02/28/2003 12:00AM

Oak Hall's 112 Beyer stands out


It's not every day a horse fires a 112 Beyer Speed Figure at Delta Downs, but that's what Oak Hall did in his last start Feb. 1. That number makes him look awfully imposing Sunday night in the $150,000 Gold Cup for statebreds, which is the second richest race of the Delta meet behind the $500,000 Delta Jackpot.

Oak Hall will face six others in the one-mile Gold Cup, including Zarb's Luck, the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint winner who finished second to Oak Hall on Feb. 1 in the $75,000 Bayou State, which was restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

Oak Hall was on cruise control through the stretch in that race, which he won by 4 3/4 lengths after racing in fifth in the early stages. He covered the seven furlongs, run around two turns, in 1:24.40 under Kirk LeBlanc.

"He ran a monster race," said Keith Bourgeois, who trains Oak Hall for Ena Ortego. "Down the stretch, Kirk had him in hand. It was a big race."

Indeed. The Bayou State was a career effort for Oak Hall, a 7-year-old who has won 17 races and $583,792.

"He came out of the race good," said Bourgeois. "He's not a hard horse to train. We just keep him happy."

Bourgeois was pleased with the amount of pace in the Bayou State, and thinks Oak Hall will have honest fractions to chase in the Gold Cup with the presence of Zarb's Luck and Ipapa Itsit. He has given the mount to LeBlanc.

Guy Smith will ride Zarb's Magic, who earned a 102 Beyer Figure for his runner-up finish in the Bayou State. He is the speed from the rail for trainer Edward Johnston.