06/28/2006 11:00PM

Pace scenario favors Mr. Pursuit


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Mr. Pursuit should get a nice pace setup on Saturday, facing five other 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park. The one-mile race is one of two stakes on the card. Kalyrra takes on invader Aly's Vow in the $60,000 Lone Star Oaks in the other one.

Mr. Pursuit was fourth last out in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Derby on May 13. He grabbed his right front quarter coming out of the starting gate in that race, which was won by Wanna Runner.

Since then, Mr. Pursuit has had some strong works, his latest a six-furlong breeze in a bullet 1:15 on June 24. He also worked a bullet on June 1, covering five furlongs in 59.60 seconds at Lone Star.

"He's pretty sharp right now," said Joe Petalino, who trains Mr. Pursuit for Ilona Whetstone.

Mr. Pursuit used off-the-pace tactics to win his maiden and an optional claimer, both this spring at Oaklawn Park. In the Alysheba, he should track a pace set by front-runners His Eyes, Guiding Hand, and Cotton Lane.

"He can stalk them," said Petalino, who has given the mount to Jamie Theriot.

Louisborg is stretching out around two turns off an impressive debut win in which he closed from 17 lengths back in a six-furlong race at Louisiana Downs on June 10. He spotted his foes several lengths at the start when he broke last in the field of eight.

"He stepped backwards and then he stumbled, so he had a double whammy," said Tony Richey, who trains Louisborg for Oak Leaf.

Louisborg was some five lengths behind the last horse at the quarter pole of that maiden race and closed with a flourish for the win. He will add Lasix on Saturday and, as a son of Victory Gallop, should benefit from the stretchout to two turns. Richey has given the mount to Roman Chapa.

Calhoun strong in Oaks

Trainer Bret Calhoun has two leading candidates in the Oaks, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Sweet Idea and Kalyrra finished second and third last out to Brownie Points in the $100,000 Stonerside on the Lone Star main track May 29.

Kalyrra made her turf debut on April 28, and rolled to a seven-length win in a one-mile race at Lone Star.

"She has a lot of grass pedigree," said Calhoun, who trains the filly for Kent and Anita Katy Wiechert. "She's Chester House on the top and Seattle Slew on the bottom, so we've always thought in the back of our minds, grass.

"We got the opportunity to get her on the grass over here, and you could tell right away down the backside that she was extremely comfortable on it. Loved her action on it."

Kalyrra will break from post 5 in the field of seven in the Oaks. Calhoun has given the mount to Quincy Hamilton, who leads all riders in stakes wins this meet at Lone Star.

Sweet Idea won the Sam Houston Oaks in March. She is a daughter of Langfuhr who races for Barnett Stables.

Aly's Vow has won her last two starts by a combined 7 1/2 lengths at Louisiana Downs.