12/04/2007 12:00AM

Simply Run hot on turf

EmailNEW ORLEANS - Cody Autrey considered claiming Simply Run when she raced for $25,000 and thought about it again when she ran for a $35,000 tag. He finally negotiated her purchase for $50,000, and in Thursday's feature race, a $42,000 third-level allowance for fillies and mares going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, Autrey will begin to figure out if she was worth it.

Simply Run comes into the Fair Grounds meet off three straight victories on the turf at Remington Park. Purchased by Heflin and Driver Racing in a private sale after her Nov. 2 victory, she now teams up with leading trainer Autrey and leading rider Jamie Theriot to see if she can make it four in a row.

"We were considering her for the three races before," Autrey said. "Then she ran so fast she ran off the TV screen. Her trainer was going to Oaklawn, where they don't have any grass races, so it made sense for all parties concerned."

Since trying the turf again four races ago, Simply Run has woken up, running third in that race and following that with the three straight victories.

Simply Run has drawn the outside post of the 11 horses entered in Thursday's ninth race.

"I'm a little concerned about the outside post," Autrey said. "But she should have enough speed to keep up with them in the early going."

The horse with the most possible upside is Casino Transaction, who enters this condition having won 3 of 5 lifetime starts. She will be trying the turf for the first time and will vie for the early lead. Her last two victories have been wire to wire.

"She's performed very well on the dirt," trainer Greg Sacco said. "She's done everything right. She's a very quick, very aggressive filly, and the short sprint will use her good gate speed. If she takes to the turf, she'll be very tough."

Other likely contenders include Hotlantic, who has two bullet workouts over the local dirt course, and the Steve Asmussen-trained Classify, who had three straight victories before finishing fourth in the Hallowed Dream Stakes in April and sitting out for six months. She has been training steadily for her comeback.

The great unknown in the race is Hurricane Brook, imported from South Africa by Team Valor. She hit the board in 7 of her 8 races, all of which were on the turf, and has been training for her North American debut.