10/30/2008 11:00PM

Orphan Brigade gets two big pluses


Orphan Brigade has two key factors in his favor Sunday when he starts in the $55,000 Lea County Stakes at Zia Park. One, he draws a more tactical post than he did in his previous start. He also drops in class after finishing fifth from the rail in the $150,000 Premier Breeders' Cup here. For the Lea County, Orphan Brigade gets gate No. 6.

"I think he did draw a favorable post," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Orphan Brigade for Carl Moore. "I like the field we're in with, and I like the post position draw."

Orphan Brigade, the class of the Lea County as a multiple stakes winner with earnings of $609,910, deserves to be favored one start after facing a deep and talented group of sprinters in the Premier. He dueled for the lead from the inside in the six-furlong race, which was won by Going Wild.

Sing Baby Sing, the runner-up, returned in his next start to capture the Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland with a Beyer Speed Figure of 101, while Wind Water, who was third, came back to win the $50,000 Budweiser Special at Albuquerque with a Beyer of 94.

"There were some pretty good horses in that race last time," said Calhoun.

Calhoun said a combination of the stiff competition, the inside post, and running back a little quicker than usual were factors in Orphan Brigade's defeat in the Premier. He looks for a strong race Sunday, with Casey Lambert to ride.

The chief threat could be Ducky Drake, a winner of back-to-back six-furlong allowances this meet at Zia. Overall Ducky Drake is 5 for 7 at the Hobbs, N.M., track.

Midland leaving Louisiana Downs post

Mark Midland, who has been the vice president of racing operations at Louisiana Downs since 2005, said he will be leaving the position before the new year to start an Internet racing venture. Midland will continue to be based in Louisiana.

"I've got a really exciting opportunity that presented itself, starting a web company with a couple of partners," he said. "It will launch in the first quarter of 2009. It's Internet marketing, which is something I've always been very interested in."

Midland will stay working at Louisiana Downs into December.

Remington: Phoenician Moon's next

Phoenician Moon, who closed strongly to win the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial last month at Remington Park, will likely move to two turns for her next start, said her trainer, Lynn Chleborad. She said Phoenician Moon is being considered for the $50,000 Cimarron, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race for 2-year-olds fillies at Remington on Nov. 16. It would be the two-turn debut for Phoenician Moon.

"I believe the further she goes, the better she'll get," said Chleborad, who trains the horse for Poindexter Thoroughbreds.

* Shining Moment, who set a strong pace and finished second in the Gaylord, is possible for the $100,000 My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs on Nov. 7, said her trainer, Steve Asmussen. Another Remington runner who could start in that race is Country Living, according to her trainer, Bret Calhoun. She won a maiden special weight by 6 1/2 lengths Sept. 13. She is a half-sister to Collymore Hall, a stakes winner at 2.

* A fall mixed sale will be held at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds on Nov.o8. The auction will offer breeding stock and horses of racing age. The sale begins at 10 a.m. in the Super Duty Arena.

* A broodmare by Smart Strike brought $15,500 to top the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Sales Co. fall mixed auction in Lafayette, La., on Oct. 19. Kerry and Louis Yaeger purchased the mare from Red River Farm, agent. Her name is Good Humor, and she sold in foal to Grade 3 winner Lydgate.

* The Stemmans Inc. winter mixed sale will be held at Traders Rest Farm in Scott, La., on Jan. 13. Consignments close Monday.