03/06/2004 12:00AM

Peitz has 'Rights' in sprint on grass


NEW ORLEANS - Danny Peitz is staying positive. As a horse trainer, is there another option? If a trainer stops thinking he's going to win, there's not much point in persevering.

It's not like Peitz is pitching a shutout at Fair Grounds. His numbers in fact are respectable: five wins, two seconds, and seven thirds from 33 starters. But last year, Peitz was able to send out 54 starters, winning eight times with 13 seconds. Those are closer to the numbers he typically puts up at this meet, and they show how fine a line most horsemen walk. A piece of bad luck here, a mild lingering virus there, and the winter is almost over.

"I've had a rash of injuries - a little bit of everything," Peitz said. "It's one of those meets where nothing's gone right. Most winters here, things have worked out for me. I'm just hoping to do some good in the last [condition] book and leave here on a high note."

That effort starts Monday in the featured eighth race, a third-level allowance with a $62,500 claiming option carded at about 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. Peitz entered Read Me My Rights, one of just six horses in the feature.

This is the last Monday of the meet, as Fair Grounds switches to four-day racing weeks for the remainder of March. Programs here typically feature 10 races, but light entries contracted Monday's card to nine events.

Read Me My Rights has more than a decent chance to pick up a win for Peitz and owner Weila Ye, but only if she can improve on a fourth-place finish under these race conditions in her last start. Favored at 9-5, Read Me My Rights contested a moderate pace, but had little finish and checked in fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

"I was disappointed in her last race," Peitz said. "The turf was listed as firm, but it had a little give in it. I'm not sure she liked it."

Oh Say Vicki finished first in Read Me My Rights' most recent race, but she won by only a nose, and probably is no more likely to win Monday than any one of several horses.

Joyce Ann closed to finish third, beaten by only a half-length, in Oh Say Vicki's victory, and often has run well at Fair Grounds.

Comalagold enters off two straight wins, but is taking a significant step up in class just two weeks after a gutty victory.