08/12/2009 11:00PM

Red Lead can cap trainer's week


Trainer Brandon Bridges is already having a good week. It could get even better on Saturday. Bridges will send out favorite Red Lead in the $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs, and with the right kind of effort the horse could punch his ticket to the Grade 2, $750,000 Super Derby.

"I'm feeling pretty lucky," Bridges said. "I made a hole in one this week."

Red Lead will face seven others in the Prelude, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that offers its winner a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby on Sept. 19. The Prelude is the richest of four stakes worth a cumulative $250,000 on the Saturday card, with all of the races preps for stakes on Super Derby Day.

Owned by Frontier Stable, Red Lead has been knocking on the door in stakes. He was second in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Derby in May, then returned a month later to set the pace and finish third behind Duke of Mischief and Soul Warrior in the $250,000 Iowa Derby.

"He came on home pretty good. He just wasn't able to finish as fast as a couple of the others," Bridges said. "I was really happy to see the two horses that beat him come back and run well, Soul Warrior outrunning Mine that Bird in the West Virginia Derby. It just made our horse look a little bit better."

Red Lead will break from post 8, under Eddie Martin Jr.

Bertsgoldenmissile, who drew the rail, boasts a 3-for-6 record over the local main track. A stakes winner last year at Louisiana Downs, he is looking for his first two-turn win from limited route starts.

"That's my main concern, if he can get the mile and a sixteenth," said Jorge Lara, who trains Bertsgoldenmissile. "I'm hoping he gives me that extra kick that he needs to win."

Bertsgoldenmissile was freshened following a winter campaign and returned to action July 23, running third in a seven-furlong allowance at Louisiana Downs. He earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 81.

"He ran a big race, got a little tired," said Lara, who looks for him to move forward Saturday.

Lara, who won the Prelude in 2007 with Forty Acres, has given the mount to Lonnie Meche.

Uno Mas has placed in three stakes this year, and is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Better post for Prince Eddington

Trainer Allen Milligan was pleased with the inside post Prince Eddington drew for the $50,000 Sunny's Halo, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds. The horse will break from gate 2 one start after winning from post 9 in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on turf July 2.

"He overcame a lot of adversity in that race," said Milligan. "They almost took him out in the first turn, he had a little trouble on the second turn, and he still got up to win. He showed a lot of courage."

Prince Eddington, whose dam is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Behrens, will be ridden by Martin Escobar. Others in the field include Speightstown Son, a half-brother to Grade 1 Coaching Club winner On a Soapbox.

Asmussen has half to Afleet Alex

Soon after watching Stormin Maggy, a 2-year-old half-sister to champion Afleet Alex, win her maiden by more than six lengths last month, Asmussen said that he was looking forward to sending her two turns. He gets his chance in the $50,000 Donnie Wilhite, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

"It looked like she'll go far enough, watching the race," Asmussen said of Stormin Maggy's win July 17. "I liked how she galloped out."

Stormin Maggy will be ridden by Shane Sellers.

* Gold Wonder might be tough to handle in the $50,000 Shiskabob for 3 year-olds and up at a mile on turf if he runs back to his five-length allowance win over multiple stakes winner Ide Like a Double back in June.