01/08/2009 12:00AM

Pair of old-timers tough on turf


NEW ORLEANS - The $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap, one of two Grade 3's on Saturday's six-stakes card at Fair Grounds, along with the featured Lecomte Stakes, shapes up a battle of older warriors, like Red Rock Creek and Classic Campaign, facing down a solid group of comparatively younger horses.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race goes as the fifth race of the day and is the first leg of a 50-cent all stakes pick five.

Now 8, and with a bankroll of more than half a million, Red Rock Creek is looking to make it three wins in a row.

In his 60th career start on Dec. 14, Red Rock Creek came from off the pace to win the Governor's Cup at Remington Park by a length. He is racing as well as ever for his trainer, Steve Asmussen.

"He's coming off his best race for me," said Asmussen. "He's a war horse, and definitely an earner."

Classic Campaign, age 7, enters the Bradley off a win in last month's Diliberto Handicap at Fair Grounds. The Diliberto was moved off the turf, and it was Classic Campaign's first try over a wet surface, but he handled it well, and won by 1 1/4 lengths.

The 4-year-old Golden Yank has run his bankroll to nearly $700,000, with gaudy wins in his last two races, the Oklahoma Derby and the Zia Park Derby. He can make it three in a row, but will have to do more than he has done previously on the turf, where he has yet to prove himself the equal of these.

Mark Frostad sends two horses, Windward Islands and French Beret, as a coupled entry, while looking for his first win of the meet. French Beret, now 6, had the best race of his career over the Fair Grounds turf last spring, a second to Proudinsky in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Handicap.

Leggio: Step two of She's Indy Money's comeback

When a decent A.P. Indy mare gets hurt in the fall of her 4-year-old season, and needs more than a year to recover, her future almost always will be as a broodmare, not a racehorse. But not She's Indy Money, who was put back in training by her owner, the Live Oak Stud, after she recovered from an injury suffered in late summer 2007.

"They've got plenty of broodmares, and I guess they wanted to get her back to the races," said trainer Malcolm Pierce.

She's Indy Money made her comeback Dec. 20 in the Esplanade Stakes, rallying late for fourth behind sharp winner Secret Gypsy in that dirt race, and she may be set for a better performance in the $75,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial. The Leggio, like the Esplanade, is at 5 1/2 furlongs, but that distance on turf has a different character than the same trip on the Fair Grounds main track.

"Five-and-a-half on dirt is too short for her," Pierce said. "Five-and-a-half on turf here, you can make up some ground."

She's Indy Money has wins on dirt, Polytrack, and turf, but it was a third-level allowance race over seven furlongs on the Woodbine grass course that might have been her best race.

However, showers and thunderstorms are forecast Saturday afternoon, and with the local course still drying out, it would not take a deluge to rain the Leggio onto dirt. Kalookan Dancer probably has a chance on either surface. She was second in the Esplanade, and has won before on the grass.

Gaudin: Thanksgiving foes rematched

The first stakes of the day, the $75,000 Gaudin, comes up a bit light, with only six horses, and only two with stakes wins to their credit.

The Gaudin is carded at six furlongs, for 4-year-olds and up, and features a rematch between Devereux and Roi Maudit, with the four other horses looking for their first stakes victory.

In their last meeting, the Thanksgiving Handicap, Devereux led at the top of the stretch before giving way to Sok Sok, while Roi Maudit was closing. Devereux held on for second, a half-length in front of third-place Roi Maudit.

It was a troubled trip for Roi Maudit, who was closing in the stretch.

"Last time he got boxed in and Jamie [Graham] lost his whip," said Mike Kaetel, assistant to trainer Bill Mott. "He's kind of a hard horse to ride: if you can get him to relax, he runs better, and hopefully Pat [Valenzuela] can get him to relax."

Devereux is the most accomplished horse in the race, with a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga last July, and a dominating victory in the Red Legend at Charles Town in June.

The most surprising entry is Grand Traverse, who was running in $10,000 claiming races seven months ago, but has improved such that he might be able to win on his best efforts.

additional reporting by Marcus Hersh