said.

Since that race, Calhoun has been preparing Walking the Beach for a run at the stakes for 3-year-olds at Fair Grounds, but he has had several interruptions in the process.

"We missed some training with the weather, and then he had a temperature, so we missed a few more days," Calhoun said. "But it's probably bothering me more than it is bothering him."

As for the race itself, Calhoun would like to win but is more focused on Walking the Beach's future campaign.

"We'd like to win, but it's also a stepping-stone, hopefully to the LeComte," Calhoun said. "We're hoping he's on the road to the stakes program here at the Fair Grounds."

Red Rally earns his vacation

Thursday's Louisiana Futurity Stakes put another feather in Red Rally's cap as he finished his 2-year-old campaign with a wire-to-wire win going away.

Red Rally got away quickly and was allowed to set the pace in the six-furlong race. Jockey Francisco Torres wrapped him up early, and Red Rally won by six lengths.

The victory took Red Rally's record to 5 wins from 9 starts and earned him a vacation as he turned 3. With the $66,000 he earned, Red Rally's bankroll sits at more than $299,000.

"His plans are R and R for about four months and then maybe not run until July," trainer Merrill Scherer said. "He's a tough little bird, but I can't keep going on him; he's had nine races as 2-year-old."

In the fillies division, The Rumor's True was all over the track and still managed to win, finishing 1 1/2 length in front of Geniesthreewishes. For The Rumor's True, it was a bit of redemption after finishing eighth versus open company in the Grade 3 Delta Princess.

- additional reporting by Marcus Hersh