11/10/2005 12:00AM

Speedy turf horse Becrux moves to dirt


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It's often a guess as to whether a horse who races on turf will take to the main track. There are some handicappers and trainers who ascribe to the theory that horses with speed on turf can better make the adjustment. That was one reason Bobby Frankel cited for giving Peace Rules a chance on the dirt.

On Saturday, another Hall of Fame trainer, Neil Drysdale, will see if Becrux can be as effective on dirt as he was on turf, when he competes in the $70,000-added Bien Bien Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Becrux has good form on turf. He was a front-running winner of a division of Del Mar's Oceanside Stakes, then was fifth after a brutal trip in the Del Mar Derby. Becrux also has raced previously on dirt, in Dubai. And Drysdale found it plausible that Becrux might be well suited to making the switch because of his natural speed.

Asked Thursday morning about the theory that front-running turf horses have an easier time adapting, Drysdale thought about it for a few moments and then replied, "It has the essence of truth."

"Rahy was a good example," he said, referring to the multiple stakes winner he trained in the 1980's. "He had speed."

, the most accomplished horse in the field, drew the rail and faces only four rivals in the Bien Bien, which had been scheduled for the turf before Hollywood Park abandoned grass racing for this meet. He will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, who was aboard for Becrux's rough trip in the Del Mar Derby.

"He completely missed the break," Drysdale said of Becrux. "Then he was stuck behind horses. He finished very well. He just had a rotten trip. Since then, we've stood him in the gate and he's behaved very well."

Drysdale initially was going to use the Bien Bien as a prep for the Hollywood Derby. But even though the Hollywood Derby has been scrapped this year, and the Bien Bien moved to the dirt, Drysdale said he thought the spot was still the right one at this time.

"He's worked well on the dirt, so we thought we'd try him, and he won on the dirt in Dubai, so it appears at least that he can run on it," Drysdale said.

is making his third start off a layoff. He was fourth in a second-level allowance race last time out. Yes He's a Pistol makes his first start since being claimed by Doug O'Neill for $80,000. Giant Shift comes off a win against maidens in his first start on dirt and third lifetime start. Take a Chance won the Derby Trial at Fairplex, but then was last in the Pomona Derby.