06/03/2010 11:00PM

Split race works in Stall's favor


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Less than 24 hours after his little brother Ice Box was to run in the third leg of the Triple Crown, a 4-year-old gelding named Urban Jungle will compete amid far less fanfare Sunday in one of the co-featured races at Churchill Downs.

"Let's hope it's a big weekend for that mare," said Al Stall Jr., trainer of Urban Jungle.

Ice Box, by Pulpit out of the Tabasco Cat mare Spice Island, was impressive as the Kentucky Derby runner-up. Urban Jungle, by Gone West out of Spice Island, will be looking to knock out his first allowance condition when he returns to turf in the ninth race Sunday, the second of two $50,000 divisions on a 10-race card.

"We've been looking to get him back on the grass," said Stall. "He ran okay on the Polytrack at Keeneland, and then his last race got rained off onto a sloppy track," referring to May 16, when Urban Jungle finished a distant third in a race in which he was jostled at the start and endured a wide trip. "I like the horse."

Urban Jungle is part of a 10-horse field in the 1 1/16-mile race, where Paseo Alegro and Lonesome Street look like the other top contenders. Another Stall-trained runner, Chef Eric, is one of two entered for the main-track only.

Stall, who will saddle Blame as the probable favorite for the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap here next weekend, is represented by Quick Delivery in the other division of the first-level allowance (race 7), where Peahi and More Than Willing are among the favorites.

"I feel like we already got lucky with the race splitting into two divisions," said Stall. "We keep them separated, and it looks like we've got a shot to maybe win both."

Quick Delivery is a Lazy Lane Farms homebred who won a maiden race early on Kentucky Oaks Day.

"He's a pretty nice horse on the grass," Stall said, noting a sharp effort at Fair Grounds in his only prior turf attempt. "I'd say he fits real well off that last win."

First post Sunday is 12:45 p.m. Eastern. Live racing resumes here Thursday, with the first night program of the meet set for Friday and Foster Day on Saturday.