06/13/2007 11:00PM

Nuttyboom travels to tackle statebreds


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Nuttyboom does not travel to his native Texas on a regular basis, but when he comes to town he tends to make his presence felt. The trend can continue on Saturday, when he ships in from Louisiana in search of his third straight win in Texas in the $50,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial Stakes at Lone Star Park.

The six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up is restricted to Texas-breds. It drew a competitive field of 12, including Grade 3 winner Datrick, multiple stakes winner Dreamsandvisions, and War Bridle, who won this race by a head over Nuttyboom in 2006.

Nuttyboom last raced in Texas in September, winning the $40,000 J.R. Straus Memorial at Retama Park. Prior to that, he ran in Texas in July, and won an optional claiming race at Lone Star.

Nuttyboom comes into the Carter McGregor off a runner-up finish to multiple stakes winner Venemous in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance at Louisiana Downs on June 1. That race was Nuttyboom's first since the Straus.

"It was a good comeback race for us," said Ralph Irwin, who trains Nuttyboom for Cary Noteboom. "He ran solid, ran hard, and came out of it well."

Nuttyboom has several points in his favor Saturday. For one, he is moving back into the Texas-bred ranks. He also gets a little more ground to work with, which will suit him, said Irwin. Nuttyboom also has the benefit of a race under his belt following the layoff.

Don Simington has the mount on Nuttyboom, who will break from post 9. Nuttyboom contested the pace in his last start, but from the outside post he could get a stalking trip Saturday.

"The older he's gotten, the more versatile he's gotten," said Irwin.

Nuttyboom, 7, has made 13 of his 40 career starts in Texas. He has won four times here, and has missed a check here on just two occasions.

Among his rivals Saturday is Datrick, who won the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs in May 2006. He will be making his first start at 3, following a fifth-place finish to Xchanger in the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth in his last start Sept. 4.

"I wish I didn't have to run him against older horses, but three-quarters, Texas-breds, it's a good spot," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Datrick. "He doesn't have any conditions."

Luis Quinonez has the mount for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.