03/22/2007 11:00PM

Sprint shapes up as a shootout


NEW ORLEANS - On Sunday, the final day of the Fair Grounds meet, Brother Bean will attempt to beat his own record. The 4-year-old Louisiana-bred gelding set a track record of 1:03.09 for 5 1/2 furlongs on March 1. That record is in jeopardy in the $100,000 Louisiana Lagniappe Sprint at the same distance, because Tensas Phone Call is gunning for Brother Bean in what trainer Troy Young has promised to be an old-time Louisiana showdown.

"Tensas Phone Call is the best sprinter I've ever trained," Young said.

The two colts have similar records that reflect their brilliant speed.

Brother Bean won his first three races, leading at every call and widening his margin of victory at the end. He first loss was an even more remarkable performance, though, when he yielded grudgingly to Meteor Impact in the Louisiana Sprint on Dec. 9 after leading through a half mile in 44.97 seconds. After finishing second to Island Warrior in the slop, Brother Bean overwhelmed a pair of sprint fields, setting the record in his last start.

Tensas Phone Call also won his first three starts, by even greater margins than did Brother Bean. He was beaten a head after dueling for the lead with Cort's P.B. in his first stakes try, the Cypress at Delta Downs, then returned to Fair Grounds to destroy an allowance field at six furlongs, leading through a half-mile in 44.84.

Cort's P.B. is back again here, and if that isn't enough speed, add in All Wired Up, who led them all the way in the Zydeco at Delta Downs last December and has been working bullets for his return, as well as the speedster Chocolate Warrior. It's possible all that pace will set things up for the only true closer in the race, Sparkling Jack. It's also possible we'll see a new track record.

Ladies Sprint: Deep field assembled

The field for the $100,000 Louisiana Lagniappe Ladies Sprint for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at 5 1/2 furlongs includes five stakes winners, headed by Indigo Girl, winner of the Mademoiselle and Louisiana Premium Matron in her last two starts.

Indigo Girl, a Randy Davis homebred trained by Sam Breaux, has bankrolled $424,606 while winning half of her 24 lifetime starts. A 5-year-old Leestown mare, she has won stakes against Louisiana-breds and open company, and appears to be in career form at the moment.

Carl's Frosty Girl won the Louisiana Ladies Sprint in December on Champions Day, beating Ida Marie and Cajun Mistress, who both return here. Cutie Sabrino was on a winning streak when she captured the Louisiana Breeders' Oaks last summer on the front end, but she hasn't won since. Leesa Lee won the Louisiana Premier Star in February 2006, then fell short in numerous stakes attempts before returning to the winner's circle in her last start, a third-level allowance.

Bedanken: Swingit returns

Swingit, winner of the $125,000 Jessamine County Stakes at Keeneland last year at 2, will make her 3-year-old debut against six other fillies in the $100,000 Bedanken Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Swingit is a Kentucky homebred owned by Robert Hovelson and trained by Hal Wiggins. She ran out of ground in a turf sprint first time out, then cruised to victory at a mile on the grass in her second start. A daughter of Victory Gallop, she was a troubled fourth in her first allowance try, then jumped right into stakes company, winning the Jessamine in the final strides last October.

Wine Diva is the other stakes winner in the field. The Patrick Mouton-trained daughter of Pine Bluff won the $50,000 Lady Luck last October at Louisiana Downs in her only start on the grass. She returned in January, running sixth in the Tiffany Lass.

Sweet Temper is coming off an allowance score over the course, beating Classy Beck and Carwell. Moonee Ponds and Mount Glitter are also course winners.

Crescent City: Gentilly rematch

Power Surge and Hallway, who finished one-two in the Gentilly Stakes at Fair Grounds on Jan. 20, meet again in the $100,000 Crescent City Derby for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Though the Gentilly was Power Surge's only stakes win, the Bret Calhoun-trained gelding has placed in four other stakes.

Hallway, a confirmed closer, was favored in the Gentilly but had to settle for second, the third consecutive stakes race in which he placed. Trainer Steve Asmussen found an allowance spot for him since the Gentilly and the colt galloped, a confidence builder that may help him here.

Mr. Porter beat Hallway back in November but finished behind both Power Surge and Hallway in two subsequent stakes tries. St. Zarb is a recent sprint allowance winner.