04/16/2007 11:00PM

Real Corrupt should show in Forerunner

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Lou Hodges Jr.
The 3-year-old Corrupt won his first three starts before losing by 39 lengths in his last start.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Everything was going along perfectly for Corrupt, and then, whoops! A colt who had shown unlimited promise in winning the first three races of his career was beaten 39 lengths in his fourth, leaving his connections wondering what had happened.

"All we could figure is he had a minor heat stroke during the race," said trainer Jeff Trosclair. "We've had him checked out at the clinic since then, and there's not a thing wrong. We're going to consider it a non-issue and go from there."

Corrupt is part of a full field of 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Forerunner Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile grass race that anchors a nine-race Thursday program at Keeneland. Trosclair, like many handicappers are sure to do, believes a return to form for Corrupt should make him the horse to beat in the Forerunner.

"If the real Corrupt shows up, which I think he will, then we've got a real good chance," said Trosclair, who will train Corrupt for the partnership of Will Farish and Team Block until the colt moves within the next few weeks to Chris Block at Arlington Park.

Corrupt, a Belong to Me colt who has raced exclusively on turf, had two minor stakes wins among his three victories before throwing in that clunker as the odds-on favorite in the March 24 Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds. He is one of a handful of legitimate contenders in the ungraded Forerunner.

The other top threats include Moudez, an Irish-bred entered off a sharp Gulfstream Park victory; In Jest, second in the Transylvania in only his second start; Trust Your Luck, the runner-up in the March 24 Rushaway Stakes behind Dominican, the winner of the Blue Grass Stakes last weekend; and the uncoupled Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Bullara and Blues Streets.

The rest of the field is Poschner, Skip Code, Trimaran, and What a Character.

Moudez is trained by Bill Mott, who sent out Marcavelly to win the opening-day Transylvania Stakes, also for 3-year-olds on turf.

What a Character, an allowance winner at Turfway Park last out, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, who going into Wednesday led the Keeneland jockey standings with 14 wins.

Twelve horses were entered, but only 10 can start. Hacker Craft and Summerlucky are also-eligibles.

o The Friday feature at Keeneland is the $150,000 Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, a Grade 1 steeplechase that has drawn a field of 11.